On emperors and clothing
Says Lawrence Martin in his Globe column:
In the 1970s, the activists, their views vindicated on Vietnam, were in the vanguard. In this decade, the activists, their views vindicated on Iraq, not to mention global warming, have no such standing.Speak out back then and you were cool. Speak out today and some fount of wisdom with a Fox News mentality will come down on you — to borrow a phrase from Hunter S. Thompson — “like a million pound sh-thammer.”
Speak out today and, as silly as it sounds, you’ll be accused of Bush-bashing — as if it isn’t warranted. In the last election campaign, Paul Martin’s Liberals found out what the atmosphere was like when they underwent a media pounding for taking on the United States on certain questions.
That campaign has had a lingering effect, silencing Liberal voices, who kept Canada out of Iraq, on the big American questions of today. The Conservatives, former supporters of that war, are more inclined to join hands with the administration than pursue what Andrew Caddell, one of our United Nations officials, calls innovative multilateralism.
Among the few who challenge Washington are the NDP’s Jack Layton and groups such as the Council of Canadians and the Centre for Policy Alternatives. They stick their necks out, only to get either ignored or berated by conservative media elites who would be more convincing if their track record on such matters as Iraq and the green file wasn’t so dismal by comparison.
Today our academic community is more conservative than in the Nixon era, our media the same. The boomer generation is retiring, leaving behind youth cohorts with little passion for things political. There is an attitude of resignation that says we are powerless to affect the American way, so why bother trying.
Aw, shucks. Thanks, Lawrence, on behalf of the CCPA. We are glad to be of service.