October 22, 2015

The Liberals' "Seven Deadly Sins" campaign

Neil FlaggRebel Blogger

In the beginning, there was sin.

Attraction to sin, falling to sin, resisting sin, redemption from sin – this theme shows up in the first chapters of the Bible, and weaves its way throughout both holy and secular literature from time immemorial.

The most powerful categorization of human sin has been with us for more than 1400 years now, since Pope Gregory settled on the official list of what have become known as "The Seven Deadly Sins" in 590 AD, and since Dante immortalized them in his Divine Comedy in 1320.

Today, I just call the list “the modern lib-left electoral playbook.”

As I’ve pondered the past few days how the Liberal Party and their leftist allies managed to convince Canadians to vote out their solid, dependable, successful Prime Minister, and replace him with a puppet clown, it occurred to me that all elements of their campaign were an appeal to the worst aspects of human character, to man’s fatal attraction to sin. I suddenly felt like Brad Pitt in Seven, solving the crimes of a serial killer as I pieced together the deadly trail.

The most obvious sin they employed to their advantage was Wrath. Their “ABH” (Anyone But Harper) campaign depended on whipping people up into a frenzy over perceived scandals. “You can’t vote for him, it’s been one scandal after another”, was the message pounded into Canadians by the Liberals, NDP and the Media Party. What were the scandals? About halfway through the campaign, I asked a left-leaning friend which scandals bothered him about Harper. “Duffy”, he responded. I asked, what about Duffy bothered him, since Duffy was fired by Harper and the taxpayers’ weren’t out any money? He really didn’t know. Then I asked which other scandals were on the list. He didn’t have an answer. But it certainly made him feel good to have “Duffy!”, an object with which to justify the anti-Harper wrath that made him feel good.

Another obvious one was Sloth. The Conservatives thought that the Liberals’ open promotion of marijuana (the official substance of the sloth lifestyle) would backfire, and attacked them on it. Little did they know, the Liberals were using the human attraction to the sin of sloth to their advantage. In their lust for power, the left found this a very useful tactic in attracting those suffering from suburban ennui, the same attraction that made the HBO series Breaking Bad a monster sensation among average, hard-working suburban adults in the past decade.

Speaking of Lust, the Liberals certainly got it right by nominating Justin Trudeau as their candidate. I’ve heard the words “I’d do him” come up in many casual conversations between women over the past few years. Justin never shied away from showing himself off half-dressed in a boxing ring, stripteasing for charity, kissing another man’s bride on her wedding day, and featuring himself as the main event of a “Ladies Night” fundraiser. Wouldn’t you know it, the day after he’s elected Prime Minister, he’s already been crowned a “PILF”, proving that while there’s no accounting for taste, there’s also no underestimating the sin of Lust as a motivator.

Envy is a cornerstone of leftism itself, and campaigning against “the 1%” has already become a socialist cliché. Yet there he was, employing Occupy rhetoric as leader of a supposedly centrist party, preying also on envy and the Greed impulse by convincing average middle-class people that you’ll make their lives better by somehow taking away from the demonized “rich”. As it goes with Envy, it’s not only about getting something; we all know there’s no gain for the middle class in taking away from the rich. It’s about punishing those you resent for being more successful than you. The Liberals proved this has pull far beyond far-left circles.

On the topic of economics, most of us conservatives mocked the Liberals’ open touting of promised annual deficits of at least $10 billion over the next three years. Yet if we knew they were using the Seven Deadly Sins as their playbook, we would have realized the Liberals were appealing to the attraction of Gluttony. They were putting into people’s mind the vision of an orgy of shopping and spending. You want a bridge – you get a bridge! You want an airport – you get an airport! You want to stay on EI – you get to stay on EI! The visions of gluttonous spending clouded the good sense of many otherwise fiscally-prudent voters.

Finally, we get to the most deadly of all sins, Pride. This one occurred to me when I was trying to square a very strange circle last week. I was listening to a radio interview with one of Canada’s top pollsters, who could not explain a seemingly strange dichotomy in his results. He said that in every poll he and his colleagues had conducted, around 80% of Canadians agreed with Stephen Harper on the niqab issue, while at the same time, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals had gained significantly in the polls since the niqab became an issue.

I finally figured it out: the left has discovered the path to turning any social issue on its head, by convincing people that taking their side makes you morally superior, thus appealing to your attraction to vanity and pride. It has worked on capital punishment for first-degree murderers; it has worked on aborting babies; and it is now working on Islamic culture, which is being sold as just another piece of our multicultural mosaic. Covering your face with a mask in a public ceremony? “Well, maybe you don’t do it yourself…but if you accept it, you get to join our morally-superior club.”

Pride, as the saying goes, comes before the fall, and the Liberals exploitation of voters’ attraction to Wrath, Lust, Sloth, Envy, Greed, Gluttony and Pride in their effective campaign to take back the federal government has probably moved us a lot closer to a real Canadian fall.

Appealing to the self-destructive sin-attracted side of human character is something that has worked for them, and seems to come quite naturally to Liberals – it seems to bring them great pride. We as conservatives need to figure out a way to work around this evil trick. Perhaps it is to make sure that, with every policy and slogan, we make an emotional appeal only to the highest of human ideals. Indeed, there is a mirror image to the lib-left strategy that we can employ. They're called "The Seven Holy Virtues."

If the Liberals get their way on the proud plans they have for Canada, the fall is certainly on its way. Which will lead to my column topic when that time comes: how Liberals plan to escort us through our inevitable destination: The Nine Circles of Hell.

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commented 2015-10-25 19:08:33 -0400
Imitation, Nathan W, is the highest form of flattery. Thank you.
commented 2015-10-25 09:30:06 -0400
Wrath – There’s a reason that most Canadians despise the man who used his uber-partisan PMO to run the government like his personal fiefdom.

Sloth – There’s nothing wrong with marijuana. It is safer than basically anything your doctor prescribes you, and is also useful in treating a wide variety of conditions (although some people report negative side effects, like getting tired or hungry). How about making it easier for corporations to get away with pollution and spills, under Harper, as an example of sloth?

Lust – What’s wrong with an attractive PM? I don’t recall right wing media outlets ever complaining about actor Ronald Reagan being elected.

Envy – People aren’t envious of the 1% because of their wealth. What they find unfair is a system where there is not equal opportunity to join them. Moreover, while Harper routinely handed out massive tax cuts for the top 15%, finally in Trudeau there is a tax cut that actually benefits the actual middle class (not the 100k and over “middle class” that Harper referred to in his examples).

Greed – I didn’t hear you guys complaining about greed when Harper handed out numerous tax cuts to the upper 15%, but now all of a sudden it’s greed for the middle class to get a tax cut for a change.

Gluttony – to paint investment in public infrastructure as gluttony is beyond ridiculous. With better infrastructure, businesses can make more money and people can reach their destinations faster and safer. As though EI is gluttony… it’s an insurance system: you pay in, you have a right to receive benefits.

Pride – There is nothing wrong with taking a stance against a majority position on an irrelevant issue. Canadians were not asked “do you approve of over-riding charter rights to ban the niqab?” they were asked “do you approve of the niqab”. I disapprove of lots of things, but don’t think it’s my business to tell people what to do unless there is a victim. Meanwhile, Harper routinely claimed that the “majority of Canadians” agreed with him about MJ, whereas this was a patent lie.

Thanks for more unbiased reporting you guys. Good on you to expose the rest of the country for the biased hypocrites they are.
commented 2015-10-23 12:17:41 -0400

Well Peter, I think I did address what Neil said – and very much in the fashion he said it. I pointed out it his article was mostly truthiness, hearsay and dissembling. But you’re right I could have said more. It’s also turgid, juvenile, polemical, bitter, vitriolic, caustic and trenchant.

Most importantly this and most of what Neil posts applies equally to all political parties and politicians. I think both you and Neil are smart enough to know that.

So, Peter did you address what I said? Or did you attack me personally and slag my character, just like a typical >Insert political orientation here< ?

How about next time you or Neil posts something you actually reference a Liberal policy or position along with a coherent argument for how and why it could be changed or improved. See if you can do it without resorting to fallacy, hyperbole, rumour, gross speculation, partisan talking points, or schoolyard name calling – I will respond in kind.
commented 2015-10-23 01:17:44 -0400
Breaking Bad is from AMC, not HBO.
commented 2015-10-23 00:46:59 -0400

I was referring to the idiocy of your view on liberals. There is no actual question as to why conservatives lost – Canadians were unhappy and fucking sick of the Harper regime. We know that for sure.
commented 2015-10-23 00:02:42 -0400
Jimmy, I haven’t even watched that video. Editor posts those related videos, not authors. Also some reading comprehension will do you good, nowhere in my piece do I address the question of why the Conservatives lost.
commented 2015-10-22 23:37:35 -0400

That fact that you took my comment seriously, proves that you are a mindless sheep, uptight as hell and a fucking sucker for fear mongering.
commented 2015-10-22 23:33:02 -0400

Why did you post a video that pretty much explains in detail why Harper lost and rightfully so? He wasn’t making the case for your position.
commented 2015-10-22 23:31:02 -0400
“Finally – Canada will be like Caligula. One big orgy of sin.”

The fact that you like that proves everything I have been saying about you. immoral. unethical.
commented 2015-10-22 23:23:54 -0400
Finally – Canada will be like Caligula. One big orgy of sin.
commented 2015-10-22 22:17:07 -0400
Damn, I feel sorry for George, having to put up with a dullard leftist troll for a mother all his life.
commented 2015-10-22 21:45:43 -0400
@ George’s Mom

And in good leftist fashion, you proceed to attack Neil Flagg rather than address what he said.

This has been a trend of the left / progressive crowd. When you don’t like someone, or don’t like what they say, attack them personally, slag their character, but don’t actually address what the person said.

Typical leftie. (and that’s not a compliment)
commented 2015-10-22 17:58:24 -0400
Wow. such deep and insightful commentary. So clever that you can whine on about your hurt feelings and make your commentary mostly fit (with awkward inconsistency) around the theme of the seven deadly sins.

I can see why even an organization with as low standards as this site doesn’t pay you to write for them.

We all understand that you are shattered over the election of a progressive party. I can imagine how upsetting it is to have to face the fact that the vast majority of Canadians do not share your petty and deeply narcissistic views.

I’m guessing it was a shock though. I can see how you might have convinced yourself – with the election of the Fords and the Reform Party – that you’d finally get your due, that you could have revenge on all of those people who’ve used reason, facts and logic to question your perverse ideas and values.

But I’m also guessing someone as smart as you did know – deep down – that the Fords and Harper were both products of a distorting first-past-the-post system, money, data, and cynical manipulations.

Even a died-in-the-wool Conservative like Tim Powers has gone on record to say he’s glad they are both gone.

I wonder whether you’ll use this opportunity to really look at your positions and to broaden your perspective. Maybe you could use that big brain of yours for something other than provoking people or trying to build up your profile at the expense of others. What a breath of fresh air it would be to read something from you that offered real ideas, fact-based solutions, useful perspectives. It would sure be better than your truthiness, hearsay and dissembling. Whether I’d agree with you or not, at least if you had a thoughtful and honest argument I might learn something from you.
commented 2015-10-22 15:50:20 -0400
The Seven Holy Virtues
Three Spiritual (or Theological) Virtues
1. Fides (Faith)
2. Spes (Hope)
3. Caritas (Charity)
The Four Cardinal (or Pagan) Virtues
4. Prudence
5. Temperance
6. Fortitude
7. Justice
The Seven Virtues opposed the Seven Sins. In one scheme, the Seven Virtues are based on the three spiritual virtues listed by Saint Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13: Faith, Hope and Charity, followed by the four Cardinal or “Pagan” virtues: Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, and Justice. (The idea was that any person, whether he or she was a Christian or not, might possess the four Cardinal Virtues.
Only a Christian in medieval belief would possess faith in God, hope for an afterlife, and caritas— the type of charity in which one does good deeds out of love for God alone.)
An alternative but equally popular version of the Seven Virtues was the “remedial” or “contrarian” model, which listed specific virtues as the “cures” or “remedies” that stand in opposition to each of the seven sins. Prudentius devised this model in 410 AD in his allegorical poem the Psychomachia
(“The Battle for the Soul”). His scheme of virtues and vices looked something like this:
Humility cures Pride
Kindness cures Envy
Abstinence cures Gluttony
Chastity cures Lust
Patience cures Wrath
Liberality cures Greed
Diligence cures Sloth
commented 2015-10-22 15:26:11 -0400
neil why marijuana so bad for you?
commented 2015-10-22 15:02:31 -0400
Neil, I think the Munk debate was the real turning point. Justin, won over the audience with his one line…big sled no dogs, and crushed mulclair about comparing him to his father. I knew then that he was on his way to a minority and depending on whether any new events took place, a majority was at hand. very good review tks
commented 2015-10-22 14:58:29 -0400
Neil, that is bang on. To bad the column is to long to put on a bumper sticker, because that’s about as long as you can hold the attention of most voters in this country