Thousands dead, hundreds of thousands sick.
Jobs, gone. Businesses, gone. Life savings and livelihoods, gone.
It is in the midst of all of that misery — in the middle of a week, no less, where Canada’s largest province expects as many as 18,000 new infections every day — the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada called the coronavirus pandemic “a political opportunity.”
“A political opportunity.” That’s a quote.
In a week like this one, it would be easy to forget that Chrystia Freeland actually uttered those words. A lot has been going on.
There’s been bathos (a Liberal MP being caught naked in his office, the Honourable Member’s, um, member thankfully obscured by a cell phone). There’s been pathos (the Trudeau government shutting down a Parliamentary committee’s probe into sexual misconduct at the highest levels of the Canadian Armed Forces).
And there’s been tragedy, too: Moderna slashing vaccine deliveries to Canada, but undertaking to continue to ship them to the European Union. And the Biden Administration vaccinating more than four million Americans daily — while Canada has only fully vaccinated about two per cent of our population.
But the thing that the Trudeau regime most wants you to forget, I suspect, is what Freeland said. That the pandemic is “a political opportunity.”
The “context” was missing, tweeted myriad #TruAnon types (copyright, CNN’s Jake Tapper). My tweeted response: when you’re explaining, you’re losing. And there’s no credible explanation for a statement as callous and craven and cavalier as Freeland’s.
It’s disgusting. It’s appalling.
But it’s easy, perhaps, to see why the Trudeau cult feels that way. For them, the pandemic truly has been “a political gift.”
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Consider: Voters don’t like changing horses mid-stream.
Proof: Elections in B.C., Saskatchewan, New Brunswick.
They don’t like tossing out incumbents in a crisis like the one we’ve got. Trudeau knows it. Thanks, coronavirus.
Shutting down Parliament — as Trudeau effectively has — benefits him enormously. Question Period has been reduced to a farce — and the Opposition have all but disappeared. Thanks, coronavirus.
More than a year later, the Opposition still haven’t figured out how to make themselves relevant. They’re fighting internally, they’re not communicating clearly. They don’t talk alternatives, they don’t talk ideas. They keep auditioning for the jobs they already have. Thanks, coronavirus.
We in the media are fixated on what the government is doing, not the Opposition. That’s not a criticism of those of ink-stained wretches and wretchesses — it’s merely the reality. The pandemic is the biggest story of our collective lifetimes. And the only political parties who are newsworthy, really, are the ones who are in power, making decisions. Thanks, coronavirus.
So, Freeland’s slip was disgusting and deplorable. It was profoundly cynical. But for the government that she represents, it was also the truth.
The prominent Democrat Rahm Emanuel once said that people in politics should never let a good crisis go to waste. Other politicos, in unguarded moments, have made similar utterances.
But, honestly and truly: when you strip away all of the muck that passes as “political strategy” and “crisis communications” and all that — things this writer knows a little about — you are often just left with a simple but unattractive and unvarnished truth.
And the truth is this that the Trudeau Liberal government regards thousands of deaths — and hundreds of thousands of us getting sick, and just as many businesses and lives slipping under the waves — as “a political opportunity.”
In their words, we shall know them. And that’s what the Trudeau Liberals have become.
Which is, in the main, kind of evil.
— Kinsella was Special Assistant to Jean Chretien