As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to be wary of “The Smartest Guy In The Room”. You know who I’m talking about – the guy with an air of authority about him, who asserts “the answer” to an issue in clever language that makes opinion sound like fact, thus making dissenting opinion virtually impossible. Far more dangerous than the blowhard or idealogue, “The Smartest Guy in the Room” isn’t trying to convince with a coherent, factual argument – he’s an intellectual bully who is simply convinced that he is right, and doesn’t believe anyone has a right to disagree. You’ll also never hear “The Smartest Guy in the Room” admit he’s wrong – he always finds a way to assert that he really was right.
Pierre Trudeau was the ultimate “Smartest Guy in the Room”. Bob Rae is another such cad. Look out below, Canada, because the man who fired up a blowtorch to Ontario’s economy in the early 1990s has not given up on his goal of inheriting the mantle of his fellow traveller Pierre and getting his socialist mits on Canada’s Federal budget. With Stephane Dion vulnerable, Bob has chosen to be a good foot soldier and…pen a major op-ed piece for the Globe & Mail outlining his vision of Canadian federalism?!?!
Acting as both a knife in the back of his leader – who, most certainly, did not ask for one of his major political rivals to release a policy vision statement during his weakest moment – and as a shot-across-the-bow of the Conservatives on the possible fall election issue of federalism, Rae does a good job in demagoguing against Stephen Harper (for those predisposed to hate him), but also exposes his own true colours. This is a man who wants to take the limp-wristed leftist platitudes of Dion, Layton, et.al., and ram them down our collective throat:
Mr. Harper is taking us where even R. B. Bennett would have been afraid to tread. Canadians who want their federal government to support early childhood education, decent housing, cities that work, a healthy environment, new initiatives in health care, more mobility for students, better research and stronger universities should be appalled at this emasculation. The vision of a fairer, greener and more prosperous Canada that Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion has rightly put at the heart of modern liberalism requires a federal government that dares to speak its name and exercise its powers.
A heavy-handed, overbearing, interventionist central government is what Smart Guy Bobby knows is right. Don’t try to tell him he’s wrong, or he’ll figure out a way to use his clever lawyerly language to make you look like an ignorant jerk – or worse:
Thirteen fiefs putting up more walls and moats between themselves and their neighbours does not make a country. If the next session of Parliament becomes a battleground on this issue, so be it. Mr. Harper’s Ayn Randist fantasies need to be put to rest. We don’t need another trip down the lane of constitutional definitions.
The great issues of the future will be in areas never dreamed of in 1867. We need the flexibility, the courage and the capacity to deal with them without the harnesses and ideological trappings foisted on us by this strange duo of Mr. Harper, who doesn’t believe in government, and Mr. Duceppe, who doesn’t believe in Canada.
This is the kind of underhanded, slimy, dishonest rhetoric that only the amoral can resort to. God help us all if this man becomes PM. And believe me, it could certainly happen. Ontario’s voters rarely fail to prove the old saying correct: fool me once, shame on you – fool me twice, shame on me. Alas, Ontarians have no shame, and seem to enjoy being made the fool. And if it came down to an ideological contest between a small-government libertarian, and a politburo-pushing “Dear Leader”, I fear Canadians may be predisposed to scurrying back to Nanny.