Hey kids, remember this?:
Remember how we laughed and laughed and laughed at the feverish teabagger imaginations that produced such lurid spittle-flecked hyperbole? Obama, a nazi? A Stalinist? Hahaha!
Yes yes, and you might also remember that while we were leaning over the fence pointing and laughing at the lunatic fringe to our south, in our own back yard progressives just couldn’t seem to catch an electoral break. Sigh.
Over 4 years and another election since Stephen the Corpulent first waddled to power, resplendent in the Blue Sweater-Vest of Authority and with a death grip on the Kitteh of Don’t Let This Happen to You, the Prime Minister’s chair still creaks and groans beneath his girth, and some days it seems like nothing short of a giant turbocharged Crowbar of Social Justice will pry him out. Or maybe removing Harper hinges on winning back the hearts and minds of an electorate that’s clearly soured on the concept of left-leaning governance.
Question of the Day: is this effort helped or hindered by frenzied left-wing rhetoric about Steve the Fascist-Nazi-Totalitarian, or would it be more productive to critique Harper for what he really is: a sleazy and unprincipled right-wing authoritarian political opportunist who pushes the envelope of power as much as humanly possible within the limits of a democracy? I’m going with Door #2.
Harper and his sycophantic little crew have earned titles like “bullies”, “toadies”, “douchebags” and “lying slime-ridden weasel shit on toast”. There are certainly many rational and valid reasons for opposing the Harper government. But the vapid idea that Harper is a “fascist” and a “totalitarian” — you know, like Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot — might be a hard sell outside the left-wing blogosphere. The far left-wing blogosphere. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little creative license to add impact — I do it myself all the time, and it’s fun. But to seriously suggest that Stephen Harper is the equivalent of Kim Jong-Il or Hitler is to invite… questions… about your mental stability. It’s doubtful that such teabaggy-good rhetoric would help make the case against the Harper government anyway, and it might even reinforce Jane and Joe Average Canadian’s shaky support for them.
Which brings me to those average Canadians whose hearts and minds must be won to prevail over Harper, and another troubling trend I’ve noticed among some progressives. Call it liberal elitism or a misplaced sense of superiority, it’s the attitude that the Canadian middle class is a great monolith of human dumbness that votes Conservative because they’re too stupid or brainwashed to know any better. (Never mind that once upon a time this same monolith of human dumbness was a large part of the Liberal constituency, delivering them to power with 3 consecutive majorities.) It’s not a widespread attitude, but it’s a dangerous one, not calculated to win anything but another decade in the political wilderness.
I’ve often wondered why progressive political parties have fallen so badly from favour with the Canadian middle- and working-class, and if it’s possible to win them back. But I have a feeling that elitism and psycho-talk about fascists and totalitarians not only won’t win them back, it may in fact be counterproductive to the task of ousting Harper and his squalid cabal of criminally-insane, democracy-raping theo-nazis. (*wink*)
UPDATE: Scathingly reality-based criticism: Exhibit “A”.