Justin Trudeau’s ghost-written memoir—Common Ground—is many things. It’s as excruciatingly slow as Hillary Clinton’s Living History, and contains passages as painfully adolescent as Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue. But since the self-styled everyman Justin could very conceivably be the next Prime Minister of Canada, I forced myself to slog through fake apology passages in which Justin cloyingly implored his readers to forgive his over-the-top patriotism and trumpeted his wealth of inexperience. “If I sound a bit rhapsodic, you’ll have to forgive me. I tend to get that way about things I love and treasure. I wrote this book to explain why I feel this way about our country and how I learned to lead.”
It’s ironic that the one thing Justin Trudeau says that he tries to avoid is the one thing that he appears most often to be: Phoney. It was, he writes, the one thing his mother Margaret warned him against. “Don’t be phoney,” she had told him. “People can always tell if you’re being phoney, and when they do, they’ll never fully trust you again.”
It’s hard to square that with Justin’s constant and unbelievable rhapsodizing about Canada, which often sounds like a terribly written and juvenile Valentine’s Day card. “I did my best” he writes about one of his endeavors, “but ultimately I felt the exercise was a success only in that it illustrated for me a truth about myself: if my heart isn’t in it, I can’t argue something convincingly. And my heart has always been in Canada.” At one point, he actually declares that he “is in love with Canada.” This, of course, to warm the Grinch-like hearts of even conservatives such as myself.
Rarely, though, does Justin actually explain why he loves Canada, besides references to the undeniable natural beauty and long lists of positive-sounding buzzwords, which he strings together proudly and then accuses the federal Conservatives of opposing or ignoring.
“As I’ve said before,” he writes, “we might be the only country in the history of the world that is strong because of its diversity, not in spite of it. We have managed, through hard work and generosity of spirit, to build a prosperous and harmonious society out of the most multicultural country on earth. It has been core to who we are since before our founding. It’s baked into our DNA. Our instinct to look past our differences, to seek out common ground and find common cause, kept forefathers like Samuel de Champlain alive through their first winters as surely as it has helped our modern major cities become success stories that multicultural societies the world over seek to emulate today.”
You’ll notice here that this is presented without historical context or any evidence of when, exactly, our prosperity and harmony were baked into our DNA. Historians would be somewhat surprised to find out that our harmonious DNA had created a powerful instinct to perpetually look past differences, as well—but of course, Justin Trudeau is simply creating a beautifully harmonious and uncomplicated vision of Canada, which he can then announce that the federal Conservatives hate and despise like the butchers they are, even though anyone with an even nominal understanding of Canadian history is forced to find such passages laughable.
The problem, as Justin sees it, is the Conservative snake in the Canadian Eden. “I said the current government had lost touch with the things that had made our country great,” he writes solemnly, “fairness, diversity, the commitment to leave to our children a better country than we inherited from our parents.” This, because anyone with a reasonable outlook on the Canadian political landscape must surely be aware that the Conservatives, as uniformly childless as they all are, are unfair harbingers of a new right-wing hellscape. Justin, fortunately, provides simple conclusions to his simplistic analysis.
“I concluded very simply,” he writes (and this is hard to disagree with), “that I believed this country was better than its current government. Canadians are broad minded and big hearted, fair and honest, hard-working, hopeful, and kind…I said I believed that the Conservative government’s basic flaw was its smallness, its meanness, its inability to relate to or work with people who do not share its ideological predisposition. I said that Mr. Harper’s extreme rigidity, his believe that disagreement and dissent are signs of weaknesses to be stamped out, would have a corrosive effect on Canadian public life over time.”
This statement was particularly hard to stomach, since Trudeau spent considerable time earlier on in his memoir trumpeting his decision to demand that all pro-life Members of Parliament abandon his party or abandon their principles. His rigidity is this area is unprecedented in the history of the Liberal Party—his stamping out of disagreement and dissent representative of a clampdown that Liberal MPs have never experienced from previous leaders.
His position, stated early on in the book, betrays a moral schizophrenia that should be obvious to any reader:
“I believe very deeply in the liberal idea of freedom. In the spring of 2014, I would announce a firm stance in favour of a woman’s right to choose. It was a big change for some of my parliamentary colleagues. Previously, the Liberal Party considered this right to be subservient to the freedom of an individual MP to vote in Parliament according to his or her religious beliefs. As someone who was raised Roman Catholic, and who attended a Jesuit school, I understand that it is difficult for people of deep faith to set their beliefs aside in order to serve Canadians who may not share those beliefs. But for me, this is what liberalism is all about. It is the idea that private belief, while it ought to be valued and respected, is fundamentally different from public duty. My idea of freedom is that we should protect the rights of people to believe what their conscience dictates, but fight equally hard to protect people from having the beliefs of others imposed upon them. That is the difference between the views expressed by a citizen and the votes counted in Parliament. When MPs vote in Parliament, they are not just expressing an opinion; they are expressing a will to have all other Canadians bound by their opinion, under law. That is where we need to draw a firm line. I am confident that my father, were he around today, would agree.”
Justin’s comments on the Catholic Church throughout his memoir betray the fact that he is about as Catholic as the rest of Quebec—which is to say, not at all. He appreciates the spirituality, the historicity, the tradition—but not the irritating moral obligations, such as the obligation to protect all human life or the recognition of natural law. He is counting on the fact that most voters—and many Catholics—will not examine his claims too closely, and thus he will don the cultural garb of Catholicism without any of the restraints.
Trudeau does not understand the pro-life position: That we are talking about two human beings, not one, and that the protection of the weak from the strong is the highest responsibility of government. His father, we know, did not agree and would not agree with such extremism on abortion, and the idea that the Charter protects abortion is ludicrous. In his memoir he advocates for a science-based approach to legislation, yet ignores the science of the pre-born child in the womb. All truth is subjective in Justin’s world, except the liberal “truths” arrived at recently at the ballot box and in the courts. This is why he condescendingly suggests that people can dislike abortion on a personal level, as long as they leave their principles and coherent human rights doctrines at home when they join the Liberals. That is to say, of course, that he supports maintaining Canada’s lawless abortion free-for-all, but also supports your lack of support for it, as long as you don’t say it out loud and act in such a way that no one will notice. See what he did there?
As Trudeau himself put it (there are so many unintentional ironies in this book): “Sometimes it’s easy for people who have made politics their livelihood to get caught up in the heat of the battle and forget about their personal values.” And sometimes, such forgetfulness is demanded by the party leader himself.
The reality is that he is quite simply the most extremist Liberal leader on abortion that Canada has ever seen. Not only does his new mandate de facto forbid pro-life politicians and people from joining his caucus and his party, it also ignores the views of the over 60% of Canadians that support restrictions on abortion and the more than 90% of Canadians who oppose sex-selection abortion. It should be remembered that Canada is one of only three countries—the others being North Korea and China, which Justin admires—that has no restrictions on abortion whatsoever. Western nations have heated discussions over the ethics of abortion all the time—but in Justin’s harmonious Canada, all dissent and opposing argument must be stamped out. As he himself writes:
“Social issues cropped up often in discussions with Papineau residents, especially among some newer immigrants who were opposed to gay marriage, abortion, and legal reform on marijiuana. I could not simply pander to their position. I had to adhere to my own views, which could be a challenge when I found myself being grilled on such topics during a question-and-answer session at a mosque or church.”
“His own views.” At least here, he admits that it is the rigid social liberalism that informs his ideology that results in his new, dictatorial Liberal Party—no freedom of conscience, but much better hair.
Justin Trudeau, at the end of the day, poses an unprecedented threat to human life and religious freedom in Canada. His totalitarian enforcement of Canada’s no-hold-barred abortion regime aside, he has also indicated his support for legal assisted suicide and euthanasia, and expressed skepticism about Canada’s new prostitution law. While pro-lifers are used to finding few friends among the federal party leaders, rarely has there been a leader so aggressively in favor of expanding the Culture of Death. Those who value human life and religious liberty must oppose him, and do so strongly.