The “Report of the Public Inquiry into the 2022 Public Order Emergency” by Canadian Justice Paul Rouleau is out, and the conclusions reached by the Honorable Mr. Rouleau will satisfy few people. It barely touched on the reasons for the populist phenomenon that swept Canada and so terrified the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that he panicked and ordered a national emergency.
And while Trudeau’s government came in for plenty of criticism, the report said that Justin Trudeau was justified in his unprecedented decision to declare a national emergency in response to last winter’s anti-government, anti-vaccine mandate protests.
After 10 months and hundreds of witnesses, the commission concluded that Trudeau’s emergency declaration was “appropriate.” Beyond that, Rouleau believed that “misinformation” was a weapon used by both sides.
Protest organizers’ mistrust of government officials was reinforced by unfair generalizations from some public officials that suggested all protesters were extremists… Where there was misinformation and disinformation about the protests, it was prone to amplification in news media… The fact that protesters could be at once both the victims and perpetrators of misinformation simply shows how pernicious misinformation is in modern society.
And Rouleau also found fault with Trudeaus COVID-19 policies. The justice said he eventually came to his conclusion that the emergency orders were justified “reluctantly.”
As Matt Taibbi points out, the press had already created the narrative and stuck with the bare bones of the report that claimed Trudeau was “justified” in his actions.
But such musings have no propaganda benefit, and Rouleau’s report was reduced to a single thought, that Trudeau’s Emergencies Order “Met the Threshhold.” This was almost exactly like the American press reaction to the 2019 report by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, which tore into FBI malfeasance for hundreds of pages but gave the press the headline it wanted: “Justice Watchdog Finds Russia Probe Was Justified, Not Biased Against Trump.”
Taibbi recalls when the word “freedom” was embraced as “joyous propaganda” by the upper classes eager to get “the struggling small-town voter to identify with massive corporations eager to throw off the yoke of the EPA and the SEC.” This was when “free markets” were all the rage — when corporations tried to sell middle America the idea that they were on their side.
We’ve since discovered that no one — not the government and certainly not woke corporations — is on middle America’s side. And it’s gotten worse since 2016 when Trump was elected. The upper-class twits are terrified of populism — just like the governments they try to control.
By 2016, however, the WEF types who’d grown used to skiing at Davos unmolested and cheering on from Manhattan penthouses those thrilling electoral face-offs between one Yale Bonesman and another suddenly had to deal with — political unrest? Occupy Wall Street was one thing. That could have been over with one blast of the hose. But Trump? Brexit? Catalan independence? These were the types of problems you read about in places like Albania or Myanmar. It couldn’t be countenanced in London or New York, not for a moment. Nobody wanted elections with real stakes, yet suddenly the vote was not only consquential again, but “often existentially so,” as American Enterprise Institute fellow Dalibor Rohac sighed.
So a new P.R. campaign was born, selling a generation of upper-class kids on the idea of freedom as a stalking-horse for race hatred, ignorance, piles, and every other bad thing a person of means can imagine:
“After 2016, virtually every editorial in papers like the New York Times and the Washington Post suddenly argued every citizen is a monkey, every entry in the Bill of Rights a hand grenade,” writes Taibbi. “Quietly, as if pulled by cats, the idea that rights are “not absolute” was then introduced across the West.”
No, the Bill of Rights is not absolute. But I don’t want Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren trying to define those limits for me. I don’t want those radicals defining the term “misinformation” either. There is, quite simply, more than one reality that people exist in, and to deny that simple truth because you believe someone else’s reality is wrong or crazy is tyrannical.
The left doesn’t understand the simple reality of faith, freedom, and family that tens of millions of Americans live and believe in. And because they don’t understand it, they’re trying to kill it.
Freedom in the United States is in big trouble because there are some very powerful people who have decided to change the definition of freedom to make freedom mean something totally different than what you and I think it means. They define “freedom” differently because the definition most of us use doesn’t comport with their skewed worldview.
This schism is the basis for civil war. And while I don’t see a shooting war yet, unless there is an attempt by both sides to come together and appeal to the “better angels of our nature,” we will be torn apart by our own hate and distrust.