- Welcome, Truckers
December 29, 2021, 12:53 p.m. ET
Jack here, on the Hill, at the P.M.’s Office. Listen, Jill, we just received word (“intelligence”, as we say in government) over the holidays that the Truckers’ Union (or the Fraternal Order of Truckers, or the Truckers’ Benevolent Association—whatever) is thinking about Ottawa as the site for their next big confab in Jan. or Feb. of next year. Naturally, Justin wants to make it happen since he has always identified with the working man—”workers of the world unite” were the first words he learned to say on uncle Fidel’s knee—and (keep this to yourself) spends hours at a time sitting in the front seat of the big rigs parked at the permanent construction site outside 24 Sussex playing with the horn and the CB radio. Well, he’s really excited, and already has his trucker outfit all picked out so he can greet the lads appropriately when they roll into town.
I’m sending you a first draft of the Welcome Message I’ve composed at JT’s request. Ignore the strikethroughs, of course, but let me know que pensez-vous:
Welcome, Truckers, to Ottawa. We are delighted to hear that the Truckers’ Union is considering holding its convention in Canada’s Capital Region some time early next year. This is particularly gratifying because Ottawa in winter is, well, colder than Stephen Harper’s heart. As you know, in the Liberal Party, WE LOVE TRUCKERS. We love having them in our photo-ops because we value the working class (or, as one of our great Liberal prime ministers used to call them, “da liddle guy”). And you can’t get more working class than truckers with their lack of a university degree and deplorable attitudes towards women and gays—but we’ll address that when you get here.
We love that you have so many eastern European and even Sikh drivers (we love Sikhs even more than the NDP, by the way), because, as we say, that’s Canada, a big, beautiful, multi-faceted, multicultural mosaic of all races, ethnicities, and genders (binary, non-binary, non-binary self-identified–your choice), a rainbow tapestry that makes our Prime Minister proud whenever he imagines himself in the role of the leader of the finest post-national non-nation on earth. Did we mention that we also love you because you have hauled our food and kept our shelves stocked in the midst of this dire pandemic and supply-chain crisis (which has nothing to do, by the way, with our having locked down the world’s factories and seaports but was caused, obviously enough, by climate change and the ongoing pandemic of the unvaccinated)? You truckers are our heroes, our frontline workers, just like the nurses, doctors, and Health Canada bureaucrats who expose themselves to infection from COVID-19 every working day. Heck, that’s why we exempted you from the lockdowns and categorized trucking as an ESSENTIAL industry, almost as essential, we should say, as our state-owned liquor stores and their federally-unionized employees.
We want you to know, above all, that despite the frigid temperatures, Canada’s Prime Minister will receive you with his famous sunny ways, just as he did the pleasant visits by Black Lives Matter and Antifa in the past. (Our motto, after all, is equity, diversity, and inclusion.) When the good citizens of BLM and Antifa honoured us with their peaceful protests in 2020, as you recall, we gave them a round-the-clock police guard, just in case the marauding white supremacists in Ottawa tried to disrupt their rioting and looting peaceful celebrations of social justice. Well, when your eighteen-wheelers roll into town, you can be sure that we’ll clear the roads to make room for them. If you get cramped sleeping in the back of your cabs, don’t hesitate to pitch your tents on the Parliament lawn, knowing that, as we did with the BLM and Antifa gatherings, the Ottawa police and other local officials will wake you up every morning with your favourite Tim Horton’s coffee and donuts (no namby-pamby Starbuck’s for you working stiffs). And after the convention, why not stay a while: we’ve always rolled out the red carpet for the homeless encampments in Canada’s big cities, the indigenous occupations of private land, the disruptions of federal railway lines—the evidence of our hospitality is overwhelming. And while you’re here, don’t worry about leaving behind piles of excrement, fast-food wrappers, spent needles, or soiled prophylactics (prophylactics of the pre-COVID kind, mind you; no ivermectin please); Canada’s taxpayers are always happy to clean up the mess.
As our previous BLM and Antifa guests will tell you, Ottawa is an awesome venue for having fun. Their comments on TripAdvisor all mentioned how much they enjoyed looting and burning with impunity, so don’t hesitate to let out the horses (as you Smokey and the Bandit fans might say). And finally, help yourself to any statues or city monuments you feel like toppling, if there are any left standing from BLM’s last visit.
I think you got things wrong. The Truckers aren’t planning a convention; they’re conspiring to come to Ottawa to protest Justin’s dictatorial vaccine mandates.
Oops. My bad. New talking points to come.
- Fearful Symmetry
As we all know (and expected), the truckers who rolled into Ottawa recently didn’t exactly get the fawning reception from the regime and its media ministers of disinformation that can always be counted upon by visitors who pillage and riot in the name of “social justice”. Those who are familiar with Botticelli’s famous painting “The Calumny of Apelles” might recognize in its foreground the truckers, the mainstream media, and our regal P.M. respectively, in the figures of Apelles, stripped naked and cast to the ground, Calumny, dragging him by the hair, and King Ptolmey IV, enthroned on high, with the asses ears symbolic of his receptivity to lying Rumour and deafness to the truth, and pointing accusingly at the defenseless, despised, and calumniated wretch at his feet.
We have now officially entered the Alice in Wonderland phase of politics, in which our progressive leaders see the world through a looking glass that exactly reverses everything within it, and reflects it back with perfect, albeit fearful symmetry. Every lie that the government in Ottawa has ventilated about the truckers’ protests—“fringe”, “violent”, “extremist”, “insurrectionist”—would have been a veridical description of the BLM, Antifa, or anti-pipeline demonstrations that it has consistently and sycophantically praised; and every prettification with which it has bedaubed its encomia of the latter—“peaceful”, “joyous”, “grassroots”, “democratic”—is apodictically true of the protest it is now scurrilously vilifying.
By contrast to the calumnies issued by Trudeau and his subservient media, we have all seen the ocular proof: 100,000-plus ordinary citizens from every class, race, and walk of life. Indigenous Canadians beating their native drums for freedom, surrounded by pale-faced auditors tapping their feet and smiling in solidarity. Iranian Canadians recalling mordantly why they fled from the tyranny of the Ayatollahs. Genuine card-carrying working stiffs, who obey the law, pay their taxes, and struggle to support their families, as opposed to overprivileged, woke college students or bussed in Soros bought and paid for rent-a-mobs. Patriots, what’s more, who, as the images show, are waving thousands of Canadian flags, rather than burning them. Protestors peaceful almost to the point of defying probability, given the vastness of the crowd, whose only demand is for the recovery of their basic human freedoms, as officially enshrined in Canada’s Constitution, from authoritarian usurpers. Protestors who have committed not a single act of criminal violence, looted no shops, burned no cruisers, torched no businesses, occupied no federal or municipal government buildings, pitched no tents, declared no autonomous zones, toppled no statues, and have even cleaned up their own refuse.
- Trudeau’s Theatre Arts
Trudeau’s initial stretcher was intended to give him cover for hiding from the truckers, rather than listening to and refuting their arguments. Having been exposed to COVID, he explained that he was going responsibly into quarantine, though he had tested negative; the next day, that he had tested positive; then, that he was hiding for “security” reasons. Jordan Peterson accused him of not merely lying but lying twice. Peterson too generously underestimates our P.M.s talent for mendacity: Trudeau’s security concerns are risible on their face; and if he went into isolation (having tested negative), his subsequent “positive” test can only have been confabulated. (How can he have contracted COVID in isolation? From a viral molecule still living on the surface of a Perrier bottle in his suite at the Chateau Laurier?) The multiple redundancy of the Prime Minister’s excuses calls to mind that famous scene in The Blues Brothers in which the John Belushi character is finally cornered by his heavily armed fiancé (played by Carrie Fisher), whom he had abandoned at the matrimonial altar (“I ran out of gas! I got a flat tire! I didn’t have change for cab fare! I lost my tux at the cleaners! I locked my keys in the car! An old friend came in from out of town! Someone stole my car! There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! It wasn’t my fault, I swear to God!”)
Going into hiding in order to escape the wrath of their ungrateful subjects has been the resort of tin-pot dictators from Dionysius II of ancient Syracuse to Ceausescu, Deng Xiaoping, and Maduro of the modern era. Their next steps have always been to denounce the protestors as a threat to “democracy”, thereby rationalizing the need to declare a state of emergency and call in their paramilitary palace guard. In all of this Trudeau Deuxieme is following their script to a “t”, though these are the sort of banana-republic tactics that Woody Allen, Richard Dreyfuss, and Hollywood liberals have made fun of for decades.
Trudeau’s trucker pseudologies will be remembered in the sophistical manuals for centuries. Even before the truckers set their parking brakes, he announced the logical distinctions that came with alacrity to his deeply philosophical brain:
I have attended protests and rallies in the past, when I agreed with the goals, when I supported the people expressing their concerns and their issues. Black Lives Matter is an excellent example of that. But I have also chosen to not go anywhere near protests that have expressed hateful rhetoric, violence towards fellow citizens and a disrespect not just of science…
I have chosen not to go anywhere near protests that express hateful rhetoric. The small fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa, who are holding unacceptable views, do not represent the views of Canadians.
Let us not wonder why a Canadian prime minister, the leader of all the people of Canada, should claim credit for listening only to those citizens he agrees with and whose concerns he already shares. During the summer of 2020, the BLM protestors’ non-hateful rhetoric included calls to kill the police, lynch “whitey”, and burn down legislatures across the United States and Canada. When the BLM warriors descended upon Ottawa, Trudeau came to Parliament Hill as a humble penitent, his cabinet in tow, literally bending his knee in solidarity with the mob and confessing his white guilt.
Whether or not BLM’s neo-Marxist utopia is desiderated by a majority of Canadians, Trudeau’s dismissal of the Freedom Convoy as a “fringe minority” is another howler. In addition to the 100,000-plus who drove for hours to get to Ottawa’s frozen wasteland, foregoing two weeks’ working wages, there were tens of thousands more cheering them on from overpasses and roadsides all across the country. At least 200,000 individual Canadians have reached into their pockets and contributed nearly twenty million dollars to the GoFundMe and GiveSendGo sites that Canada’s governments have since frozen, in another third-world, banana-republic prank illustrative of their reverence for fairness and the rule of law.
In a recent Angus-Reid poll, 54 percent of Canadians expressed their support for the repeal of all COVID restrictions (precisely the demand of the trucker “fringe”), and in a Legier poll, 32 percent for the Freedom Convoy itself. The most eloquent retort to Trudeau’s “fringe minority” calumny came from Elon Musk: “It would appear that the so-called ‘fringe minority’ is actually the government.” Indeed, if the 32 percent of Canadians who endorse the truckers had a federal party with a vertebrate leader to vote for, it would likely form the next government, and the leader of Canada’s Liberals, who has been clinging to minority status in Parliament with 33 percent of the popular vote in the last election, would be teaching theatre arts again.
- More Tales of Two Protests
Trudeau’s “loving rhetoric” towards this “fringe minority” soon took flight on the wings of the usual progressive canards:
[These are people who are] fiercely opposed to vaccination…who don’t believe in science, who are misogynist, often racist too…
Over the past few days, Canadians were shocked and frankly disgusted by the behaviour displayed by some people protesting in our nation’s capital.
I want to be very clear: We are not intimidated by those who hurl insults and abuse at small business workers and steal food from the homeless. We won’t give in to those who fly racist flags. We won’t cave to those who engage in vandalism or dishonour the memory of our veterans.
Individuals are trying to blockade our economy, our democracy, and our fellow citizens’ daily lives. It has to stop. The people of Ottawa don’t deserve to be harassed in their own neighborhoods. They don’t deserve to be confronted with the inherent violence of a swastika flying on a street corner or a Confederate flag….That’s not who Canada and Canadians are.
Blockages, illegal demonstrations are unacceptable, and are negatively impacting businesses and manufacturers.
No, Mr. Trudeau, the truckers are not opposed to vaccination—many of them are vaccinated, as they have said. Their “concerns” are rather more proximate to the “democracy” you say they threaten. And as to believing in the science, I have no doubt that you too will eventually catch up with it, like so many of your fellow politicians, once you have tested the political winds and deem it safe to do so.
One would have thought that Trudeau might at least resist the temptation to denounce the protestors as “misogynists” and “racists”, given his own well-documented adventures with female reporters and field research in the physiognomy and traditional costume of certain racial and ethnic groups (cultural appropriation, if that term has any meaning). But Trudeau is so fluent in what he calls “your truth” and “my truth”, so gifted in make-believe, that one is forced to conclude that he really was serious when, on the campaign trail, he pleaded that having been a teacher of “theatre arts” in high school qualified him for a career in politics—in which, as it turns out, he was right.
Of course, as Mark Steyn pointed out long ago, progressives are never obliged to win the argument so long as they can ban it. Their Oxford Union debating technique has thus amounted to hurling the canonical leftist slurs (racist, sexist, homophobe) at their opponents in the expectation that, like the head of Medusa, the words will immediately strike them dumb and turn them to stone. Elon Musk, again, caught the imposture when, above an aerial photo of the crowd in Ottawa, he tweeted derisively, “So many Hitlers!” In the voluminous footage of the tens of thousands of protestors, the lone swastika jubilantly caught by the cameras of the mainstream media was affixed to the bottom of a Canadian flag, atop which was inscribed an admittedly indelicate exhortation. But even Ezra Levant misread its iconography, which was hardly an endorsement of National Socialism, but a reminder that Trudeau’s vaccine mandates are a palpable violation of the Nuremberg Code. (Needless to say, the innumerable displays of the Soviet hammer and sickle at BLM and Antifa riots failed to provoke any disgust, or even comment, from the Prime Minister.)
Slightly more precious are Trudeau’s accusations of “vandalism”, neighbourhood “harassment”, “negatively impacting businesses and manufacturers”, etcetera, of which Black Lives Matter is an excellent example—to quote the Prime Minister’s own words. BLM “negatively impacted businesses” by first absconding with their inventory and then burning them down to the ground; but then, as Trudeau said, he supports their “goals” and “concerns”. As it turned out, Trudeau’s subsequent lockdown policies managed to advance these goals exponentially, by shuttering businesses, not merely in the urban neighbourhoods BLM torched, but all across the globe. Neither then nor since has he expressed the least concern for his lockdowns’ economic impact.
- Peace and Violence Through Alice’s Looking Glass
In the physical absence of the widespread violence and criminality that the Prime Minister beheld in his mind’s eye, he and the media have been reduced to clutching at the straws of a few protestors who parked their trucks too close to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and another who carelessly used the statue of Terry Fox as a temporary coat hanger—”desecrations of the memory of our veterans” and “dishonour” of our historical heritage far more sinister, apparently, than the spray-painting, toppling, and smashing of statues of John A. MacDonald and Queen Elizabeth by the leftist mobs whose vandalism “expressed the concerns and issues” he agrees with.
The desperation of politicians to find evidence of trucker atrocities is perfectly encapsulated in a statement issued by Ottawa councilperson Catherine McKinnon on January 31: “I’ve heard from 100s of residents who are tired & frightened at what they are experiencing in their neighbourhoods. I am hearing reports of trucks driving through red lights without pausing [my emphasis].”
Following that model of independence from the political branch that the police in both Canada and the United States have so admirably exemplified over the past few years, the chief of Ottawa’s police service board, Diane Deans, dutifully echoed the Prime Minister’s talking points. Ottawa, she said, is a city “under siege”; a “living hell”; it’s “terrorism in our community”; it’s an “occupation”; no, it’s “a nationwide insurrection” (There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts!) calling for “mass arrests” and the invocation of the National Defence Act. A predictably fair and objective Global News report that assiduously quotes counter-protestors on their harrowing experiences while apparently unable to find any truckers to interview, evinced the evidence of the systematic criminality of the protestors (the “smell of exhaust from propane barbecues”, “dance music”), adding:
Families with strollers or babies strapped to their chests also waded through the protest, while a group dressed up in Santa Claus and reindeer costumes posed for photos. The demonstration had the same party-like atmosphere that characterized the early days of the protest. But the police presence was notably heavier.
Thank God for the heavier police presence in the midst of an ensuing party atmosphere, people dressing up in Santa Claus costumes, and the strapping of babies (Look! It’s a bomb!) to maternal chests!
Early in the “occupation”, Peter Sloly, Ottawa’s Chief of Police, was forced to admit that it had been “four dangerous, difficult, dynamic days”, but that there had been “no riots, no injuries, no deaths”. As a matter of fact (if you bother about facts), since the truckers entered Ottawa, official police crime figures have plummeted to a fraction of what they were just the week prior, suggesting a plausible solution to the plague of homicide and organized looting afflicting America’s Democrat-run cities.
Casting our minds back again to the BLM summer of love, we are reminded of the iconic image of a CNN reporter, who with the live video of a city block engulfed in flames directly over his shoulder, waxed eloquent about how peaceful the protests had been. In due course, when BLM took their tour into the Canadian hinterland, Ottawa’s Police Service issued this statement of welcome: “We respect the rights of [the protestors] to speak out when they see injustices and we understand the [their] deep pain and frustration. Our role is to provide a safe space for people to grieve and be heard.” In advance of BLM’s arrival, apparently sceptical of the official description of their protests as peaceful, the business owners of Ottawa (voting with their hands) boarded up their shop windows.
Ottawa’s Home Depots have reported no runs on plywood in the past two weeks. But for the rankest of ideological reasons, the Prime Minister and his henchmen in the police continue to view the world through Alice’s looking glass.