I wonder if Justin Trudeau, Thomas Mulcair or any of the progressive finger puppet politicians under their respective banners has ever tried to quit smoking?
I ask because these two chuckleheads appear convinced that voting for Stephen Harper is like sticking with a bad habit. “When a plan isn’t working, the real risk is staying with the status quo,” chides Justin. "Mr. Harper's rip-and-ship approach simply isn't working, like so much else that he's done.” Mulcair snarls.
I suppose it’s only natural for progressives to lecture when confronted with something they don’t like. After all, these are the people who think a few semesters of “education” is enough to end racism. They’ll slap graphic images of diseased lungs on packages of cigarettes and call it a day, convinced that smokers are just “low-information” smokers, similar to those “low-information” voters who vote CPC. If only people knew about Stephen Harper’s evangelism or his desire to sell Canada out to evil corporations, nobody would vote for him.
Well, I work with smokers as part of my day job. No smoker alive today is undereducated about the dangers of their habit. Quite the contrary, as the seminal classic Thank You For Smoking shows: when lobbyists talk persuasively about something that has no health benefits, people listen. There are receptors in our brains that respond specifically to nicotine. Relapse is incredibly common. Even being around other smokers is enough to knock people off the wagon. Hapless progressive politicians are just as stymied when it comes to ousting the Stephen Harpers of the world despite doing all they can to get their message out.
If these lefties think that all they need to do in response is fine-tune their message, I would remind them of the story of Upton Sinclair’s classic muckracking novel The Jungle and how it completely missed its mark. Back in the early 20th century, leftists were pretty much exactly where they are now - preoccupied with the difficulties of people less well off than them and frantically trying to convince an apathetic public that unrestricted capitalism was to blame.
Sinclair’s hard-luck tale was so widely read that every lefty hack journalist and documentarian trying to “expose” the secret corporate agenda emulates it, either consciously or unconsciously. Yet for all this, The Jungle was far more effective in getting food safety laws passed in meat packing plants than it ever was at smashing capitalism. As Sinclair himself ruefully wrote later, “I aimed for the public’s heart, and by accident hit them in the stomach.”
Poor Sinclair and his leftist fellow travelers spent the past century playing whack-a-mole with human nature. They’ve legislated, regulated, and emotionally manipulated, but they’ve always fallen short of the mark because they won’t accept that billions of years of evolution has given us the world we have today. That requires a humility that your Justin Trudeaus and Thomas Mulcairs simply do not possess, because they spend too much time in flight from their own evolutionary leftovers. I don’t usually give advice to progressives, but maybe that’s what “isn’t working”, rather than Harper’s approach.
When Stephen Harper came to Ottawa, he wanted Canadians to Demand Better and Vote Conservative. By 2006, he was reduced to talking about “incrementalism.” Today, he jets around the country announcing funding for this and a tax credit for that, having finally learned that asking for change, any change, is quite often asking for far too much. It may not look that way, but this is a far more powerful appeal to voters’ baser instincts than anything he ever did as part of the Reform Party.
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