Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Alt Right Of The North

Ezra Levant wants to be the Steve Bannon of Canadian politics. It was Levant who organized the rally which Chris Alexander recently addressed in Edmonton. And it is Levant who founded Rebel Media, which fancies itself a northern version of Bannon's Breitbart.com.  Tasha Kheiriddin writes:

The Rebel is currently on an expansion kick, running a crowdfunding campaign to become “bigger than the CBC”, in the words of founder and (ahem) ‘Rebel Commander’ Ezra Levant. Which is ironic, perhaps, since not talking to the “mainstream media” was the first of many pages event organizers ripped from Trump’s playbook.

Levant urged the crowd to not talk with CBC reporters, calling them extremists and activists. More irony: The Rebel squealed in outrage when the Alberta government temporarily banned it from press events earlier this year, using pretty much the same argument that Levant used to boycott the CBC — that Rebel Media employees are activists, not journalists. The Rebel subsequently proved the government was right all along by taking on an activist role in organizing the rally.

Levant and the other Trump acolytes chanted "Lock Her Up!" when Alexander mentioned Rachel Notley's name. The comparison to Hillary Clinton is not only unfair, it is grossly inaccurate:

Unlike Clinton, Notley has never been accused of criminal behaviour; there is no legal basis whatsoever for even thinking of ‘locking her up’. The only basis for the crowd’s chant is political: They don’t like her politics, particularly her climate change plan that will impose emissions caps on the province’s oil industry. (That plan, of course, was one of the factors in getting the federal government to approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline — a quid pro quo the Edmonton crowd seemed unlikely to appreciate.)

The incident illustrates what has happened to Conservative politics in the wake of the party's election defeat:

And that explains why the tactic is being aped now in the Conservative race: It worked. Playing Trump lite is paying dividends for fellow Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch, whose immigrant screening proposal and pro-Trump cheerleading has helped vault her to the front of the pack in recent opinion polls. Fellow candidate Steven Blaney piggybacked on the same sentiments when he announced plans to ban the wearing of the niqab in the public service — hardly the most pressing issue of the day for most Canadians, but one which heated up during the recent PQ leadership race, also on the back of the Trump campaign.

The Conservative Party may morph into the Alt Right Of The North.

Image: Macleans


Anonymous said...

I see no significant difference between the fancy new "alt-right" and the slimy white supremacists of old. So let's join many leading US media organizations, stop normalizing this euphemism and call these people out for what they are.

As for the Cons morphing into white supremacists, how soon we forget Harper's role in creating the Northern Foundation and Tony Clement's support for South African apartheid. Other than the Cons, where else is a neo-Nazi going to park his vote?

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the link, Anon. The Klan has ditched their sheets.

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon is on the money when he points out that today's hard right conservatism is the natural home for white supremacy. Angry old white men were Harper's base and he fed them a rich diet of fearmongering to pique their insecurities, paranoia and bigotry.

We may be embarking on an era in which fact and critical thought lose much of their currency as they're displaced by myth and belief-based ideology. These trends, so prevalent in today's radical right populism, can render liberal democracy heretical. Finger by finger our grip on democracy is being peeled away.

Owen Gray said...

It's being peeled away and replaced by an old chimera, Mound -- the myth that the Ayran race is supreme.