I'm a mess.
It has been about four years since I wrote anything about Stephen Harper. It's election time, so I feel I must say something. That something is, “I told you so.”
In Canada, we have a tradition of parliamentary politeness. Our politicians must appear composed and prime-ministerial. In the past, I've tried to sound at least respectable, too. But I'm through being reasonable. I can quote a bunch of facts, but it would just be regurgitation of information expressed by others more eloquent than me. I feel I have to honour the raging emotions in me to find relief. This election has taught me that votes are not won by intellect. Emotions are the true currency of politics. So I will say what all three of Stephen Harper's opponents desperately wish to say about Stephen Harper's agenda, but cannot.
Stephen Harper is evil.
Not just evil, but Eeeeevil. Like, “Devil”, except he's so evil that he had the letter D's citizenship revoked.
What is evil? Most definitions say that an evil person is a transgressor. Harper is a proud transgressor. Our country has a British parliamentary tradition, with many unwritten rules and things that are “just not done, old boy”. But Harper does them, and he does them to win.
“But Jeremy,” you say, “It's easy to denounce someone is evil if you disagree with them.” I will admit that Stephen Harper's policies are disagreeable to me. But it isn't just that I disagree with him. There's something else. You see, he is not a stupid man.
It is easy for me to laugh at conservative buffoons like former Toronto mayor Rob Ford. They rush from catastrophe to catastrophe, blurting embarrassing things and flailing at anything they perceive as weird. Such men are conservative out of ignorance. Not Stephen Harper. His conservatism is informed and cynical. I believe he may be a genius.
It is a calculating, shrewd genius. It is an intellect that seeks control. He wields power by breaking rules and surprising his foes.
Carl Jung would say that I believe Stephen Harper is evil because I see my shadow-self reflected in him. The things I hate most about Harper - his ruthlessness, his sneakiness, his control-freakishness, his ambition - are qualities I have and hate in myself. I too yearn to rule with guile and cunning, to paint my vision upon Canada while quietly grinding the faces of my vanquished foes in open sewer drainpipes.
If this is so, it takes one to know one. Take it from me, a man who struggles with grandiose dreams of narcissistic power and vengeance: Canada is Stephen Harper's game of Civilization IV, and to him, we are all just units. He has the cheat codes and loves using them on us.
Since the election was called, dread has been welling in me. What if he wins again? It keeps me awake at night. I am so scared. How can I live in Canada for four more years, watching him gut programs I care about, like national parks and the CBC? What else that I love will be on his chopping block? How much more damage can his corporate friends do to the planet under his watch? How can I listen to him and his weasels thwarting the House of Commons with their empty talking points, barely concealing their Duper's Delight?
His supporters bother me too. I have family members and acquaintances who love Harper. Despite the glut of information about his evil, how he has been hurting us all, there is always some distracting, emotionally-charged rumour going around about “How the NDPs have a guy who did the same thing as Duffy but didn't pay it back” or “there are these Sikhs down the road who just came to Canada and they're getting our health care and how is that fair” or “I heard there's this woman who collects ten welfare cheques under different names”. Where are these stories coming from? The ignorant believe them and their anger keeps them ignorant. They get more angry at a made-up story than a far more expensive, and factual, story about tar sands companies getting free billions from Harper.
Just today I was at an auto dealership and overheard some slick-looking greyhair joking with the guy behind the desk: “At least it's better than the government, where you put money in and don't get any services back!” Interesting. How about I break your pretty face so you can collect some free healthcare? You ungrateful fucking barbarian.
I may have mentioned I'm a mess. The thought of Harper in office again twists my stomach. I sometimes feel like I'm having a panic attack. Some days I want to stay in bed. Other days, I carry my fear with me, slouching under it like a heavy camping backpack.
So, to sum up, Harper is evil, don't vote for him. Although, the way the internet works, you will likely not see this post unless you already agree with me. I have one prayer, offered to God, or the Universe, or Eris, or Elvis, or the uncaring stars, or anybody, anything that will listen. Please please, oh please, let us not be so goddamn stupid this time.