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It’s easy to see why the world is nuts for Trudeau — just look at Trump: Neil Macdonald – CBC News

Even the most quivering Justin Trudeau fanboy must be getting a little sick by now of all the offshore hagiography.

Justin in a high-fashion magazine, arms around his well-dressed wife; Justin at home in pajamas being just a great dad; Justin peering handsomely from the cover Dr. Hook famously wanted but didn’t rate.

Justin this, Justin that.

Rolling Stone just called him “the free world’s best hope,” and “the Northern star.” The article was so humid you could store cigars in it.

Okay, admittedly, it’s fun watching the frenzied eructation this sort of stuff provokes in the Trudeau Derangement Syndrome mob.

Their near-crazed hatred of Trudeau — far more muscular than what they directed at Paul Martin or Jean Chrétien — is a bit puzzling. Because, after all, while Trudeau is a good looking, amicable fellow, married to a lovely woman with whom he fathers lovely children, he’s really nothing more than a garden-variety liberal.

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone called Trudeau “the free world’s best hope,” and “the Northern star.” (Rolling Stone/Twitter)

He’s devoted to wealth redistribution, and taxing (and borrowing) and spending, without much discipline. Just ask the experts who study fiscal discipline.

He promised to reform the electoral system and failed. He may or may not legalize marijuana nationwide. He sells war ordnance to Saudi Arabia, which of course uses it to kill people, and then his government pronounces itself concerned.

He’s tossed money at Indigenous people, which they deserve, and the emcee at his swearing-in intoned the new catechism about how everyone was standing on the unceded land of the such-and-such a tribe (although I noticed there was no mention of giving Rideau Hall back).

Trudeau calls himself a feminist, and there is some evidence to support that. An acquaintance who works delivering Canada’s foreign aid says all efforts are now trained on improving the lot of women in the developing world. Perhaps that’s even possible. Who knows? Good on him for trying.

As a liberal intellectual — he’s no Daniel Patrick Moynihan, or Adlai Stevenson or, sorry, Pierre Trudeau — his most memorable quote to date seems to be “Our diversity is our strength,” a line he delivers all over the world to polite audiences, many of which (the Chinese, the Saudis, etc.) think diversity is cultural death.

Even the adoring Rolling Stone reporter noted Trudeau is “frustratingly on message when it comes to political answers.”

That’s putting it nicely. Trudeau is more rote than Stephen Harper, who actually did occasionally answer a question directly. The Trudeau cabinet, with the self-righteousness only left-wing true believers possess, sound and behave like hypnotized chickens.

And yet. There’s no denying he has the royal jelly.

Journalists who travel with him recount an unbelievable level of fascination in other countries. Apparently, a senior rabbi in Moscow was overjoyed to grab a selfie with Trudeau.

(While we’re at it, the selfie thing is just low-rent right-wing demagoguery. People ask Trudeau for selfies. And he complies. So what? He’s a politician. How many hundreds of thousands of vacuous grip-and-grin shots have conservatives posed for?)

Anyway, it’s actually sort of easy, if you think about it, to see why the world is so nuts for the guy. Just look south.

Trump’s White House

A nine-hour drive south from Ottawa lives an erratic vulgarian who styles himself the leader of the free world, and who, in only six months, has, oh my goodness, where to start?

Donald Trump has created an administration that’s beginning to sound like one of those fictional Marvel Comics countries in Eastern Europe, say, Kardashovia, where idiots run things and deliver soliloquies to camera before being foiled.

This is a man who actually used to call reporters posing as other people to praise himself.

He promised to abolish Barack Obama’s health care law, which his party, in opposition, voted to repeal more than 50 times.

Since they took over the White House and Congress last year, they haven’t been able to do it even once.

Trump, unwilling to accept responsibility, has now taken to urinating on his own congressional caucus on Twitter.

He promised to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and not to break the promise the way other presidents have done, then decided to leave it in Tel Aviv.

He promised a “beautiful” health care law, with affordable coverage for all. See above.

He promised to rip up the nuclear deal with Iran, which he just recertified.

He celebrated “Made in America” week while his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, advertised for dozens of foreign workers.

He promised Mexico would pay for a border wall. It hasn’t.

He appointed a hardliner, Jeff Sessions, to the post of attorney general, calling him a great American. Then, when Sessions sensibly recused himself from the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, began attacking him, calling him unfair and “very, very weak.” This is his own attorney general.

He runs around the country bragging gormlessly and distributing insults. Even the Boy Scouts apologized for the “political rhetoric” in his speech.

He appointed a communications director, a Wall Streeter nicknamed “the Mooch,” who knew so little about reporters that he called the New Yorker and launched into one of the dumbest screeds in modern political history.

Today, the Mooch is a goner, although his boss, who brags about grabbing women’s genitalia, probably thought the profane Moochy-rant was pretty damned clever.

The only question now is whether Trump will fire the Robert Mueller, the unstoppable former FBI director leading the Russia-collusion probe. That’d be interesting.

Or which country he’ll declare war on, which is what presidents do when they want Americans to rally around them.

Every American I know, and I confess I don’t know too many Tea Partiers, thinks the president is a knob, or worse.  

Set beside Trump, how could Trudeau not appear desirable to anyone who longs for normalcy?

And anyway, it could be even more tiresome. In some parallel Marvel universe, our prime minister is Kellie Leitch.

This column is part of CBC’s Opinion section. For more information about this section, please read this editor’s blog and our FAQ.



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