So the big thing in the news last week that was dissected, broken down and built back up time and time and time again by seemingly every media outlet in the Western hemisphere was a photo scandal that bit Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau in the butt big time.
It was a 2001 photo of him dressed in Arabian garb while covered in black makeup. Well, it may have been dark brown for all we know because the photo is in black and white.
Then other similar media came out, and the whole thing became a big ‘Blackface/Brownface’ fiasco.
Definitely not what you want to encounter on a vitally important campaign trail, eh Justin?
The ensuing storm was all the bait needed for Trudeau and Liberal critics, who basically field-dressed the party leader and officially hung him out to dry for good. Some are saying it’s the final nail in the coffin for the Liberals and that it basically handed the Conservatives the win in October.
I don’t really know about that, but I do think what we all saw with the blackface scandal was something of a ‘receipt’.
For those unaware of the phrase when it’s used in this context, it comes from the world of pro wrestling. You see, when things get a bit too ‘real’ in the ring and someone gets punched or kicked for real, which can happen from time to time in the heat of the moment, the victim of said punch or kick will sometimes dish one out himself to his opponent. This is what’s known as a receipt. You hit me for real, I’m going to hit you back and then we’ll move on as normal.
The leaked photos and video of Trudeau in blackface/brownface are, in my opinion, something of a receipt; a response partly by the Conservatives (they handed over leaked video footage to Global News) after the Liberals first released archival footage of Andrew Scheer giving a speech in 2005 voicing his opposition to gay marriage.
Eighteen-year old photos and fourteen-year old footage being at the forefront of a federal election in 2019. Come on, people, we have bigger things to worry about!
So with the parties doing all their name-calling and digging into each others’ pasts, my question is to those on both sides of the political fence: can we ‘Even Steven’ things now?
If you’re a Liberal supporter who believes Trudeau “has grown, learned from his mistakes, and isn’t a racist”, shouldn’t you believe that Scheer has done the same things over time?
If you’re a Conservative supporter who believes Scheer “has opened his eyes more on same-sex marriage and gay rights, and treats us equally”, shouldn’t you believe that Trudeau has opened his own eyes to doing some very, very dumb and offensive things?
I’m probably talking to a brick wall with some of you, aren’t I? Hey, I get it, peoples’ politics are something that are very personal and I’m not here to try and budge you on anything. I just think if you condemn one person and not see someone else’s faults, you’re wearing rose-colored glasses. Conversely, if you support one person for their maturity and growth after mistakes made well over a decade ago and can’t at least acknowledge that another person can do the same thing, well, you’re just being stubborn.
“My candidate can learn, grow and move forward, but yours cannot because I don’t support them.” That’s the gist of what I’ve been seeing on social media in the last week or so.
He and his party don’t have my vote in October for reasons that are irrelevant in this column space right now, but I don’t consider Justin Trudeau a racist. I think he made a dumb, narrow-minded and egotistical mistake in his 20’s that finally caught up to him in his 40’s.
What I hope people take away from the cheap shots and the old and irrelevant video footage and photos is the fact that, hey, these guys aren’t telling me what their plans are for YOUR country! I don’t care that Justin Trudeau painted his face in 2001 in a ridiculous and absent-minded attempt to fit in to some social setting, or that Andrew Scheer voiced opposition in 2005 to something he has no control over anyway because gay people have all the same rights and privileges as every other Canadian coast to coast in 2019.
I care about what they’re going to do to get Canada back on track starting the day after the federal election.
For the rest of this election, I say put the time machine mechanics away, people. Live in the now because our future is more important than ever.
For this week, that’s been the Ruttle Report.