BUYER’S REMORSE … ADVENTURES IN NARCISSTIC STUPIDITY,
By Murray Soupcoff
So here he was without maps or supplies,
A hundred miles from any decent town;
The desert glared into his blood-shot eyes;
The silence roared displeasure: looking down,
He saw the shadow of an Average Man
Attempting the exceptional, and ran.
-- W.H. Auden, The Average Man
Oh my goodness, just a few forlorn days ago, it was the three year anniversary of one the most regretted days in Canadian politics – by the few remaining sane voters in Canada, that is.
On April 14th 2013, Justin “lightweight” Trudeau was elected leader of the party of Chretien, Martin and Canada’s socialist Socrates, Pierre Trudeau – oh what a coincidence, the father of young Justin whose recognizable last name happens to be the same as Justin's.
Indeed, on that fateful day Justin Trudeau’s chief work qualifications for becoming Liberal leader included having been a teacher, boxer and actor.
Now if that isn’t an act of narcissistic ‘ambitious reach exceeding reality’, what is?
And why do I use this clinical descriptive adjective (narcissistic) here, to describe this political decision (and future political decisions) by Trudeau the Younger?
Well, although I’m not a psychiatrist, I earned my PH.D-equivalent graduate degree as a sociologist many, many years ago; and I base my opinions on knowledge gained as a sociology graduate student, when I did a full practicum with the psychiatric department of the University of Toronto medical school.
And it’s part of what Swiss psychoanalyst Alice Miller – author of the classic monograph on narcissists, “Prisoners of Childhood,” would have described as Justin Trudeau’s “as if” behavioral patterns — acting as if he had accomplished his grandiose ambitions for himself (such as eventually becoming Canada's prime minister), even though he hadn’t done so at that time!
And what about his current self-described “accomplishments” as Prime Minister these days?
Well, let’s make our point, the simplest way – comparing the historically unique achievements of Trudeau father and son:
And the tragic truth (for ordinary Canadians)?
When Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau left office the Canada debt had risen to over $154 billion, shockingly 738% higher than when previous Conservative Prime Minister Joe Clark left office.
When Stephen Harper was voted out of power – in favour of Justin Trudeau – the budget was balanced, with no deficit, and new economic policies implemented to ensure a budget surplus in future years.
Recently, however, Justin Trudeau’s first budget projected $113 billion more debt for Canada – with no budget surplus in sight.
To summarize, as one disgruntled online conservative Web site phrased it:
“Pierre Trudeau puts Canada in the toilet, and his son pulls the handle!”
But let’s now turn to another trait of what psychiatrists often call the “functioning” narcissist -- functioning in the sense of being capable of impressive achievements (versus the kind of schizoid personality whose grandiose fantasies might land them in prison or in a psychiatric institution).
And that impressive achievement might perhaps include becoming Prime Minister of Canada, thanks to a superficial charm and learned ability to “empathize” with the needs and wishes of those whom he or she interacts with [just as he or she learned to “empathize” with every need or wish of a gifted but remote parent, in order to please them -- for example, a parent like Pierre Elliot Trudeau?]
Another narcissistic trait relevant to our discussion?
Grandiose “fantasies” and “magical thinking”.
This troubled individual’s interior psychology is rooted in the narcissistic belief that his dreams, thoughts, and wishes can magically affect reality.
So as mentioned earlier, despite possessing the modest qualifications for being elected leader of a major political party in Canada -- having been a teacher, boxer and actor – Justin Trudeau’s decision to run for the position of leader of the Liberal Party might well have been based on narcissistic “magical thinking” (in my opinion, anyway) --- specifically, that he what he wished for could “magically” become reality.
And of course, mainly because of his surname and mythical biographies of his father written by Liberal acolytes, Justin the Younger did get elected – which would only reinforce his inner belief that what he wished for, in the future, could become reality.
And that might mean being able to promise all kinds of expensive “goodies”, to metaphorically bribe voters, and yet additionally promise to still be able to generate "a modest short-term deficit" of less than $10 billion for each of the first three years of his incumbency, and then a balanced budget by the 2019-2020 fiscal year (a promise which, in reality, he actually did make).
Some of those promised “goodies” (ie, free “handouts”) for voters?
(1)Tax benefit for teachers; (2) lifelong pensions for injured vets including hundreds of millions of dollars in expanded benefits; (3) $150 million in new annual funding for the CBC; (4) $1.5 billion for public transit in Calgary; (5) up to $1.5 billion over four years on a youth job strategy to help 125,000 young people find a job; (6) increase federal infrastructure investment to almost $125 billion (compared to the Harper government allocation of $65 billion); (7) over the next decade, invest $200 million a year to develop clean technologies in forestry, fisheries, mining, energy and farming; (8) put another $100 million into organizations that promote clean technology firms; and (9) add $515 million a year to funding for First Nations education, rising through the mandate to a total of $2.6 billion.
Talk about magic thinking and grandiose dreams!
And what about that promise of a modest short-term deficit" of less than $10 billion for each of the first three years, and then a balanced budget by the 2019-2020 fiscal year?
Justin & his finance minister are now projecting a $29.4-billion deficit in 2016-17, followed by a $29-billion shortfall in 2017-18, and over $22 billion in 2018-19.
According to “National Post” columnist John Ivison: “Over the next five years, Tuesday’s budget shows $113.2 billion in red ink, including a $14.3 billion shortfall for 2020-21 — after the next scheduled federal election.”
Returning to the writings Alice Miller, let’s see whether we can identify another typical narcissistic trait which might well apply to Canada’s current Prime Minister?
In particularly, Ms. Miller “deconstructed” the typical behavioral patterns of children raised by gifted and often emotionally remote parents who caused the child to feel “inferior” to their successful parent, and consequently want to win their praise to mollify that inner psychological insecurity.
This child then develops what Miller described as an amazing ability to perceive and respond intuitively (ie,
unconsciously) to the wishes of that parent – and consequently the ability to superficially “emphasize” with needs & wishes of others, a particularly valuable trait for an adult politician.
Combine that with a typical narcissistic need to be admired, and you have a potent stew for what I would label as stupid political actions with likely tragic consequences for the country involved (yes, Canada).
And as revealed by “Rebel TV”, that includes news that the Canadian military has been ordered by Justin Trudeau’s
Liberals to draft plans to house more than 6,000 Muslim migrants on a long-term basis at military bases.
Also according to the same “Rebel TV” report, the Trudeau government plans to set up refugee camp-style accommodations on seven Canadian Forces Bases across Quebec and Ontario – with $46 million of spending budgeted for the first six months.
The bad news for Canadian taxpayers?
For a typical refugee family, that’s a $200,000/year subsidy — not including Medicare or welfare!
Worse, many Canadian armed-service members have been sent eviction notices to make way for the foreign migrants.
So how to best end this er, personal primal scream against the injurious deeds of Canada’s new narcissistic Prime Minister?
Well how about the views of a prominent Brazilian journalist, written after Justin Trudeau recently visited her fair land?
Vilma Gryzinski targeted Mr. Trudeau’s “dazedly well-intentioned” (naive) policies, suggesting that his “inclusive” attitude on immigration and refugees signals "he's soft on terror".
She also sarcastically commented on the “narcissistic” leader’s recent celebrity over the attention he received for a five-year-old photo of him leaning into a table in a peacock pose — and skewed his alleged genetics as follows:
“Justin Trudeau is the incarnation of the dreams of vaguely left-wing liberalism, which is dazedly well-intentioned; a handsome guy who shows off his physics with no shame and in yoga poses — an Oedipean reproduction of his father, Pierre Trudeau.”
Nuff said, on this distressing subject, I would think.
MURRAY SOUPCOFF BIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION
Murray Soupcoff is the author of 'Canada 1984' & co-author of 'Good Bye Canada'.
He was formerly a Senior Partner with Ian Sone & Associates Ltd., Canada's pioneering social-research consulting firm evaluating (bloated) government programs assisting "the needy", and is now the publisher and editor of this conservative/libertarian Web site.
He was also a computer columnist for "Globe & Mail Report on Business"? for 20 years, and producer & head writer, "Inside From The Outside"?, CBC Radio (starring Max Ferguson & Barbara Hamilton).
You can contact Murray at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
His Facebook page Web address is: https://www.facebook.com/murray.soupcoff