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GUNTER: Our political elites have become hysterically afraid of ordinary Canadians


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Ever since there have been elites, those elites have worried about the potentially disruptive influence of populism.

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The first Neanderthal chieftain probably warned his companion of the rumblings he heard from cave dwellers further down the mountain. “Their demand that we all have a say in where we hunt sabertooth is a threat to our social order!”

Emperors have always feared rude peasants. Kings have always worried about the destabilizing effects of sharing power with ambitious barons. And social snobs keep changing fashions, food trends, and popular recreations so they can distinguish themselves from the scum.

It is therefore nothing new for the Canadian political establishment to use the term “populist” in an attempt to discredit Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre.

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What is new is how hysterically fearful and exaggerated our political elites have become. They sincerely seem to believe that millions of ordinary Canadians are one beer away from trying to destroy our national institutions.

It was this mentality that led the Trudeau Liberals to believe that it was necessary to impose the Emergencies Act to clear the Freedom Convoy from downtown Ottawa.

This change began to emerge in 2019 when another protest convoy – the oilfield-based United We Roll demonstration – converged on Parliament Hill.

Testifying before a Commons committee, the nation’s top civil servant, Clerk of the Privy Council, Michael Wernick, confessed: “I’m worried about my country right now. I worry about the rising tide of incitement to violence when people use terms like betrayal and traitor in open speech. These are the words that lead to assassination.

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Really!? A few thousand frustrated oil workers, angry at the government’s efforts to shut down their industry and put them out of work, are beginning to call the Prime Minister a traitor and our detached, distant and disconnected ruling class is worried that such talk will lead to murder.

Maybe upper-middle-class toffs like Wernick never use the term “traitor” in “open speech,” lest their sherry-tasting club members swoon over such foul language. .

“Quick, quick, someone who’s a Michael fan. He’s passed out.

But in the real world, where people get up in the dark to weld pipes or open their small business, or stand in the field until 2 a.m. to harvest a crop before the first hard frost, such words are widespread. quite often, but bandiers don’t really mean them.

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The same elite reaction followed the Freedom Convoy.

Although police and financial investigators told MPs there was no evidence of widespread criminal behavior or convoy funding, the government maintains the convoys were armed arsonists, vandals, racists and rapists .

Cabinet ministers also still insist they had strong evidence that the convoy was funded by Russians and led by American white nationalists.

Just two weeks ago – well after the convoy was dismantled – Ryan Schwartz, acting director general of cybersecurity for the Department of Public Safety, said the convoy posed a threat to Canada’s ‘social cohesion’ .

Schwartz insisted that the truckers’ rhetoric could “cascade on social media platforms and be used to prompt certain responses.”

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So when you hear someone try to smear Poilievre with the “populist” label, remember everything he means. They don’t just mean that it attracts ordinary people. In their minds, he must also be racist, sexist, anti-vax, and bent on destroying the country (or at least their control over it).

The ignorance of the elite could however turn against him this time.

The elites have this arrogant belief that they can spot the dangers we are blind to, so if they enlighten us, we will be as afraid of Pierre Poilievre as they are.

But it’s entirely possible that the elite’s contempt for Poilievre is driving voters towards him, not out.

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