As I write, Canadian police, many dressed in military garb and supported by armored vehicles and snipers(!), are moving in to enforce several court orders and demands of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, and others that the “Freedom Convoy” of Canadian truckers stop blocking the Ambassador Bridge, the major artery between the United States and Canada, and disperse. Some of the protestors are leaving while many others are standing their ground.
Will the heavy hand of the state succeed in crushing the protest? In the short term, perhaps.
On Friday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson presented a montage of Canadian and American officials berating the truckers and threatening all sorts of dire retribution should they fail to obey their masters. Carlson was right: the hysterical squeaking of Justin Trudeau, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and the other political mannequins was pathetic—a sign of impotence, not strength.
But impotence comes in long-term and short-term varieties. Long-term, I think Carlson is right. Officialdom’s response to the Freedom Convey is a desperate effort to put the genie of liberty back in the bottle. Ultimately, it will not work. But on the way to that failure there will be plenty of opportunities for the coercive power of the state to manifest itself.
A rat is most dangerous when it’s cornered, a state most dangerous when it’s failing. Plus:
For another thing, the trucker protest has been conspicuous for its pacific nature. Unlike the riots that raged across the United States in the aftermath of the death of career criminal George Floyd, no police stations were torched, no property was destroyed, no one was killed or maimed. And yet the truckers get the armored vehicles, the SWAT teams, the snipers.
Who rules? The hissing sound you hear is the sound of political legitimacy escaping from the institutions that, bloated with too much power and too little accountability, are beginning to deflate in the face of widespread popular unrest. At this point, it is not clear what will happen to the truckers in Ottawa.
Perhaps the regime will manage to disband this upsurge of discontent. But if so, the discontent itself will not dissipate. It will fester and spread. Preposterous beta males like Justin Trudeau are happy to bluster and threaten. For now the military and security services (most of them) remain loyal. I recommend Fidel fils read up on the fate of the Ceaușescus. The deposition of Canada’s prime minister is unlikely to be so sanguinary, granted. But I suspect it will be no less definitive.
When everyone from Matt Taibbi to Roger Kimball is making the Ceausescu comparison, maybe it’s time to rethink?
Of course, the Trudeau-rethinking will probably go like this: