I blog about provincial politics in Ontario. I try not to blog about the Conservative Irritation Of The Day.
I try to focus on one goal, and that goal is getting rid of Dalton McGuinty's Liberals.
The reason why Dalton McGuinty is Premier of Ontario is that he is not distracted by Irritations Of The Day. He doesn't care about the Occupy Toronto movement getting a stay of execution or about a group of idiots at a Toronto school who decided that football and soccer are the latest thing to ban. So if I want Dalton out, I guess I can't be distracted by those things either. But I will have to, at least temporarily, to write this post.
If you think Dalton's Smartest Guys In The Room can't come up with an argument in support of the Occupy Toronto movement or in support of banning footballs that not only they agree with, but you will agree with, then you just don't understand why Dalton is Premier. Not that it matters because it turns out a lot of people think that the opinions of people in V for Vendetta masks are worth listening to. Why else would there be sympathetic stories in the newspapers day after day after day? Why else would prominent businesspeople and politicians be talking about the significance of this protest?
Here's why I think we have Mark Carney and whomever else doing the I-feel-your-pain act when it comes to the Occupy protests: because they are worried about being seen to be hard hearted. And this is the Governor of the Bank of Canada. We are in a pretty bad place economically, and there isn't enough of the good life to go around, but heaven forbid we start worrying about ourselves first! What will people think???
Hey, I have a crazy idea: How about somebody says, out loud, that the reason these people can't find jobs is because they, like most people, expected that they will be taken care of from womb to tomb? Oh no, that's cruel and mean-spirited. Nobody will ever vote for us if we say that. And besides, here's the Liberal War Room Boss suggesting that removing these people would produce another Ipperwash. Oh noez. Did it suddenly get cold in here or is it just me?
The strategy of the Principled Conservative movement for the past umpteen years has been to scream to the heavens about this or that affront to freedom for a day or two and then forget all about it when the next outrage comes down the pipe. I don't watch Sun News for this reason. I don't listen to talk radio for this reason. On rare occasions, when somebody like the Liberal War Room Boss enters our little echo chamber with counter-arguments, we're all suddenly out of ideas. I find it depressing that after trying and failing for years, this is all we have.
Did we boot the Liberals out of Ottawa by screaming about this or that outrage? No! We got better at doing what they did and we worked harder than they did. Now they're the ones doing the fruitless screaming. And oh, is it satisfying. But why is it so hard to make progress anywhere else? Because there is no focus. It's here, there, and everywhere.
At one point Stephen Harper thought he would make Paul Martin look dumb by accusing him of being soft on child porn. He thought it would trigger a firestorm of outrage and catapult him into the Prime Minister's chair. Now, seven years later, he's finally figured out that no, Canadians don't care about who's soft on child porn because they trust the government implicitly. He understands that Canadians really don't care about who's principled and who isn't. He understands that it's all a story we tell ourselves to keep the truth from being known. And so, he is pitiless. Utterly pitiless. And I admire him for it.
But as a movement, we haven't learned this lesson. We are content to read columns in the National Post and the Sun, watch Ezra and Michael Coren pontificate on TV, read Mark Steyn's blog, and let others do the heavy lifting. When Harper's term comes to an end (and it eventually will, because he is after all human), then we can pine for the days of the Harper majority, argue in pubs over whether he was really all that Principled or not, and run away from his legacy on the campaign trail. 'Twas ever thus.
The Occupy People and the helicopter moms who wanted footballs banned at that school wring their hands about the deplorable state of affairs, are overcome with empathy, and then do something that they think will remedy the situation. The Occupy people and the helicopter moms are consistent.
But here's the good news: As more and more people start to realize that all the empathy in the world won't fix what's causing the problems of today, then people are going to get less and less offended when Conservatives say awful things like, well, maybe it's too expensive to take care of people from birth to death. And then the Liberals are going to be in a world of trouble. We can wait until that point, or we can start WORKING.