Stop me if you heard anything like this before… An avowed socialist ascends to the leadership of his country despite being a member of the minority party. A precipitating event in the nation’s capital serves as the pretext for that person to assume extraordinary “emergency powers”. He uses those powers as a blunt instrument to destroy his opposition. A minority group in that country is scapegoated as the cause of an existential crisis, and the leader escalates persecution of that group. That group is banned from partaking in society in full and has their possessions confiscated by the government under the emergency powers.
I think most of you know where I’m going with this. Everything in the preceding paragraph applies to Adolph Hitler, who used the Reichstag Fire as an excuse to assume dictatorial powers which he used to attack, if not eliminate his political opposition and to persecute those who he felt were undesirable, who didn’t fit in with his vision of the perfect society. So too does it also apply to Justin Trudeau, who rose to the top post of his government, despite his party not holding the majority of seats. He invoked the seldom-used Emergencies Act, which he is using to persecute and intimidate the truckers who brought their protest to the nation’s capital several weeks ago. Though he won’t exterminate the truckers, or (hopefully) won’t put them into work camps, he does seem intent on depriving them of any meaningful existence as Canadian citizens, and of several unalienable rights. Even those who offered financial and material support to the truckers are being treated exactly like those who support actual terrorists. Trudeau not unlike the Fascists of yesteryear will brook no opposition, no challenge to his vision. Those who dare stand against him must be crushed, as all those who stand against the state must be in his world.
Yes, these truckers in their act of civil disobedience, have broken laws– traffic laws, parking laws, and assorted other minor misdemeanors. None of which, in the civilized world, would justify the sort of crackdown Trudeau has started. They are the sort of nuisance violations that normally, in a sane society, warrant fines and little more. Many of the truckers had already left their positions blocking the US/Canada border. What Trudeau is doing is above and beyond what the situation calls for. What he and his followers are doing resembles less what leaders of liberal democracies do, and more what the craven, despot rulers of the last century did. The situation calls for sitting down with the truckers, listening to their grievances, and working out a solution. (Offering people the right to bodily autonomy would seem like a pretty low bar.) It calls for him seeing them as equals and dealing with them as people, not terrorists, not enemies of the state, but people. If he can kneel with BLM protesters, he can sit with peaceful truckers. It’s what a true leader, a statesman worthy of the name would do.
Similar protests are popping up around the world in places where ordinary people are being treated like second-class citizens. As they see the comparative level of danger go down with Omicron, and new treatments going online, they wonder why their leaders insist on acting as if it’s still March of 2021. At these protests, there may be agent provocateurs attempting to discredit the protests. They’ll pose as protesters, displaying symbols of white supremacy as they purportedly did in Ottowa and other places, literal “false-flag” operations. They may try to goad the protesters into violence. The protestors must rise above this, and the public must see through this. The Canadians have set an example of how to protest peacefully and effectively. Hopefully, people in other countries will follow suit, and if anybody comes out looking bad, or acting shamefully, it will be their leaders, not them.
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Until next week, stay happy, healthy, and free.