We have a new populist mantra.
Trudeau 2.0 has figured out how to deflect the increasingly microscopic examination of just exactly what his populist bona fides might be. In doing so, rather ingeniously I might add, he’s turned the notion of experiential understanding on its ear, managing both to deflect criticism of a cloistered background of privilege and affluence AND to make opponents who raise it, seem small-minded and mean.
The logic is this: Sure, I admit I’m not middle class. But my ‘advantaged’ roots have permitted me to travel, see and experience the toils of the downtrodden to a degree that those (poor sods) without similar advantage haven’t been able to access (presumably because they were too busy ‘getting by’).
It’s brilliant, particularly if it shuts down any future discussion (or criticism) by competing candidates how a silver spoon baby can assume the mantle of populism. It wouldn’t be the first time: Bob Rae once confronted his background with the bon mot that his “nanny resented the implication” that he was a populist poseur.
Whether a life of public speaking for money (in rather large amounts), teaching high school and running in federal elections amounts to “everything”, thereby demonstrating selfless dedication to the betterment of society is probably besides the point. The only people likely to poke holes in that argument are the folks that are similarly encumbered, qualifications-wise; they’re all politicians.
It’s not clear whether 2.0 came up with this all on his own or as a brain trust strategic effort, but he sure had a smug look on his face returning to his seat after having delivered the zinger.
Sure, 2.0 doesn’t have anything beyond a bunch of sappy aphorisms in the way of policy planks, and he hasn’t done much of anything beyond living nicely, but he sure does seem to have his old man’s sense of political theater in delivering a punch line.