Canadian progressive rock star and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is now dealing with his own #MeToo crisis, and, as you will see, not that well. These are old allegations, first appearing in a tiny community paper called the Creston Valley Advance in 2000 An unsigned editorial related that Trudeau, then a 28-year-old teacher, groped a young, female Advance reporter covering the Kokanee Summit Festival in Creston, British Columbia. The Creston editorial did not include details of the alleged groping incident, but wrote that the reporter involved felt “blatantly disrespected” and that Trudeau allegedly apologized a day later for “inappropriately handling” her.
Nobody cared. After all, Bill Clinton had just ducked impeachment because American Democrats and the news media successfully sold the narrative that a President using his intern as a personal sex-toy was “private, personal, consensual conduct.” The story was quickly forgotten.
Then came the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck, and suddenly any male in power is vulnerable to having their career and reputation undone because of a recovered or re-evaluated memory they did that everyone winked at decades ago, but is now proof positive of a dark and irredeemable soul, or something. (This is the point where, if you are Prof. Paul Butler, you shout “Oh come ON!”) The episode resurfaced recently when popular political commentator and Trudeau critic Warren Kinsella tweeted a picture of the editorial last month with the hashtag #MeToo. His tweet was later picked up by various conservative outlets. This is suddenly a problem for liberal leader who has proclaimed his feminist credentials. He has said that he has no tolerance for any kind of sexual harassment or unwanted touching.
And now this. Observations:
- Here was Trudeau’s response to the allegations: he initially said that he did not recall the event. Then he said, well, he remembered the event, but not the incident. “I remember that day in Creston well. It was an Avalanche Foundation event to support avalanche safety. I had a good day that day. I don’t remember any negative interactions that day at all,” he said. The next day, he told reporters that he apologized to the alleged victim for the incident he doesn’t remember “in the moment,” but said he is confident he “did not act inappropriately”…but respects ” the fact that someone else might have experienced this differently.”
Translation of this self-contradicting double-talk:
Let’s see now: He doesn’t remember the event, which he remembers well, but not the incident, though he remembers that he apologized for it, though he is certain he did nothing that required an apology, but he can certainly understand how someone might see it differently.
All righty then!
- And this is why no male will ever be nominated for President by the Democratic party in the foreseeable future. All it will take is for some woman who upon reflection, perhaps with prompting (or compensation) from a political opponent or due to a sudden burst of #MeToo wokeness, to decide that the attention she thought decades ago was welcome really wasn’t after all, and that male’s candidacy will be effectively derailed, unless he is on record as saying, like Donald Trump, “Yeah, I like women, I show it, I sometimes kiss them, and you know what? They like it. What are you going to do about it?”
But no Trump-like candidate would ever be nominated by the Democrats.
- Successful male politicians are almost always Alpha-males who are (or were) attractive and proactive in their interactions with the opposite sex. Most of them will have had episodes in the past that by today’s sometime hypersensitive standards would qualify as sexual misconduct.
No, I don’t believe Trudeau for a second. His father, former PM Pierre Trudeau, was a notorious and shameless womanizer. Do you really think Justin was raised to think overt flirting and aggressive sexual conduct was inappropriate?
- Now I will repeat what I wrote about Rep. Jim Jordan and the recent accusations against him regarding knowing about a serial sexual molester at Ohio State and keeping silent:
“[R]ecent history shows that the best course—which also happens to be the most ethical one– would be to immediately admit… that you were wrong, point out that you were young…express regret and contrition. Unfortunately, it is too late for that now.”
This is especially true in Trudeau’s case, because this is not an ancient story that is just coming to light now, many years after the episode in question. There was a contemporaneous account that everyone chose to ignore in a “less enlightened” time.