Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Confounding Harper's Plan, Part II

A very helpful poster in my comments section (thank you to "curiositykilledthecat") pointed this out to me. I've read this before, and I think I may have even posted it here, and am frankly surprised that I was so quick to forget about it. It's a transcript of his remarks to a Civitas meeting in Toronto in 2003. (Hmm... Civitas... doesn't that sound familiar...)

What we can glean from this is very helpful information on Harper's agenda, his way of thinking, his long-term goals, etc. I mentioned before that I think it will be essential in defeating him to understand these things. So what makes Harper tick?

I'll let you read through the transcript yourself (it's immensely interesting) but here's something interesting. Harper seems to have a hatred of modern liberalism that is almost pathological. This is according to those close to him. "Mr. Harper is dead set on getting rid of the Liberals as a viable political party in this country." In Harper's own words:

"The real challenge is therefore not economic, but the social agenda of the modern Left. Its system of moral relativism, moral neutrality and moral equivalency is beginning to dominate its intellectual debate and public-policy objectives.

The clearest recent evidence of this phenomenon is seen in international affairs in the emerging post-Cold-War world - most obviously in the response of modern liberals to the war on terrorism. There is no doubt about the technical capacity of our society to fight this war. What is evident is the lack of desire of the modern liberals to fight, and even more, the striking hope on the Left that we actually lose.

You can see this if you pay close attention to the response to the war in Iraq from our own federal Liberals and their cheerleaders in the media and the universities. They argue one day that there are no weapons of mass destruction, yet warn that such weapons might be used. They tell us the war was immoral, then moral but impractical, then practical but unjustified. They argue simultaneously that the war can't be won, that it is too easy for the coalition to win and that victory cannot be sustained anyway."

Well, there's a good deal wrong with that, for example assuming in that last paragraph that "the left" is a homogenous entity. It's a favourite tactic of people more interested in scoring debating points than actually debating ideas; take conflicting ideas from two separate people who share a similar ideology, act as if they come from the same person, and accuse the adherents to the ideology as a whole of inconsistency. You see it all the time, especially in relation to the war, especially in the United States; left-leaning Democrats who oppose the war are reminded by sanctimonious Republicans that the Democrats initially supported it, as if the votes of some politicians ought to bind the opinions of an entire population. But I digress...

Notice the disdain; he actually believes that liberals want the west to lose what is often called the "war against terrorism." He actually believes that liberals do not have morals. He's like Ann Coulter, but with less testosterone. (And I imagine with a bigger brain.)

There's more:

Conservatives need to reassess our understanding of the modern Left. It has moved beyond old socialistic morality or even moral relativism to something much darker. It has become a moral nihilism - the rejection of any tradition or convention of morality, a post-Marxism with deep resentments, even hatreds of the norms of free and democratic western civilization."

This stuff could be written by the bombastic, belligerent and obtuse hacks who make up the American right-wing cabal. Coulter or Hannity or O'Reilly or Limbaugh or Ponnuru. But it's coming from our very own prime minister. Sweeping accusations of moral nihilism and baby-eating are common from those hacks ("Treason," "The Party of Death," et. al.) but coming from our own prime minister, it's just beyond disturbing.

So what is it? Does Stephen Harper have a pathological hatred of liberalism and liberals which is motivating his recent actions; are these actions missteps and blunders caused by this hatred, or a careful calculation resulting from it? Or is what he said to Civitas just political rhetoric - but then why would he bother with rhetoric at a low-key "think" tank meeting?

I'll probably write more on this later, and I hope other Liberals will join me in this discussion, because I feel it's important.


At 5/13/2006 12:24 a.m., Blogger Miles Lunn said...

I think he does hate all things liberal and liberalism. I think he is more of an economic conservative than social conservative, but he still is a social conservative and has no problem pandering to them. Certainly this speech should raise several red flags. If he governs this way, God help us all.


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