Musings —08.01.2017 07:35 AM—
So, there’s this quote in the Rolling Stone paean to Justin Trudeau:
“I wanted someone who would be a good foil, and we stumbled upon the scrappy tough-guy senator from an Indigenous community. He fit the bill, and it was a very nice counterpoint,” Mr. Trudeau says in the article. “I saw it as the right kind of narrative, the right story to tell.”
That’s the Prime Minister talking in the American magazine about his 2012 charity boxing match against Patrick Brazeau, a Conservative Senator who is part of the Kitigan Zibi First Nation in Quebec.
Indigenous leaders are quite capable of speaking for themselves, on this one. They don’t need me. But there was something else about that quote that was kind of off-putting.
It sounded calculated. It sounded like he was admitting to a manipulation. It felt cynical.
Now, politicians do calculated, manipulative, cynical things all the time – Hell, some would say that’s all they do.
But Trudeau’s big mistake, here – along with sounding like he was singling out an indigenous leader for a literal beating, his soaring rhetoric about indigenous issues notwithstanding – was talking about strategy in the media. He was talking about how sausages are made, in effect.
Kinsella’s Political Axiom, No. 142: don’t talk about how you make sausages. Also: about sausage-making, do not talk.
Anyway. Nanos tells us this morning he’s got nothing to worry about, and perhaps he doesn’t. I would simply remind my Liberal friends that our greatest occupational hazard is – always, always – arrogance.
Arrogance is what gets us beaten in elections – although not, apparently, in the boxing ring.
UPDATE: He has expressed regret for the words he used. Here. Good.