Trump: From Pariah To Cherished Brand Name

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

There were two Canadian Trump-pretenders that made headlines this week in The Daily Caller and in the Great White North.

The first was the current prime minister, one Justin Trudeau.  Trudeau is as left-wing as pristine a  progressive as politics allows — just ask President Barack Obama (less than two days to go before that title becomes past tense).  He is the son of another Liberal tyrant who thumbed his nose at and raised his index finger to anyone who opposed his big government agenda.

Well Justin the junior is off on a cross-country trip this week, endeavoring to  glean the true feelings of those average Canadians that he rarely meets in his tony neighborhood or elevated social environment.  So Trudeau surprised us all when he proclaimed this week that he had much in common with President-elect Donald Trump — a man he refused to even recognize as existing in the same political strata until he won the presidency and put the fear of God into Trudeau.  How are Trudeau and Trump alike, with the exception of perhaps sharing a mutual contempt for each other?  According to the Canadian PM, both won their elections as a result of middle class frustration and a yearning for better economic opportunity.

It makes for great copy when you’re days away from the inauguration of a president who might prove to be your nemesis and you’re desperately striving to attain some degree of favor.

Then just today, “Canada’s Donald Trump” declared his candidacy for the Conservative Party leadership.  You probably have a better idea of who Kevin O’Leary is than you do of Trudeau.  O’Leary stars on the ABC television show “Shark Tank” and has made a lot of money over the years in the high-tech industry.  So he’s rich, does television and wants to take over a conservative party and form the next government.  And he’s in a very crowded leadership race with 13 other people.  Sounds vaguely familiar, doesn’t it?  But for me, the comparison with Trump ends there because O’Leary has failed to enunciate any galvanizing policies or demonstrate any of the mass appeal that characterizes the Trump phenomenon.

O’Leary likes to talk about some great following emerging from basement apartments.  That’s when I get very worried.  Because that sounds more like Bernie Sander than Trump.

What makes this pretense fascinating is that Trump was dismissed as an unfortunate political fad by a Canadian mainstream media that often makes CNN look contemplatively conservative.  Now he is a source of political rejuvenation for politicians across the political spectrum.

For a curious assortment of people, Trump has gone from political pariah to cherished brand name.

Clearly we live in a political world that is increasingly beyond not just reason but even definition.   I thought of this while watching Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox.   Now I must first explain that I don’t just watch Tucker because he is one of the founders of The Daily Caller or because it is probably the best damn hour of on television if you savor the sight of  witless and desultory liberals being savaged by a superior conservative intellect.  I had better watch Tucker Time because my wife is his biggest fan, and has been — ever since she met him at a CPAC conference about a decade ago.

Carlson’ guest on Tuesday night was a guy with a fake name, manufactured job and phony website.  He was supposedly hiring professional protesters — by the hour or on a monthly retainer!  It went downhill from there and suffice to say the conversation did not attain any pinnacle of political discourse.  But when the guy insisted that he was hiring protesters not to disrupt Friday’s inauguration but to discourage the other protesters, I thought we must have reached some kind of nadir of political hell.

It’s the same with the Democrats who are boycotting the inauguration because Trump is an “illegitimate” president.  Why is he illegitimate?  Just ask Donna Brazile.  Because the Russians wanted him to win.  How did they help him win?  They wanted him to win…and so it goes, in an endless circle of obfuscation.  Maybe they should talk to Trudeau, who doesn’t seem to know or care about whatever the Russians are wanting these days since they are no longer communists.

On Friday it will be President Donald Trump.  I don’t think there is any question that he should have won.  I have been a Buckley conservative since my teenage years but I saw the necessity of a Donald Trump when other conservatives just couldn’t accommodate the reality of Washington being so horribly disfigured by a socialist-in-everything-but-name administration that some tough love and unapologetic action was not just desirable but  essential.  If he betrays his base or jettisons the policies that got him elected, I’ll be the first to point it out.  But please America — from the oversensitive but angry kids in the street who see racists under every bed to the latte liberals trapped in the absurd fantasy that fascism lurks around the corner — give this guy a chance to succeed.

Anyone who tells CNN where to go can’t be that bad.

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