How can Charest be so out-of-touch after such a long campaign?
At the very least, we can give the Charest campaign credit for consistency.
Unfortunately for them, they’ve been consistently out-of-touch with the party base.
Throughout the campaign, Charest has shared a message that seemed designed to appeal to the establishment media and the Liberal Party, an odd choice considering he is running for the leadership of the Conservative Party, a party where the establishment press is deeply unpopular and distrusted.
Evidence has continued to pile up – in polls, fundraising, crowds, etc… – that Charest’s approach was failing.
But he kept doubling down.
And now, in an “open letter to my fellow members of the Conservative Party of Canada,” what Charest refers to his “final pitch” to members, he’s doubling down again.
In the letter, and in social media messages promoting it, Charest downplays the importance of freedom, claiming there are bigger issues in the country:
“Most Canadians believe there are much bigger issues than “freedom” at stake in this country.
From housing to healthcare, we have crises that need to be addressed. Proposing real solutions to real problems is our path to victory.”
Most Canadians believe there are much bigger issues than “freedom” at stake in this country.
— Jean Charest (@JeanCharest_) August 22, 2022
Here’s a key excerpt, where Charest downplays freedom:
“Most of the voting public believes there are much bigger issues than “freedom” at stake in this country.
We need to listen to them if we have any hope of defeating the Trudeau Liberals and bringing serious, and principled conservative leadership back to Ottawa.”
Notice how Charest puts freedom in quotes both in the article and on Twitter.
It’s similar to how the establishment media always says “the so-called freedom convoy.”
The arrogance and condescension is unmistakable.
As Alex Brown of the National Citizens Coalition aptly notes, it’s what would be expected from a “Liberal premier.”
“It is I, a half-decent politico & comms director offering free advice: The continued practice of putting “freedom” in mocking scare quotes is dumb & bad, unless you’re just trying to render the whole contest radioactive, in which case, well, Liberal premier gonna Liberal premier.”
It is I, a half-decent politico & comms director offering free advice: The continued practice of putting "freedom" in mocking scare quotes is dumb & bad, unless you’re just trying to render the whole contest radioactive, in which case, well, Liberal premier gonna Liberal premier. https://t.co/KvD4vDVD2P
— Alex Brown (@alexbrown17) August 22, 2022
Charest downplaying freedom at this point isn’t a surprise, and is nearly identical to what the Liberals, NDP, and establishment press say.
It would seem that Charest never understood the party he sought to lead, or even worse, he sees himself as ‘above’ understanding it.
Canadians have watched freedom after freedom restricted and taken away, with the government now claiming the right to impose the horrendous ArriveCAN app, stop people from leaving the country, destroy tens of thousands of small businesses, push people out of their jobs, shut down religious worship, demonize millions of our fellow Citizens, impose vaccine mandates, and more.
Things the country would have never put up with have been normalized at a rapid pace.
To think we haven’t had our freedoms eroded is the height of ignorance, and shows a remarkably callous attitude to the assault on our rights. Yet that is exactly the attitude Charest has chosen to highlight as the campaign closes.
All indications are that Charest and his time will quickly pivot towards attacking and demonizing Conservatives for not electing Charest and will continue their arrogant lecturing tone even when the race has concluded.