Last night Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch sent out a message to her supporters that described Donald Trump’s victory against the “elites” as “an exciting message and one we need delivered in Canada as well.”
This is the same Kellie Leitch who announced the “barbaric cultural practices” hotline during the last federal election campaign. The same Kellie Leitch who wants to test immigrants and refugees for “anti-Canadian values” — whatever they are. (Love to know who determines what is and isn’t a barbaric cultural practice or an anti-Canadian value.)
It is, shall we say, of a piece.
I get what Leitch is trying to do. There are more than a dozen candidates for the Conservative party leadership, and she needs to stand out. Cosplaying Ilse Koch
But here’s the thing. Aping Trump’s strategy to stand out from the pack is a short-term strategy at best. The next federal election will be in 2019. If Leitch manages to win — and if the Earth has not yet been turned into a smouldering cinder by then — by 2019 we will be in the third year of the Trump presidency. At that point I expect Trump’s popularity in Canada, such as it is, to be at its utter nadir. Leitch’s faux-populist, xenophobic message will be long past its sell-by date.
I don’t intend to let things go on that long, though. This rhetoric must be opposed, forcefully and continuously. If this isn’t an anti-Canadian value or a barbaric cultural practice, then nothing is.