The Contrition of a Liberal

September 16, 2011 | By admindude | Filed in: Uncategorized.

Canada overwhelming rejected the center-left Liberal party in general election this year, Led by Michael Ignatieff, a Harvard professor and intellectual whose world view was primarily shaped outside of Canada, the Liberals, who once thought of themselves as the rightful permanent ruling class of Canada, are in disarray, unable to pick a leader and unsure of their place in Canadian politics. 

Boo-frickin’-hoo. 

The complete and utter failure of a Havard prof and intellectually aloof elite to succeed in Canadian politics should have some lessons for politicians in the U.S. Let’s see if we can learn from Canada’s mistake

More personally, he (Ignatieff) had achieved the intellectual’s ultimate dream: Bringing ideas — in this case, interventionist ideas — into being in the real world of politics. Ignatieff’s vision offered a harsh either/or choice to Canadians, who in the last few decades have gravitated toward the semi-neutralism of conflict resolution through international agencies rather than following the United States.

Ignatieff suffered avoidable self-inflicted wounds as well. In prematurely announcing his intention to force an election in September of 2009, he lost a large section of the election-weary Canadian electorate. His book True Patriot Love, released the same year, was a ham-handed attempt to establish his Canadian bona fides. “Loving a country is an act of imagination,” he wrote in the book — a line that caused one reviewer to quip: “I’m not even sure what it means, but you wouldn’t write that if you were really secretly a Harvard professor at heart. Right?” 

He suffered from the fact intellectuals do insincerity much more clumsily than “natural” politicians. After making a major push to fight climate change in his leadership run, for instance, he quickly jettisoned the idea in favour of a toothless but more popular Liberal plan devoid of specific targets.

His book True Patriot Love, released the same year, was a ham-handed attempt to establish his Canadian bona fides. “Loving a country is an act of imagination,” he wrote in the book — a line that caused one reviewer to quip: “I’m not even sure what it means, but you wouldn’t write that if you were really secretly a Harvard professor at heart. Right?” 

An intellectual, snobbish, aloof college professor out of touch with the people of his country turns out to be a miserable failure of a leader. Sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?

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