Trudeau Backs Down
While Vladimir Putin is giving the world an example of what happens when an autocrat encounters weakness, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau showed us what happens when the public stands up to dictators. On Wednesday, before the Senate had even finished debating whether to give him his 30-day extension of “emergency” powers, Trudeau announced that the emergency was over, the trucker blockade had been cleared, and he was revoking the Emergencies Act.
The Public Stood Up … The Dictator Backed Down
Trudeau was under fierce criticism and ridicule both in Canada and around the world for essentially imposing martial law and revoking basic human rights to deal with a peaceful protest by truckers simply asking for their freedom back.
The man who took a knee in solidarity with BLM rioters refused even to meet with the truckers, instead using the Ottawa police as an enforcement arm to attack and arrest nonviolent protesters. As Conservative Party leader Candice Bergen pointed out, there was never any reason to impose emergency powers in the first place, and “nothing has changed between Monday and today other than a flood of concerns from Canadian citizens, bad press, and international ridicule.”
Loss of Respect and Trust
Trudeau may have backed down, but the memories of officers roughing up a small elderly man just for honking his horn, of an elderly woman in a mobility scooter being trampled by a police horse, of leaked audio of cops bragging about the protesters hearing their “jackboots,” of people having their bank accounts frozen just for donating a few dollars to the protesters weeks earlier and more will live on in infamy and make it that much harder for Canada’s government to regain any respect or trust.
Frankly, I hope that’s impossible. Trudeau and his supporters don’t deserve to regain the public’s respect or trust, they deserve to be removed from office as quickly as possible.
A Series of Destructive Mistakes
I don’t have enough time or space to list all the bad choices he made, but just to cite a few: treating the people as if they were his servants rather than vice versa; trying to criminalize disagreement with his policies; and slandering people as racists, Nazis, homophobes and white supremacists when those issues had nothing to do with the protest.
When you attack peaceful protesters as violent extremists, you remove their incentive to remain peaceful. He made matters worse by inflaming them: people figured if they were going to be hounded and arrested just for donating a little money or honking their horns, then they might as well take to the streets.
And he’s still making destructive mistakes, like claiming that prosecutions of people arrested during that brief window of having their rights revoked will continue. No, the charges should be dropped, apologies offered, restitution made and resignations tendered.
Financial Institutions Betray the Trust of the People
Perhaps the most important factor in his hasty retreat was that by freezing people’s bank accounts, he signaled that Canada’s banks couldn’t be trusted, launching a run on people withdrawing their money and both domestic and foreign-based businesses canceling their accounts. That’s more damage that will take a long time to repair.
But since it appears that many financial institutions have been working with the government to target conservatives and help institute a Western version of China’s “social credit system,” it can only be a good thing if Trudeau’s ham-handed bungling scares non-leftists into setting up new, independent financial services. That may go down in history as Trudeau’s one great contribution to Western society.
Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas and longtime conservative commentator on issues in culture and current events. A New York Times best-selling author, he hosts the weekly talk show Huckabee on TBN.
Originally published at MikeHuckabee.com. Reprinted with permission.