The following was inspired by broadcaster and author Steve Paikin, who told a gathering of ladies at a lunch ‘n learn at Toronto synagogue last week—my own mother among them—that he thinks Justin Trudeau is “a rock star.”
And, of course, it was also inspired by Rudyard Kipling, who wrote the poem, If, that memorable if a tad preachy bit of Victorian uplift, and to whom I extend the requisite apologies due him because of this—a tongue-in-cheek If telling Justin Trudeau how victory can be his come election time:
If you can keep your head when all around you
Are thinking that you’re wet behind the ears.
If you pretend that nothing can confound you
And bask in adulation, claps and cheers.
If you can schmooze and not get tired of schmoozing,
And shake their hands, and not stress all their germs,
And, being leftist, not speak any logic,
But shake ‘em to the core—and on your terms.
If you can dream of leading like your father
(Although you got Mom’s looks and her brains, too).
If you can visit mosques sans any bother
Because you know exactly whom to woo.
If you can trot out Sophie and your children
(Because a pretty family’s a huge plus).
If you can summon up the wiles and will then—
And take them both on your election bus.
If you can make ‘em swallow your slick message,
That you, though rich, are for the “middle class”;
If you don’t look at polls and what they presage—
That you’re about to fall down on your ass.
If you can make ‘em think that you’re a rock star:
A Bieber, no, a Bublé, no, a Drake.
If you can make ‘em swoon like B. Obama,
So they won’t notice what is false and fake.
If you can keep the media behind you—
It won’t be hard, since they have got your back,
And since they cannot stand that Stephen Harper,
An eee-ville Tory whom they’d like to sack.
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With memorable sound bites, tweets and spin,
Yours is the land and all the power that’s in it,
And, what is more, son, you could even win!
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