Even in ‘conservative’ jurisdictions, politicians of all political stripes have embraced a government-knows-best approach that rejects personal responsibility and individual freedom.
It has become fashionable for Conservatives to critique their opponents as ‘nanny-state’ advocates, as people pushing for government to control, run, and dictate our lives, rather than simply provide basic services and protect our rights.
And yet, this past year has shown almost all of Canada’s politicians are nanny-statists now.
All of them have embraced the idea that the government exists to protect us from the consequences of our own decisions, rather than protect our rights to make our own decisions.
Further, governments across the political spectrum have openly admitted that they are restricting freedom for ‘the common-good,’ an argument conservatives had previously rejected, and which the left loved to exploit to pressure advocates of personal responsibility.
Indeed, the idea of personal responsibility has been completely abandoned by those in power, with politicians like Doug Ford and Jason Kenney arrogantly lecturing individuals who sought to make their own choices and decisions and take their own personal level of risk.
Listen to the government, rather than your own mind, they seem to be saying.
Naheed Nenshi’s comments, which you can view below, are only the latest in this arrogant nanny-state attitude of demonizing people who disagree with the politicians:
Wow. This guy just said the people at the rallies who are standing up for your rights are actually white nationalists. Gas lighting from the left is out of control. https://t.co/6mJIayull1
— The Shadoe Davis Show (@ShadoeDavis) May 9, 2021
“When a politician makes an outrageous statement like that, why is there no follow up question? Why is he not immediately challenged? One of the first lessons we teach is to listen to what is said and don’t let something like this slide by unchallenged.”
When a politician makes an outrageous statement like that, why is there no follow up question? Why is he not immediately challenged? One of the first lessons we teach is to listen to what is said and don’t let something like this slide by unchallenged. https://t.co/4z7peSwaFU
— Bill Hutchison (@bill_hutch15) May 9, 2021
Making it even worse, Nenshi was responding to comments made by Michelle Rempel Garner – one of the few politicians who has sought to show respect to people worried about their livelihoods and freedoms:
"Those people at those anti-mask protests … they are people who are marching in thinly veiled white-nationalist supremacist anti-government protests, and they don't deserve that kind of sympathy." @nenshi #cdnpoli @MichelleRempel pic.twitter.com/zFPlsOV95K
— Pundit Class (@punditclass) May 9, 2021
The arrogance shown by Nenshi can be seen in how he couldn’t even let another politician say something reasonable and respectful about the individuals protesting, and instead sought to demonize them, further contributing to Canada’s growing political divide.
Brian Jean slams Jason Kenney
Former Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean has re-entered the fray, responding to the increasingly pro-statist and nanny-state rhetoric of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.
In a Facebook post, Jean ripped Kenney and said “Albertans want better leadership”:
“When a politician rejects the people whose votes he campaigned for, it is always his fault and never theirs.
The UCP was created to unite a wide variety of Albertans. They were attracted to the thought of Alberta being governed by a common-sense party that listened to them, that answered their questions and that was straight with them.
Premier, if many Albertans have stopped doing what you want, that is on you.
You have failed to answer their questions. You have failed to give them the data and information they were looking for. You have failed to keep them persuaded.
Leaders bring people together. Leaders listen and explain and convince. Leaders answer questions and provide the information that people need to understand things. A leader is sometimes in the hot seat – take it. It is your job.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how AHS is hiding critical health data from Albertans – you have done nothing about that.
I wrote about how the CMOH wasn’t being asked the right questions and how to fix that. You ignored that too.
I made suggestions on how you could reach across the political aisle and unify Albertans. Your response was to arrogantly reject even those Albertans who voted for you.
Premier, Albertans have lost confidence in you. Those who didn’t vote for you have concluded that you are even worse than they feared. Those who did vote for you, know that you are not governing as they would have hoped.
You might want a “new base.” Albertans want better leadership.”
Jean’s remarks come after Kenney imposed draconian restrictions – including absurdly foolish moves like banning even OUTDOOR fitness classes – and after Kenney had – similarly to Nenshi – demonized individuals who opposed the government.
To get a sense of how people are reacting to Kenney, consider the responses to his recent Tweet about Canada and the Allies prevailing in Europe in WW2. If you look at the comments, you’ll see a trend of people calling Kenney a hypocrite and noting what some have perceived as the tone-deafness of his remarks:
“Today is an important commemoration of one of the greatest victories in the history of human freedom, the day when Canadian troops in Europe joined their allies in celebrating total victory and the complete surrender of the Nazi German regime.”
Today is an important commemoration of one of the greatest victories in the history of human freedom, the day when Canadian troops in Europe joined their allies in celebrating total victory and the complete surrender of the Nazi German regime. pic.twitter.com/7ocOLaHWLn
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) May 9, 2021
Government as the parent
In a world where there has been a large-scale abandonment or at least distancing from traditional ideas of paternalistic (actual fathers) leadership and faith communities, many have instead substituted government as their parent.
You can see it in the desperate cries – of adults – for government to ‘do something,’ and the demand that government both act as a traditional father by punishing those who break the rules, and as a traditional mother, by providing compassion, reassurance, and sustenance.
Many adults have thus devolved into a childish way of thinking, rejecting the idea of taking responsibility for their own lives and demanding the state take responsibility instead.
Sadly, rather than resisting this trend, many ‘conservative’ politicians have simply surrendered to it, embracing nanny-state ‘government-knows-best’ politics and taking responsibility for the individual decisions of millions of people.
We see this also in our fiscal and monetary policy, as governments and central banks have given up on the idea of fiscal responsibility, and will simply print and spend until a crisis hits and reality forces people to be fiscally responsible whether they want to or not.
Thus, ‘conservatism’ itself in Canada is fading away and being eroded most forcefully by those who have abandoned it yet continue to campaign under the banners of ‘conservative’ parties.
In time, it will strengthen and return, when reality intrudes upon our nanny-state money-printing fantasy, and those who have shown strength and courage in these past years lead our country when it is most in peril.
But until then, it’s nanny-state politics all the way down.