December 18, 2015

Justin Trudeau "smiles and looks pretty" during first official trip to Vancouver

Adrian MacNairRebel Blogger

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rolled into Vancouver on December 17 with all the fanfare of a Spice Girls World Tour, waving to throngs of supporters and reporters as he made the first trip to city hall by a sitting Canadian prime minister since Daddy Dearest in 1973.

Like all of Trudeau’s trips since becoming leader of a G8 nation, it was preceded by heavy public relations hype and a near hysterical level of excitement by national and local media.

The B.C. Liberals capitalized on some of this buzz in order to tell anybody and everybody who would listen that the federal government is helping to reopen the Kitsilano Coast Guard station, a move which premier Christy Clark said with no apparent sense of hyperbole would keep Vancouver’s harbour “safe” again.

Safe from what, we may never know. Orca whales, Russian submarines, or perhaps the floating debris of HIV-infected heroin needles from downtown eastside addicts?

Yes, Trudeau rolled into Vancouver to meet with another politician elected largely on his appeal to the female electorate, Mayor Gregor Robertson. The result was a carefully orchestrated photo opportunity, complete with meaningless and rhetorical quotes about nothing in particular.

“Vancouver and the big cities right across Canada are really looking forward to working with you to strengthen our communities and to build a better country now and into the future,” Robertson said, which is something that really could be said to any prime minister at any time now or in the dystopian future when robots rule as our overlords.

When reporters asked Trudeau for specific investments in municipal infrastructure spending, Trudeau politely asked Vancouver to get in line.

“Vancouver, like cities across Canada, will now have a partner in the federal government on issues of housing, on issues of public transit,” he said. “We don’t feel that Ottawa should to be dictating what particular transit project should be needed by the people of Vancouver. The people best to figure that out are in this room.”

Yeah, except they aren’t. The last time they pitched a transit idea and put it to a plebiscite, the politicians were proved to be thoroughly out of touch with residents of Metro Vancouver. Somebody might want to buy Justin Trudeau a local newspaper.

But as the prime minister noted in 2001, “I don’t read the newspapers. I don’t watch the news. If something important happens, someone will tell me.”

As has been the modus operandi since election day in Canada, Trudeau’s job has been to smile and look pretty, preferably while holding an iPhone at arm’s length surrounded by adoring female supporters.

Trudeau’s proclivity for vain self-inclusion into the narrative of anything political has not gone unnoticed. His disturbing G20 selfie pictures a day after the Paris massacres by Islamic terrorists fairly accurately demonstrated exactly what sort of narcissist we’re dealing with here.

And even as the rest of the world recoiled in horror at the atrocities in Paris, #selfiepriminister Trudeau had already been busy tweeting about a Peteborough mosque that may or may not have been set fire by racists, and which incurred no damage to life or limb whatsoever.

In fact, Trudeau lectured us about the Peteborough mosque on social media not once, but twice. In French and in English.

Apart from a rabid fan base on Twitter, a powerful public relations team and the financial backing of the taxpayer to fund his photo opportunities, Trudeau is also buoyed by the efforts of two media organizations that have become his de facto promoters.

Macleans' and the CBC have so far gone to great lengths to uphold the brand of Trudeau as something more than merely inherited wealth and power.

Christie Blatchford noted that even Junior was somewhat taken aback by the cloying antics of Peter Mansbridge in his exclusive interview back in November. Though the familiarity was less surprising to those who are aware of Mansbridge’s ties to the Liberal elite.

But if you believe that it’s only conservatives who are fetching for their retching bucket during this second iteration of Trudeaumania, you may want to have a gander at the latest from Toronto Star journo Susan Delacourt.

Noting the former prime minister’s own problem with being “image-obsessed” (and let’s face it, Stephen Harper branded the friggin’ Government of Canada after his name, which is pretty damned self-indulgent), Trudeau has been his equal so far in his short reign.

Although Delacourt’s argument is that Trudeau has every bit the substance as Harper did, she does note that Junior has opened himself up to a wider stream of image-crafting media, such as Vogue. He claims this is to generate a broader appeal for politics in places people might not ordinarily be interested, but let’s call a spade a spade.

Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau is very much another image-crafting weapon meant to wield Justin’s popularity. Especially when juxtaposed to Stephen Harper’s wooden, reserved and, dare I say it, conservative personality.

There’s not a more polarizing image to Harper than the grabassistic pose of Justin’s public display of affection with Sophie in Vogue, looking very much like a couple about to engage in an HBO Game of Thrones sex scene.

It’s difficult not to look with skepticism at every otherwise seemingly altruistic move by the prime minister, from a special viewing of the new Star Wars movie with sick kids to a somewhat voyeuristic and intimate photo of Justin comforting a child.

However, the question you have to ask yourself during these insights into the life of Pierre Trudeau’s eldest son, is why were these moments captured and repackaged into a political consumable?

The answer seems to be about more than simply Liberal handlers cultivating an image of caring and sharing, to demonstrate the charisma and charm that Harper (allegedly) lacked.

This is a kid who was born into the spotlight, a form of Canadian royalty and regality. If he seems to act as though he feels the world is watching him, it’s because he believes it is.

Trudeau is the closest real life depiction we may have to the film The Truman Show. He feels the world is watching his every move because that was how he grew up, being the centre of attention in a family renowned for making themselves the centre of attention.

When he posts gratuitous selfies on social media it isn’t solely for political marketing and propaganda purposes, but because he truly feels no story is complete without his face inserted inside. He is the embodiment of the “pics or it didn’t happen” meme.

To that degree, perhaps Trudeau deserves some form of sympathy. For, despite being a narcissist whose entitlement is so oblivious that he can at once criticize tax-free savings accounts while claiming the need for a taxpayer-funded nanny, the truth is that Trudeau is a product of his environment.

He’s never had to work in an oil patch, struggle to pay a monthly rent, languish on unemployment insurance or distinguish himself in some way requiring a learned skill. He’s always simply had to stand there and look pretty. That’s never changed.

And yet, poisoned by his father’s political influence, Trudeau retains the same dangerous ideals of wealth redistribution, moral relativism in foreign policy, and doomed energy policies. He is the embodiment of white male privilege with no apparent self-awareness of the irony as he preaches about racism and gender parity in cabinet.

The next four years will be a real test for Canada, not just for Trudeau. We’ve elected a man who believes budgets balance themselves and for whom newspapers are relevant only if somebody else reads them to him.

For all of our sakes, let’s hope his politics aren’t as shallow as his selfies.


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commented 2015-12-22 20:14:31 -0500
Hello J KAY—just to expand on your post I’m Trudeau’s age, i.e. A Gen-X’er: studies show that this demographic works more hours than did Boomers and millenials, have more respect for authority, have a lower sense of entitlement than millenials. In fact more Gen X’ers are married than Boomers. Approximately 30% are church going, and 30% are active volunteers in their community. It’s noted as one of the happiest demographics. Incidentally, among Gen X’ers, metalheads are the most successful, which is quite a contrast from the picture Tipper Gore painted during that era. In consideration of this, I agree that Trudeau is definitely NOT typical of our generation and that the provenance of his worldview is due to the provenance of his household (and not to crap on Millenials, but perhaps he just skipped a generation is more of a Millenial given the selfie-sickness he has). Thank you for not lumping myself, my wife and other Gen X’ers among his lot.
commented 2015-12-22 17:08:25 -0500
Trudeau talks off the top of his head, agrees to implement all 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission before the report was released, promised to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees into the country by year end, when he didn’t know anything about the refugee process. I don’t agree he’s a product of his generation since none of the people I know that are his age, act like he does. He’s a product of Pierre and Margaret, both narcissists. It grates when I see him taking credit for bringing in refugees when the ones in his photo op are Harper’ refugees. He is totally the centre of his own attention and I think he will screw up royally.
commented 2015-12-22 13:21:13 -0500
It’s interesting to read some of the comments in that Star article; the willful ignorance is stultifying, but also shows a cross-section of who exactly who is lapping all of this up, and why, as if optics are greater than substance with respect to what one brings to the table. In some ways the Liberal media machine is ingenious—young, impressionable Canadians who just become or are to become voting age are very much immersed in this image-conscious worldview. It won’t be until they’re older they’ll see the difference between practical governance and the stage-play we see now, but by then the damage will already have been done, sadly at the cost of their very own future prosperity.
commented 2015-12-20 09:29:31 -0500
Time to move to Quebec! Over take and collapse the evil empire through western migration!
commented 2015-12-19 03:14:15 -0500
If Trudeau is the Truman Show, then Obama is Jack Nicholson in (Muslim)Mars Attacks.
commented 2015-12-18 21:50:40 -0500
Those supporters were probably people asking for spare change.
commented 2015-12-18 15:09:25 -0500
About the CBC, today they broadcast Obama’s speech… but when Obama said that the TPP is the most “labour and environmentally friendly trade agreement ever made”, CBC immediately broke away and got a spin-doctor on. Young trudeau’s platform was basically that anything Harper did or said was bad… yet until now, the only thing I’ve ever seem young trudeau do is cancel his campaign promises and have a continuation of the Conservative’s policies…. Just like obama, who ran on closing gitmo, but after taking office, and being privy to the facts, the same course is maintained. … it’s amazing how the spice-girl crowd can be so easily manipulated.