“Like why don’t we liberate Canada? Why aren’t we sending our armed forces north to liberate Canada from Trudeau?” — Tucker Carlson
So, who is this guy Tucker Carlson anyway?
He is a prominent American journalist who leans sharply to the extreme right and has been called one of the most polarizing personalities on Cable TV. He was fired by Fox Cable News, an almost impossible feat when you are right of centre, and he now has his own weekly broadcast. He still has a huge political following, especially among those on the edge of political defiance.
And this guy wants to ‘liberate’ Canada by sending American troops here. When he first said it, many thought it was satire and not serious. But he has said it again and again.
To make sure we get it, he shows up in Calgary, welcomed by Alberta Premier Danielle Smith who encourages Carlson, in front of a responsive audience of eight thousand, to have Steven Guilbeault, Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, in his “crosshairs”, a well know military expression related to gunfire.
Now, I hold no brief for Steven Guilbeault. I believe he is far too polarizing and way over his head. But Smith’s comment was pure calculated incitement, not a slip of the tongue but totally inappropriate and dangerous, especially directed at an individual with a huge following in the United States who is on record as saying Canada should be “liberated” by force, from Justin Trudeau.
Thankfully, Canadians have a much more effective way of doing that, should they so choose. It’s called the ballot box.
Tucker Carlson is not the only American with their eyes focused on Canada. Donald Trump has proven to be no friend of Canada. Out of his camp has come this quote. “Canada is jailing journalists, locking up peaceful protesters, forcing fealty to insane gender ideology, barely penalizing rapists, and countless other ridiculous totalitarian policies.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said recently that Canadians should be concerned if Donald Trump becomes President of the United States again. That is an understatement if I have ever heard one.
The United States is currently in chaos and Donald Trump, even out of office, is a significant cause of that. He is directing Republican Members of the House of Representatives to vote against a bi-partisan bill in the Senate that is supported by the President to deal now with the very real crisis on the southern border of the United States. He has made no bones about his intent to allow this crisis to ferment so that he can be seen to resolve it a year from now.
As well, Trump is encouraging the actions of the Governor of Texas to defy a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court asserting the right of the Federal Government to have full access to the southern border. Unresolved, this will set up an inevitable confrontation between the states and the Federal Government.
Former Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, who is also a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air National Guard, has recently said this. “We are closer than we would like to think to another civil war. I used to be afraid to talk about it. Now, I think it is important to talk about it.”
And why should Canadians be concerned about this? Because a civil war or any kind of major civil disobedience in the United States will inevitably affect Canada. And with the prospect of Donald Trump calling the shots and national journalists like Tucker Carlson urging the “liberation” of Canada, and having some traction here already, we will be about as vulnerable as any country can be.
Donald Trump is dangerous. By definition, if you are not for him, you are against him, and he is ruthless with those who oppose him and also with those whom he just does not like.
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the head of a Liberal Government that is in freefall. In desperation, their sole campaign strategy now appears to be to paint Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre as the Canadian version of Donald Trump. They may want to think twice about that.
For one thing, most Canadians don’t think Pierre Poilievre is a carbon copy of Donald Trump. An article in the Toronto Star says this. “A Liberal attack ad compares Conservative Pierre Poilievre to former U.S. president Donald Trump. But a new Abacus Data poll suggests Canadians either don’t see that much comparison or just don’t care – especially if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remains unpopular.”
As well, although I am not a charter member of his fan club, the only real comparison I can see between Pierre Poilievre and Donald Trump is that they are both right of centre and therefore may agree on some of the more reasonable conservative policies. But it stops there no matter how desperately one wants it to be different. Poilievre himself needs to demonstrate that over the next year or so, or he may well be painted with a brush he does not deserve.
Bill Barr was Attorney General during a part of the Trump administration. He describes Trump this way. “He’s a very petty individual who will always put his interests ahead of the country’s interests. Our country cannot be a therapy session for a man like that.”
While I know some will disagree, I do not think that describes Pierre Poilievre. While I do not agree with everything he stands for, I do believe that he feels strongly about Canada and puts the country’s interests ahead of his own.
He does not have the enormous character flaws that Donald Trump has. He does not, in my view, show signs of mental illness whereas, also in my view, Donald Trump does almost any time he opens his mouth.
To me, the most important thing in any democratic society is that at election time there are always alternatives. This is especially true at a time when so many warning signs are blinking red. One factor in the next election here could well be which leader can best deal with Donald Trump.
Given the current strategy of the Trudeau government, if the liberal political establishment effectively paints Pierre Poilievre as the Donald Trump of the North or conversely, if Poilievre does not take definitive steps to show that he is most certainly not, there will not be a real alternative to the current government for those who may want it. The Liberals will win again without a fight.
May we live in interesting times, indeed.
NOTE: My commentary next week will be about my view of the proposed changes to the hospitals in Muskoka.
Hugh Mackenzie has held elected office as a trustee on the Muskoka Board of Education, a Huntsville councillor, a District councillor, and mayor of Huntsville. He has also served as chairman of the District of Muskoka and as chief of staff to former premier of Ontario, Frank Miller.
Hugh has also served on a number of provincial, federal and local boards, including chair of the Ontario Health Disciplines Board, vice-chair of the Ontario Family Health Network, vice-chair of the Ontario Election Finance Commission, and board member of Roy Thomson Hall, the National Theatre School of Canada, and the Anglican Church of Canada. Locally, he has served as president of the Huntsville Rotary Club, chair of Huntsville District Memorial Hospital, chair of the Huntsville Hospital Foundation, president of Huntsville Festival of the Arts, and board member of Community Living Huntsville.
In business, Hugh Mackenzie has a background in radio and newspaper publishing. He was also a founding partner and CEO of Enterprise Canada, a national public affairs and strategic communications firm established in 1986.
Currently, Hugh is president of C3 Digital Media Inc., the parent company of Doppler Online, and he enjoys writing commentary for Huntsville Doppler.
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