March 04, 2017

Conservatives champion freedom — but not where it counts most

David MacKenzieRebel Columnist

Today, I must begin with an accusation. Conservatism— particularly the variety that sympathizes with libertarianism— has not been proactive enough in supporting freedom of thought.

The problem is rather predictable. The conservative desire for “limited government” is an ideal that has passive (and more than massive) implications. In practice, it places few legislative roadblocks in front of those who are eager for more social engineering. Because larger government is the last thing conservative libertarianism wants, its representatives inside government and bureaucracies are rather few. One might as well ask cats to enact their own leash-laws.

Hence, our cause is politically paradoxical. The world needs more conservative legislators to believe in less interventionist government.

On this topic, several news reports struck me recently. The first was the NFL’s attempt to intimidate the State of Texas in its desire to produce anti-predatory bathroom legislation. In much the same manner, and for similar reasons, the NBA attempted to bully the State of North Carolina in 20162 with similar boycotts and divestment.

Secondly, I was struck by the Ontario Catholic Teachers Union petitioning Canada’s Prime Minister for greater access to abortion. Yes, you read that correctly. A group of supposed Catholics wants to petition a supposed Catholic in order to entrench policy that is demonstrably non-Catholic.

Next, I was struck by reports of the existence of a form of sensitivity training in Canada’s federal public sector— a gender “equality test” among bureaucrats that gives every appearance of coercive indoctrination for sexual identity politics.

Lastly, I was appalled by reports of a private Michigan meat processing facility, whose owner was being threatened with shutdown by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) because he advocated for traditional marriage. One might think that an abattoir would be the last place to find the politics of the boudoir, but apparently not.

Between these various symbols of corporate and public sector intervention, one should perceive an existential threat to conservative politics. Clearly, conservatives don’t replicate themselves within the system very well. For sound philosophical reasons, we don’t meddle in the Statist ways the Left meddles.

But, unfortunately, neither do we politically insist upon entrenching new forms of systemic freedom which would readily give people more room to conscientiously breathe within the public realm.

When a public sector union becomes dominated by left-wing ideology, its conservative membership is likely to disengage, and become more passive— fearing, perhaps, for its own job security. Yet, this situation also contains even more implications. With public sector unions being consistently left-of-centre, a sitting conservative government may never be anything other than a mere veneer overtop a fundamentally hostile context.

This issue is one reason why former Prime Minister Harper may, at times, have given the impression of being on the defensive even when it came to his own governmental departments. Since the Left tends to grow bureaucracies faster, it’s not surprising that those same bureaucracies reflect the ideology that coddles them most. The Catholic Teachers Union of Ontario is a testimony to a bureaucracy now completely out-of-touch with its raison d’être. Doubtless, there are vast numbers of pro-life Catholic teachers in Ontario, but one would never know it. Instead, the union gives every impression of being uniformly informed by left-leaning and church-hating ideology.

Conservative Catholic teachers, likely inspired by the simple desire to love kids and do their job, are obviously having difficulty politically projecting a more authentic Catholic ethos inside their own union. They’ve experienced a kind of coup d’êtat. Their present representatives think nothing of sending Justin Trudeau a perverse political request for greater abortion access— completely misrepresentative of Catholic spiritual teaching. In a more honourable time, the leaders of this union would resign. Today, however, power rather than doctrinal integrity defines the tactics of radical ideologues.

The United States has, since 1790, explicitly rejected a religious test for either its offices or its employees. In 2017, however, Canadian federal employees are subjected to a gender-based analysis (GBA) test inflicted, one might argue, with religious-like zeal. Yet, few seem to object— even though aspects of this Canadian test contain some of the same gender politics that the Australian State of New South Wales recently rejected for its school system— ostensibly because it wasn’t good science.

Given this kind of ideologically “weaponized” culture, we shouldn’t be surprised that even meat inspectors want to exterminate businesses for their owners’ beliefs in traditional marriage, or that several Alberta unions and associations recently announced their support for drying up all public funding for private schools in the Province. If unions and government departments really believed in people, they’d advocate for greater consumer and conscientious choice. Quite noticeably, however, they are instruments of control.

Radicalized bureaucratic structures need to be deconstructed. The next political priority for conservatism should be for greater ideological and conscientious freedom within established organizational structures. Diversity of opinion matters. At barest minimum, public sector unions need formal conservative branches or “wings”, because public unions should represent the broad ideological spectrum of its constituency. Barring this, conservatives will have little choice but to advocate for “right-to-work” legislation that simply bypasses the ideological chokeholds held by these unions.

A mere glance at political culture should alarm conservatives as to our strategic failure to foster the best aspects of our social thought. If the mainstream media is leftist, and if Hollywood is leftist, and if professional sport is militantly leftist, and if the health unions, the government workers unions, and the teachers unions are all overtly leftist, then where, precisely, is conservative governance going to find the space to grow its base?

Hence, it should be a reasonable goal of contemporary conservatism to support systemic protections for the freedom of association within associations. In a world of homogenizing tendencies, it is the free-market of thought that is most at risk. Conservative thought is being smothered, ironically, by those ideologues who claim to understand “oppressive systems” best.

As such, the Left is becoming the very thing it once despised. And conservatives are looking as disorganized as cats for not making the appropriate political adjustments.

Comments
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commented 2017-03-05 12:22:44 -0500
Today genuine conservatives and libertarians are faced not with speaking “Truth to Power” but with speaking "Truth to “POW!”
#1)If you speak the truth about SJW causes; POW! LAWSUIT for racism/sexism/homo-transphobia/islamophobia bankrolled by the government. YOUR legal costs are on you!
#2)If you speak the truth at a rally or public appearance; POW! Bomb threats and if that doesn’t convince you to shut up and “check your privilege”, antifa/black bloc beatings for you and your pals while the cops watch (with body cams) and do nothing. Charges WILL BE DROPPED against your assailants for “lack of evidence.”. Won’t matter if 10 networks filmed EVERYTHING! (Buy a body cam! Some mini ones are cheap) As for you and your non-SJW pals see #1.
commented 2017-03-04 21:54:39 -0500
We need a non Politician Professional type person in the Prime Minister of Canada Office..We have 3 years to do it. Trudeau just popped up and the next thing you know…he’s in charge…that was my biggest WTF moment in my entire voting life!
commented 2017-03-04 21:32:56 -0500
Terry Black: I said the same thing roughly a year ago…Ezra first or they talk it over among-st themselves..Someone from the Rebel Media would be a spark plug/good fit for the next Prime Minister of Canada..C’mon Rebel Media.. you would have a base.
commented 2017-03-04 21:14:05 -0500
Party and ideological “brand names” mean nothing – judge a politicians orientation by his either his complete deterrence to democratic process or his atempts to skirt popular will for his own agendas – this is the only political litmus test needed in the 21st century – who is this persin/politician/party/government working for, us or some special interest.
commented 2017-03-04 20:50:01 -0500
There it is again, Pierre Lemieux from Ontario – I didn’t know the track record of him – never knew of him until the Leadership Race and observed him, if Jamie MacMaster in this Comments section is right that tales Lemieux out of my considerations!

Andrew Sheer is probably pretty good as Premier Brad Wall endorses him – believe me if you are not performing Brad Wall wouldn’t reccomend you!
Brad Wall is the best Premier in Canada!
commented 2017-03-04 20:41:23 -0500
“As such, the Left is becoming the very thing it once despised.”
Correction: The left has always been the thing it claims to despise. They are control freaks first and foremost. Hence the continuous stream of fake crises. When they can put fear into people then they have a reason to control them – for their own good of course. Peak oil, global warming, Y2K, gender identity, racism, homophobia, islamophobia and the beat goes on. Fear mongers first and control freaks second.
commented 2017-03-04 20:39:43 -0500
I haven’t felt like the Conservative Party of Canada is especially serving my Right of Center ideology for a long time, somewhere along the line they have jumped a couple of Links’ as far too much Left style Liberalism is beginning to rear it’s ugly head! It is like a coin of Heads or Tails – the Tails side is beginning to appear more and more on both sides of the coin in that we are getting to a point whereby at election time – we have the choice of the Conservative named Party that is Leftist Liberal or the Liberal Marxist Party which is called Liberal or the Choice of The NDP Party which is literally Communist!

I have only been staying Conservative because it is the closest ideology in Canada to what I believe in however, I have said closest – in reality it has gone a long, long way from the Liberty, Justice, Freedom, Free Enterprise and Great Value of Life, that my heart, ethics, morals and upbringing believe in!

That article was correct – how do we start making the changes that we realize we must do?

I have not really bought any of the Conservative Leadership candidates that are running – I like a few but they are far from what I believe we need to end the Leftist dominance that is in Canada today!

The ones I like Pierre Lemieux, Andrew Sheer, Kellie Leitch, Brad Trost and I will vote for one of them because as a Conservative member I have no other choice! I don’t want to let the the Liberals’ run rampant, I am not even sure the above choices could handle nutty Prime Minister Justin Trudeau!

Do you know whom I believe would be a good Conservative leader at this point in time in Canada? We don’t have a lot of quality honest Leaders’ in Canada right now!

However, I was looking for a Conservative Leader like Ezra Levant or Brian Lilley, I know they are Conservative and would vote for either in a heartbeat them or people like them are what Canada desperately needs’ for a leader!
commented 2017-03-04 19:33:47 -0500
Maurice Potvin: Ditto…
commented 2017-03-04 19:27:18 -0500
I’d just like to add just one more thing: We are all very fortunate to have a forum like this where we can freely voice our opinion and perspective. Before the Rebel came along, I felt completely disconnected from the outside world because outside of a very small group of like-minded friends there was no place to voice my opinion and be heard. I am so grateful for the Rebel, and ALL the contributors, even the trolls, and I pray that it remains strong and uncensored in the face of opposition by ALL the hostile elements aligned against it. I pray for its continued success and every one who values it should do the same. Don’t ever take it for granted.
commented 2017-03-04 19:21:06 -0500
Maurice Potvin: Hang in there Brother, President Trump happened for the States, maybe a twist of fate for the good guy/gals will happen in Canada.
commented 2017-03-04 18:54:24 -0500
Rob Greeley, my wish would be that all conservatives, wild-rose, et.al. would jump ship and join the CHP, and truly embrace Christian principles, but of course that’s just a pipe dream. So the reverse is definitely preferable if it will mean getting rid of the NDP or Liberals, or any other Marxist-Socialist form of government. The trouble is, most voters are stubbornly loyal to their party, and take a very narrow view, rather than looking at the big picture and using strategic voting as a means to an end. Human nature being what it is, I don’t see that changing any time soon, unfortunately.
commented 2017-03-04 18:06:02 -0500
At Maurice Potvin: Disconnect is a better description, thanks.
commented 2017-03-04 17:48:48 -0500
They still send me emails but i will not give them a cent until they go back to being conservative or even centrists.
commented 2017-03-04 17:48:12 -0500
At Maurice Potvin: Maybe someone from the CHP can jump ship to the PC Party. I’ve checked their Platform…It’s almost identical to all the post/commentators here on the Rebel. I posted this before..I was shot down because they are considered a fringe Party.
commented 2017-03-04 17:48:04 -0500
Yep , the conservative party has been co opted far too much.
commented 2017-03-04 17:07:49 -0500
Sorry, Rob Greeley, but my MP is NDP, Nathan Cullen. My opinion is anathema to him, just as his politics and his opinion are anathema to me. I don’t see that changing any time soon. The Skeena – Bulkley Valley Riding has voted NDP for as long as I can remember, beginning with Frank Howard in the 1960’s. Although the Conservatives usually come within a few thousand votes, they never seem able to crack through that NDP voter block. So Nathan Cullen would never listen to me because he completely disagrees with everything I believe in. Regarding Trudeau’s abandoned voting reform policy, Cullen held a public “consultation” forum, by conference call for the whole riding. I have some very definite ideas about how the voting system could be reformed so I joined in. However, it wasn’t long before I discovered the call had nothing to do with consultation, but was in fact all abut Cullen and his “expert” trying to convince everyone to accept their particular system of ranked ballots. I hung up. So I get neither a warm and fuzzy feeling nor a sense of betrayal. I believe Nathan Cullen is standing by his principles, which are completely opposite of mine. What I feel is completely disconnected. Is that the type of post you were looking for, Rob?
commented 2017-03-04 16:24:10 -0500
Some call it globalism, I call it what it really is: Corporate Communism. Spreading like a disease throughout the western world. Dejure market companies that are defacto monopolies, in bed with governments. No company or government, that in practice is immune to market forces should be allowed to have unionized employees. It makes slaves of the tax payers and rate payers, who pay all the freight and yet have no say in outcome and, more importantly, no other option. Even worse, they are on the hook for all losses and debt accrued, so they in essence get it in both ends. It’s a shake down, nothing more, nothing less.
commented 2017-03-04 16:17:22 -0500
Fellow Rebel’s…Please post here on this site on how you think your MP’s are voicing your opinions. Are you getting a warm and fuzzy feeling or are you getting a sense of betrayal?
commented 2017-03-04 15:21:14 -0500
“This is why Pierre Lemieux speaks to the importance of opening up the debate for Conservative thought and opinion! "

Are you kidding, METTE REED? Pierre Lemieux? Conservative thought and opinion? Don’t know whether to laugh or gag on that one.

Lemieux championed property rights during the 2006 Campaign because it resonated with rural folks in his riding. But every time the subject was mentioned after that, he ether ducked, dodged, or pointed the finger.

And his record on freedom of speech is worse. He engineered the firing of the riding association president because she wrote an open letter to a small newspaper about the bullying tactics of francophone activists. And he supported a by-law that forced business owners in an Ontario municipality to put French on their signs.

Lemieux is about as much a champion of individual freedoms as is turdo la doo.
commented 2017-03-04 14:17:12 -0500
This is why Pierre Lemieux speaks to the importance of opening up the debate for Conservative thought and opinion!