Trudeau Gives A Masterclass In Gaslighting

Shameless doesn’t even begin to describe it.

The Masterclass series has gained significant popularity, giving people the opportunity to pay a fee to watch and learn from some of the world’s greats across various disciplines.

You can learn about acting from Samuel Jackson.

You can learn about what it’s like to be an Astronaut from Chris Hadfield.

You can learn about being a chef from Gordon Ramsey.

All for just $20 a month.

But now, you have the opportunity to get a free masterclass.

Justin Trudeau has provided us with a masterclass in gaslighting, and you can view it in full below:

So freedom of speech is a marking of authoritarianism?

Trudeau: “we see a bit of a slippage in our democracies. Countries turning towards slightly more authoritarian leaders. Countries allowing increasing misinformation and disinformation to be shared on social media.”

This may be the least self-aware comments made by a Canadian politician in quite some time.

Justin Trudeau – the only Prime Minister who has invoked the Emergencies Act and froze the bank accounts of protestors – is claiming countries are turning towards more authoritarian leaders while ignoring his own efforts to expand his power at the expense of the freedom of Canadians.

The gaslighting really kicks into high gear when he talks about countries ‘allowing’ misinformation and disinformation to be shared.

Note his use of the word ‘allowing.’

It presupposes that what you are allowed to read and consume is based on what the government deems acceptable, rather than you as a free individual having that choice.

The horrible irony in all of this is that as Trudeau claims to oppose dictators like Putin, he in fact slowly moves Canada in an authoritarian direction.

Consider the language the Trudeau government used in regards to the convoy.

They used rhetorical tactics that are reminiscent of authoritarian nations.

They called it ‘foreign funded.’

They labelled everyone as ‘extremists’.

And, in an unfortunate similarity to Putin’s language regarding Ukraine, the Liberals attempted to smear the freedom convoy as ‘nazis.’

Just as it is completely absurd for Putin to label Ukraine as a ‘nazi regime’ considering that Ukraine’s President is Jewish, it is absurd for Trudeau to try and label the freedom convoy as such because there was one swastika flag amid the endless sea of Canadian flags.

This is not to claim that Trudeau and Putin are the same. Obviously, as bad as Trudeau is, Putin is orders of magnitude worse. Trudeau is at least somewhat constrained by a system – albeit fragile – that still retains aspects of democracy and legal rights, and is also constrained by a history of democracy and freedom in Canada that establishes certain norms and limits on how far the public will go in terms of accepting government power.

However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t point out the parallels between the Trudeau government’s efforts to use state power to narrow the realm of debate and information-sharing in Canada, and what we see in authoritarian states that are farther along that dangerous path.

Emboldening Putin?

Another aspect of Trudeau’s comments falls into the category of gaslighting.

His claim that ‘misinformation’ emboldened Putin is a deflection from the reality that leaders like Justin Trudeau have implemented policies that made Putin feel he could get away with a war against Ukraine.

Now, we must guard against the impulse to see all events around the world as somehow connected to us. Every leader makes decision first and foremost based on their own ideology and perceived national/personal interests, and ‘the West’ isn’t always the catalyst.

That said, there are two profound ways in which politicians like Trudeau unfortunately helped to tilt the calculus of the Kremlin in favour of war.

First, Trudeau has been engaged in a long-term effort to weaken the Canadian energy sector and increase energy costs. For those who would claim otherwise, they must face the reality that the idea of policies like carbon taxes are explicitly to make life more expensive in order to reduce consumption. Since Canada is a first-world country in a cold climate, our energy costs are high. Thus, increasing energy prices takes more and more money away from Canadians and weakens our economy.

The policies imposed by Trudeau are similar to those imposed throughout much of Europe, where there was an effort to shut down domestic coal and oil/gas production while also reducing the use of nuclear energy. As a result, Europe became and more and more dependent on Russian oil & gas.

This gave Vladimir Putin more money to fuel the building-up of the Russian military, and also encouraged him to believe that Europe would fail to take strong action if he launched an invasion of Ukraine.

To his surprise, and the surprise of much of the world, the response from Europe has been far stronger and more unified than expected, with the continent realizing how important freedom is as they watch Ukrainians give their lives for things Europeans (and North Americans) have often taken for granted.

Germany is rearming at a rapid pace, and the continent is grappling with the fact that a green-energy obsession turned out to be a horrendous geopolitical error.

Sadly, this awakening has come after Russia invaded Ukraine, not before.

And on the issue of military spending, Putin has also been emboldened by the fact that most NATO countries spent far below the 2% of GDP minimum on defense.

Russia’s economy is smaller than Italy’s, yet Russia devotes a large percentage of its economy to the construction of weapons.

Had Canada and other NATO nations in Europe brought our defense spending more in line with that of the United States (as a percentage of GDP), the military power of NATO would dwarf that of Russia by an immense margin. Europe’s GDP is roughly $15 trillion, about 10 times that of Russia. If Europe spent the minimum of 2% of GDP on defense, their defense budget would collectively be $300 billion. If they spent 4%, it would be $600 billion. Both dwarf Russian defense spending of roughly $50 billion (a figure which is likely understated somewhat).

A large increase in European defense spending is going to be the case going forward, but again, it is deeply unfortunate that it took an actual invasion of a sovereign nation for the West to realize that military power is still important.

So, on those two big issues – energy security and national defense – Trudeau has been implementing policies that strengthened the position of Russia.

I’ll also mention a third thing.

When it comes to disinformation, the fact is that trust in the establishment media has declined in Canada in large part because of how the Liberals have sought to make it dependent on government funding.

An independent media that is funded by free choice among media consumers is essential to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. By contrast, it is hallmark of authoritarian states that the media depends on government financing and approval.

A key reason the West has struggled to counter propaganda from Russia and other authoritarian states like China is that there is so little trust in the legacy media due to government interference, and due to much of the legacy media seeking to speak power to truth, rather than truth to power.

This generates a ‘boy-who-cried-wolf’ situation where in the rare instances when the establishment media gets things right (as their reporting on Russia’s war against Ukraine has been quite accurate for the most part), fewer people are willing to believe it.

The more Trudeau tries to co-opt the media, and the more he tries to impose policies like Bill C-11 and C-36, the fewer people will trust what they hear from the legacy press.

Instead, the government should take a hands-off approach, trusting Canadians to make our own media consumption choices and realize that the free flow of information leads to a more peaceful, creative, and cohesive society.

Canada needs unity, not divisive gaslighting

There is no doubt that our country and democratic allies faces significant challenges in a rapidly changing world.

To make it through these challenges, we need national unity and leaders who are willing to put aside the divisiveness of the past.

We need to reject the gaslighting approach pushed by Justin Trudeau, and instead encourage all of our leaders – across political stripes – to speak the truth and bring Canadians together once again.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – Twitter

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