Trudeau, the anointed one

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau grew up as a trust fund baby in a historically wealthy family headed by his father, the former prime minister of Canada.

Over the Christmas, New Year holiday, he vacationed with family and friends on the $100-million private, Bahama island of a foreign billionaire.

He met with other foreign billionaires — and wealthy Canadians — as part of the Liberals’ cash-for-access fundraising efforts.

In all seriousness, then, how can Trudeau claim to intuitively understand — as he constantly does — Canada’s middle class?

Indeed, amid controversy over the Liberals’ cash-for-access fundraising, Trudeau claimed when he meets with billionaires, he advocates for middle class Canadians on their behalf.

Of course, we’ll have to take his word for it.

In reality, Trudeau’s personal and political pedigree has always distanced and insulated him from the concerns of the middle class.

While Trudeau has acknowledged he isn’t part of the middle class, he claims to represent it.

In that context, the Prime Minister’s Office, in the wake of his Bahama retreat, says Trudeau will cancel his scheduled appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this month — an annual gathering of the world’s rich and powerful at an uber-expensive ski resort in the Swiss Alps.

Nor will he attend U.S. president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

Instead, Trudeau will now embark on a quickie tour of Canada to, his office told Postmedia’s David Akin, “remain connected” to average Canadians.

But rather than being a champion of the middle class, Trudeau appears to most resemble what the great American conservative thinker Thomas Sowell described as “the anointed” in his seminal book, The Vision of the Anointed, Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy.

The anointed, Sowell explained, regard themselves as wise elites who consider it their duty and responsibility to guide “the benighted” — everyone else — away from their own worst instincts.

As Sowell describes them: “The contemporary anointed … make much of their ‘compassion’ for the less fortunate, their ‘concern’ for the environment, and their being ‘anti-war’ … as if these were characteristics which distinguish them from people with opposite views on public policy …

“The vision of the anointed is not simply a vision of the world and its functioning … but … a vision of themselves and of their moral role in that world. It is a vision of differential rectitude … Problems exist because others are not as wise or as virtuous as the anointed.”

Consider Trudeau’s approach to imposing costly and, based on real world experience, ineffective carbon pricing on Canadians, the strategy for which Sowell prophetically described in his book, written in 1995.

First, Sowell explained, come, “Assertions of a great danger to the whole society … to which the masses of people are oblivious.”

The anointed then claim, “An urgent need for action to avert impending catastrophe. A need for government to drastically curtail the dangerous behaviour of the many, in response to the prescient conclusions of the few.”

Finally comes, “A disdainful dismissal of arguments to the contrary as either uniformed, irresponsible or motivated by unworthy purposes.”

Sound like any prime minister we know?

By Lorrie Goldstein

Toronto Sun Jan 8th 2017

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