Tag Archives: political correctness

Jackson Doughart: Stand up for MacKay

I’ve never really liked Peter MacKay, to be honest, but I feel quite bad for him in the latest phony scandal from Ottawa. MacKay was so audacious as to send a feel-good message to recipients of the Conservatives’ e-mail list for Mother’s and Father’s Days. True to script, the right-wing “chauvinist” (that’s Chrystia Freeland’s word) praised women for their role in raising children and husbands for their role as providers.

I personally received the Father’s Day e-mail, though I can’t find or recall the Mother’s Day one, and remember thinking at the time that this was exactly the kind of thing that some CBC hack would milk out of proportion to show how “out-of-touch” the Conservatives are in our post-modern genderfied age.

And so, equally true to script, the National runs a leading story about how MacKay has “done it again”, using it as an opportunity for more mutual stroking of Canada’s bien-pensant class. Laughably, they said that the e-mail was “leaked”, even though anyone can join the subscribers list of thousands of people.

I’d only like to express my disappointment with the political right’s tepid response here. Margaret Wente starts her analysis well, calling this an instance of manufactured outrage, but ends by essentially bashing MacKay for failing to realize that “there are certain things you can’t say in public, even if (sometimes especially if) they’re true.” She went on: “Anything to do with gender differences, for example. If he isn’t smart enough to know this, then you’ve got to ask whether he’s smart enough to be a cabinet minister.”

There should be a bit more shame in this sheepish acquiescence to political correctness, which needs to be confronted as often and as sharply as possible. As Wente herself points out, the very figure of Ms Freeland, who took to the floor of Parliament to denounce MacKay, herself juggles a career as a public intellectual and now politician with mothering three young children. But that seems to provide her with no perspective on how other women are unable to do both at once, or who do not want to do so, and how a perceptive public figure may well recognize and even celebrate this.

So our smiting and wrath on this occasion should logically be directed at the CBC for its attack not only on MacKay but on conservatism as well. If only the constituency of most reasonable and in-touch people were a bit more institutionally robust, perhaps Ms Freeland could be floundering from her own ill-conceived comments.

The Hustings


Cody Boutilier: Give me your wretched refuse

In the latest issue of National Review, editor and publisher Adam Bellow of Liberty Island Media writes on the need for a conservative countercultural movement in fiction. Commenting on political correctness, which is arguably our era’s greatest threat to liberty, Bellow suggests that “the tide is turning. People are getting fed up with the humorless enforcers of the Left.”

This is true of a great many people, but passivity and inertia are ingrained in the human genetic code, and my optimistic prognosis is that a full-scale assault on the tyranny of left-wing thought control won’t ensue for at least another generation, if ever. Things will get far worse before they get better, particularly for devout Christians, but in effect for everyone. Revolutionary leftists go on periodic attack against their fellow progressives, but what’s worrisome about the Left’s current cultural ascendancy is its foundation not in violent revolution, but in Gramsci’s long march through the institutions of power. Leftist beliefs have taken root in the Western mind because Westerners have never had to suffer under totalitarian leftist governments. The Western terror will be as spiritually destructive as the French and Soviet terrors and Chinese Cultural Revolution, but bloodless and drawn-out. We won’t need guillotines, tribunals, struggle sessions, or gulags. Popular prejudice, self-preservation and timidity, and the armies of tweeting red guards will suffice to relieve society of its counterrevolutionary refuse.

I’ve long toyed with a theory that apparently sounds premature to everyone I’ve shared it with. As the vise of PC dogma tightens around the heads of religious traditionalists and the other sundry enemies of a strikingly exclusive “inclusivity,” less enlightened but semi-developed nations will discover the self-interest of offering asylum. This is hardly unprecedented. The Netherlands offered refuge to Spinoza and the Puritans; Prussia to the Huguenots; Catherine’s Russia to Mennonites; the Soviet bloc to the nonconformists of the Western bloc, and vice versa.

Jamaica and Russia, countries where political correctness is practically extraterrestrial, come to mind. Russia in particular would savor the propaganda victory of highlighting the de facto intolerance of the West. The powerful Russian Orthodox Church is notoriously hostile to Russian Protestants and other sectarians, but I think the political advantage of sheltering the West’s persecuted Christians would offset the negligible dent in the country’s religious demography.

Will this come to pass? As the Left gains concrete power, and its roll call of enemies lengthens, I think it probably will.

The Hustings