Musings —09.16.2013 11:17 AM—
Too many Liberals hate Stephen Harper. I’m not one of them. I oppose many of his policies, to be sure. I get mad at him sometimes, for sure. But I do not regard him as evil, and you shouldn’t either.
To my surprise, my family’s very personal experience with Stephen Harper has showed up in Mark Kennedy’s extraordinary profile of the Conservative leader. A snippet is here, along with the link to his story, which you must, must read.
“…Despite his stiff public image, Beardsley pointed to a warmer side of Harper that Canadians rarely saw. Even before he was prime minister, Harper had once called Liberal political strategist Warren Kinsella and his mother to express condolences on the death of Kinsella’s father.
“It provided a revealing glimpse into Stephen Harper’s character,” Kinsella later wrote. “Because it suggested to my family and me — die-hard Alberta Liberals, which is about as die-hard as a Liberal can get — that Stephen Harper was, at the end of the day, a nice person.”
Opposition New Democrat MP Paul Dewar also got a glimpse at the private Harper.
He and Harper were strong opponents on policy. But at the rink, where their sons played on the same hockey team, they were fathers. They sat in the stands and cheered their boys Ben and Nathaniel, who played on the same line.
“To those who talk about him in extraterrestrial ways, I quietly just say, ‘No, he’s not the devil incarnate,’” said Dewar.
Tom Flanagan, who ran both of Harper’s leadership campaigns and one election, said it took him years to understand the “two Harpers.”
“There’s the one – suspicious, secretive, ruthless, sometimes very temperamental, arbitrary. And then there’s the rational, funny, sometimes kind, thoughtful person. You just sometimes wonder, ‘Who’s showing up today?’”