“Warren Kinsella's book, ‘Fight the Right: A Manual for Surviving the Coming Conservative Apocalypse,’ is of vital importance for American conservatives and other right-leaning individuals to read, learn and understand.”
- The Washington Times
“One of the best books of the year.”
- The Hill Times
“Justin Trudeau’s speech followed Mr. Kinsella’s playbook on beating conservatives chapter and verse...[He followed] the central theme of the Kinsella narrative: “Take back values. That’s what progressives need to do.”
- National Post
“[Kinsella] is a master when it comes to spinning and political planning...”
- George Stroumboulopoulos, CBC TV
“Kinsella pulls no punches in Fight The Right...Fight the Right accomplishes what it sets out to do – provide readers with a glimpse into the kinds of strategies that have made Conservatives successful and lay out a credible roadmap for progressive forces to regain power.”
- Elizabeth Thompson, iPolitics
“[Kinsella] deserves credit for writing this book, period... he is absolutely on the money...[Fight The Right] is well worth picking up.”
- Huffington Post
“Run, don't walk, to get this amazing book.”
- Mike Duncan, Classical 96 radio
“Fight the Right is very interesting and - for conservatives - very provocative.”
- Former Ontario Conservative leader John Tory
“His new book is great! All of his books are great!”
- Tommy Schnurmacher, CJAD
“I absolutely recommend this book.”
- Paul Wells, Maclean’s
“Kinsella puts the Left on the right track with new book!”
- Calgary Herald
There I am down at the bottom, below the dead caribou (aren’t we always?). Photo by Lala, column name by Kate Malloy.
“The War Room,” by the by, isn’t just the name of this here bestselling book. It will also be the name of a soon-to-be revealed podcast and TV show kind of thing. Stay tuned, as they say, and stay warm.
[This is an update of a previous entry. It's needed.]
In the past couple years, whenever Justin Trudeau has made a bad joke or an ill-considered remark – about Ukrainian protestors, about Chinese dictatorships, about the Boston bombings and root causes, about “whipping out” CF-18s, and so on – folks will weigh in on this web site. The majority of commenters will pop by and say: enough with the bad jokes, Justin. Or think twice before you speak. That sort of thing.
But not all commenters are like that. Some will fanatically defend what Trudeau has said, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. I won’t name names, but to those commenters, I again say: you are starting to resemble the Conbots you used to (rightly) condemn. You have fallen in love with the meat, as I sometimes indelicately put it, and that is a bad, bad thing.
Here’s what you owe Justin Trudeau, or any politician you work for/with: YOUR JUDGMENT. You owe them your view, honestly and clearly expressed. Not ass-kissing bullshit.
You want to know one of the principal reasons Conservatives turned off many Canadians? Because they treated every bit of dissent as treason. Because they never tolerated any disagreement, no matter how reasonably expressed. Because, intellectually, they recalled lemmings.
Don’t be a lemming: tell the truth. And when your leader screws up – and they all do, sooner or later – tell him or her the truth.
Don’t kiss their ass.
The Globe scored a bit of coup, and got former Barack Obama (and former Dalton McGuinty!) advisor David Axelrod to talk to them over the weekend. He provided some fascinating insights, among them:
“We turned him into kind of an announcer for the government rather than a narrator of where we, as a country, were going. I think we wore him down as a communicator and we wore out his effectiveness, to some degree, by overusing him.
Ronald Reagan, when he addressed the nation, 70 million people would watch. We were all essentially watching a few networks. Now, there are infinite choices. And you almost, around every issue, have to assemble your pulpit piece by piece, going out and reaching for those voters or constituencies who are motivated by particular issues.
Understanding where the people are that you need to reach, and then the tactics required to reach them, is going to be a mission for every leader here and elsewhere.”
Ask yourself: which Canadian federal leader is the best narrator for where we are going, or should be going? Who is best at reaching out to segmented audiences in an environment where the media atom has been blown to smithereens? Which leader best knows who their audience is, and how to reach same?
I think all three leaders have some of the attributes that Axelrod describes. What do you think, dear reader?
You’re the incumbent, you’re smart, you’ve got plenty of experience, but you can’t get ahead in the polls. So what do you do?
You call for a series of leaders’ debates, that’s what you do.
Stephen Harper, however much he disdains the mainstream media, knows one media truism to be irrefutable: politicians are rarely felled by a single news story. If that were not so, Harper would have been long ago dispatched by robocalls, or Afghan detainees, or In-and-Out, or prorogation, or Senators Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau.
But that hasn’t happened. The reason: nowadays, citizens pay less and less attention to the news media. They’re busy. They’re distracted. They’re suspicious of big news organizations, even, often seeing them as just another corporate special interest group.
Harper, being clever, knows this. He knows, therefore, that what matters isn’t a single story. What matters is a whole series of related stories, over a long period of time, incrementally chipping away at a politician’s reputation.
Case in point: Harper’s principal opponent, Justin Trudeau.
Abacus Data released an important poll a few days ago, and you can bet Stephen Harper clipped it out of the paper to keep in his wallet for use with caucus Nervous Nellies. Most of us focused on the tail end of the poll, which showed an equal number of Canadians predicting a Conservative or Liberal election victory. Ipsos came out with a horse race poll a few days later, showing sort of the same thing: the Grits and the Tories were tied in support.
But that was the tail. The head of Abacus’ poll showed something else entirely. It showed that, between last August and now, Justin Trudeau’s inevitability had slipped 15 percentage points. That is, a lot fewer folks expected him to win, now.
That’s a lot. The last time that number happened to the Liberal Party of Canada, in fact, was a decade ago. Remember? Paul Martin commenced his “Mad As Hell” tour, and persuaded millions of Canadians to get mad as hell, too—at him. He promptly dropped 15 points and never recovered.
Justin Trudeau, according to Abacus and others, has done something similar, albeit less dramatically. Since August, he has slowly, surely, and incrementally lost the aura invincibility that once clung to him like a seal fur coat.
Stephen Harper, being a student of politics, has a theory about that.
At the very moment that Canadians noticed that Trudeau makes an awful lot of verbal flubs—at the moment Trudeau opposed taking any action against the genocidal force that is ISIS, at the moment he seemingly mocked our military—the Liberal leader commenced a downward descent. He isn’t dead, not by a long shot, but the trend line—as the pollsters call it—isn’t particularly good. It tells a story, one that doesn’t assist Justin Trudeau.
Thus, the debates idea, which The Toronto Star reported on late last week. “Tories consider more debates to trap Justin Trudeau,” the headline read, atop a story replete with the usual anonymous sources. The story went on to quote just one person on the record—NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair—who is all in favour of more debates, too. Surprise, surprise.
Now, it’s possible Trudeau could show up at said debates, and impress everyone. He’s certainly lowered expectations about his verbal dexterity, and then some. So it is possible he could exceed those expectations.
But it’s equally possible—likely, even—that, during one of a series of regional debates, Trudeau will say something that is unhelpful to his cause. And the Tories and the Dippers seize on that—as they did with Ignatieff and Dion—and again persuade a million self-identified Liberal voters to stay home.
Thus, the suggestion that there be a myriad number of debates. For Stephen Harper and Tom Mulcair, it’s a great idea.
For Justin Trudeau, it ain’t.
The passing of Spock – and an imminent move – reminded me of the treasure trove of Star Trek Stuff I own. Among the Trek gems: two original (and authentic) series scripts used by Walter Koenig in Operation Earth and The Cloud Minders. They’re signed by him and other members of the cast, and are the real thing.
It’s time someone else had them to enjoy – I’ve had them for 40 years, when Dan Nearing traded them for an ink drawing I’d done of Bruce Springsteen, back in Calgary.
Email me at wkinsella AT hotmail.com if you want to bid on them. And, live long and prosper, naturally.
A few weeks ago, when some nice folks were encouraging me to run for the Liberal nomination in Toronto Danforth, I finally met with one of Justin Trudeau’s most senior advisers.
There ensued some jousting, and then we got around to discussing why I was not suitable. Chief among the reasons was my view on the international effort against ISIS, led by that crazed right wing maniac, Barack Obama.
I pointed out that my view was in accord with former Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy, former Liberal leader Bob Rae, and former General Romeo Dallaire.
“They are all traitors to the Liberal party!” thundered my breakfast partner. “They opposed a major foreign-policy decision of the leader of the Liberal party of Canada!”
Wow, thought I. I’m never going to fit in with this bunch. Screw it.
That’s not to say, however, that I did not feel that Trudeau and his circle wouldn’t flip-flop on the struggle against the genocidal cult that is ISIS. They would. And, lo and behold, they soon started to do precisely that.
First, they indicated support for Bill C-51 before they had even read it. And, this morning, there was this:
Get that? Then, you were a “traitor” if you favoured some sort of modest military role. Now, nothing to see here, move along, etc.
The definition of “traitor” is situational, I guess. That, or Justin and his gang looked at the polls, and figured out they were going to get their asses kicked.
Either way, I remain proud that I was a traitor both then and now. I’m in good company.
Hmm. Kind of odd behaviour for a public servant whose $300K+ salary I help to pay, no?
Perhaps it’s because I hired someone who successfully brought a human rights action against him. Perhaps it’s because not a few of us have regarded him as a raging megalomaniac going back to when he was a mere Assistant Crown Attorney, hunting for headlines in the Ottawa courthouse.
Anyway. Whatever you do, don’t mention this sort of thing. He might block you!