Sorry, Mr Prime Minister, but communist and tyrant aren’t synonyms.
At a fundraiser for the Tribute to Liberty, a charity aimed at building a memorial for the victims of Communism, Stephen Harper delivered an impassioned speech (well, as impassioned as Harper can be when not singing the Beatles) about the evils of Communism, referring to it as a deadly “ideological plague.” In addition to commemorating the many lives lost to Communism, Harper took this sombre event as an opportunity to warn us about the dangers of Russia’s resident sly fox Vladimir Putin, making note of the Russian President’s “expansionism”, “militarism” and growing comfort with “confrontation,” especially after his recent annexation of Crimea. All that is to say, Harper is comfortable with a thesaurus.
Wrapping up his oration, Harper referred to Canada as the “North Star”, one that “shine[s] more brightly as darkness claims the sky,” and stressed the importance of the proposed Tribute to Liberty monument as a reminder to Canadians everywhere to be eternally wary of… Russia? Or was it the forces of evil? Or was it Communism? Yeah, yeah, Communism, that’s it. But wait… it couldn’t be Communism. Russia has all kinds of capitalisty things going on, right?
There is no doubt that Communism and Totalitarianism are linked, and that Vladimir Putin and Totalitarianism are also linked. That being said, warning us about Putin in a speech specifically commemorating the lives lost to Communism implies that either:
A. Putin is a Communist
B. Communism was just another front for innate Russian villainy AKA the overarching thesis of the James Bond series (excluding the Daniel Craig films, given that Craig is Vladimir Putin’s uncanny doppelgänger)
Needless to say, tossing the Soviet Union, Communism, Putin, and the forces of evil into a jumble of loosely associated concepts is bound to lead the public to some garbled conclusions. But perhaps a speech of sweeping rhetoric on good, evil and bright nationalist stars isn’t where one should expect to find a sound argument.
Playing political hardball is fine; but let’s just hope Harper isn’t gunning to be the next Bond. James Bond.