Having all but sounded the clarion call, “to your tents, O Israel!” last week, I can hardly join the chorus shouting down the protests across our land with any integrity. Truth be told, I am somewhat cheered by the fact that there are still things Canadians can get mad enough about to create blockades, display placards and sing chants. Or to put it another way, I may not see how a pipeline is worth all this furor, but I envy the energy being channelled by my political opposites.
This country is fundamentally broken and has been for many decades, thanks to our sad Constitution and the wicked elite that enforce it. If the revolution ever comes, despite my deep loyalist leanings, I may very well join it, just so at the final armistice, I can personally see to it that banal document from 1982 is torched while all the world watches. That is what I’m envious of in our agitating fellow citizens - they have not lost the political and theological virtue of hope.
We traditionalists, conservatives, right-wingers, fiscal hawks, hardware store or Timmies partaking Canadians have a lot to answer for on this count. Our government fails to listen, and we shrug - “what can you do?” Somehow, we’re surprised at our ever decreasing liberties, the rising cost of living, the anti-human agenda on full display from city crosswalks to the Supreme Court. Are we goldfish, swimming in circles, forgetting our oligarchs tresspasses in a moment?
Whatsmore, we on the right are often the loudest when it comes to decrying any kind of change to the system that might loosen the shackles forged by the current consensus. Verily I say to ye, ideological clarity is a thousand times more valuable than any kind of ranked or open write-in ballot. But as all our parties blend into one morass, all becoming rent-seeking, unethical, vapid clones that only flinch when caught. New methods must be found to enforce accountability.
But that really will take a revolution in the most profound place - the background noise of this country, the gestalt in which we all live. If enough people finally accept the fact that we are being screwed and they are laughing all the way to extremely craven banks, then the tide can turn. Canada is not known for revolutionary fervor and violence. Yet we cannot go on as vassals in hierarchical order from city hall to our provincial capitals to Ottawa to Washington or the UN.
We need a serious country, capable of building ships and staffing hospitals, or simply letting the little guy run his own household without the state constantly harassing him. But that will require a decentralization of power, the breaking up of new money trusts and the reinstating of some very old notions about individual responsibility, community and the role of civil society. It will also require accepting that services here will not be what they are in the big metropolises.
And that’s where the right still has the left beat, if only 51 per cent to 49 per cent - who is willing to take the tough road? In every category, from home births to homesteading, volunteering to charity work, progressives certainly rank among these demographics, but they are still outnumbered by those who would trace their motivation to tradition, habit, and duty. It has been the liberal project to get these results by different means since the Enlightenment, and it has not been successful.
Make no mistake - the right must do more for positive change in this country. As we see our progressive brothers and sisters make their voices heard, it begs the question what are we doing for our pet projects - if unborn children are sacred, if we have a right to own firearms, if religion has a place in civil discourse that cannot be silenced, if the family must be promoted - what are we willing to blockade, placard, and chant to ensure our leaders heed our warnings?
A kingdom of conscience will only occur after acting upon one's own. Thus we cannot curse a single hair on these agitators’ heads, asking instead “how might we gain our souls?”