Sometimes, the best characteristic a media personality can have is the ability to not get pinned down within any particular ideology. For me, Bill Maher often comes to mind.
Yesterday, during an episode of Real Time With Bill Maher, the comedian once again proved he is difficult to pin down as he quoted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who said back in September, “They don’t believe in science/progress and are very often misogynistic and racist. It’s a very small group of people, but that doesn’t shy away from the fact that they take up some space.
“This leads us, as a leader and as a country, to make a choice: Do we tolerate these people? Over 80% of the population of Quebec have done their duty by getting the shot. They are obviously not the issue in this situation.”
Maher was quick to point out after reading Trudeau’s quotes, “Now you DO sound like Hitler.”
When you start painting a group with 1 brush you end up embodying the precise characteristic you saddled that group to begin with.
Trudeau has shown more tone-deafness and brutal messaging over the past year than any other politician in this country.
He makes everything worse. pic.twitter.com/zZl86SHLfJ
— James DiFiore (@jamesdifiore) February 12, 2022
I have been personally bothered by what I see as an unproductive path of othering the unvaccinated for more than a year. Yes, I have been guilty of my own brand of mockery and even bullying those who stubbornly refuse to get the vaccine. But I have tried my best to limit the insults to those who also carry a litany of conspiracy theories to go along with their anti-vaccine message.
Trudeau, who has never been very effective whenever he attempts to sell the nation on his tough talk, does sound ridiculous whenever he treads the choppy waters of this pandemic and its vaccines, often choosing the precarious idea of shaming the unvaccinated and thus furthering the divide in this country.
Trudeau calls anti-vaxxers racists and misogynists. pic.twitter.com/igUwX0XvYs
— Aaron Ginn (@aginnt) January 1, 2022
Was the language similar to Hitler’s? Maybe, but as Godwin’s Law taught us, comparing anything to Hitler/Nazis/The Holocaust is a fool’s errand and far too distracting to be either effective or productive.
Maher continued, “There is this idea, and it’s not wrong, that some people are staying home in their Lululemons and other people can afford to, like, wait out and get a free vacation and money from the government, and other people can’t. And they’re p—ed off- the people who can’t.”
This protest has had a slew of moments where it has reinvented itself, and I think its critics are mostly bothered by that, to the point that many of us do not feel it necessary to give the protestors anything, especially legitimacy. But perception outside of Canada, whether you agree with this or not, is different. There is sympathy for the protestors, and I personally believe much of the sympathy is being fueled by listening to Trudeau prattle endlessly about how awful and worthless protestors are to him.
Part of being a strong leader means knowing when your words are helpful versus when your words are contributing to a culture of division. For what it’s worth, whether you agree with Trudeau or not, his words are hurting everyone, including his own government.