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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Carthago delenda est

As I bask in the warm glow of last night's election results, I'm reminded of an episode from ancient history. In the second century BC after two humiliating wars with Carthage, the politicians of Rome agitated for a final decisive campaign against their rival city-state. Cato the Elder ended each of his speeches with the phrase Carthago delenda est - Carthage must be destroyed - and in the Third Punic War victorious Roman armies finally destroyed the city and sowed the surrounding fields with salt so that it would never rise again.

Well, we've had our third electoral war under Prime Minister Harper; Carthage has finally fallen and the enemy lies vanquished on the battlefield. People say that it is a sign of compassion and maturity to be magnanimous in victory. Nonsense. This triumph has been a long time coming, and it's not enough to have defeated Ignatieff; now the Liberal Party must be destroyed.

For decades Liberals have looked with barely concealed contempt across the moats of Rosedale and Westmount and down from the battlements of U of T and UBC at the rest of Canada. They've lectured us on supposed Canadian values while labelling any disagreement with their agenda as racism, homophobia, misogyny or redneck stupidity. They've used their fifth column in the media and cultural sectors to deliberately demonize and belittle our politicians and our policies. They've subjected the "Harper regime" to withering criticism while ignoring malfeasance in their own ranks. They've screamed about the Prime Minister being undemocratic and holding Parliament in contempt, knowing that recent Liberal Prime Ministers ran their own party and the PMO like Tony Soprano ran New Jersey, dispensing patronage to party friends and leaving cash-stuffed envelopes in restaurants for sycophants eager to do business with the government. They whine about civility in politics while their leader pounds the desk and tells Conservatives to "go to hell". They've foisted out-of-touch eggheads and silver-spoon socialists like Stephane Dion, Michael Ignatieff and the Trudeaus pere & fils on us with their cockamamie social engineering and command economy schemes while howling that anyone who questions the Natural Governing Party is un-Canadian. A party with no ideology other than maintaining power has the nerve to call us ideologically driven and label our Prime Minister as scary.

They have for decades systematically dismantled the legacy of a century of Canadian history. Under Liberal leadership, the thousands of Canadian soldiers killed while fighting the most appalling regimes in history and buried in foreign cemeteries became an embarrassing historical footnote - we're a nation of peacekeepers now. Our historic ties to the British Empire and its legacy have all but been erased as relics of racism and colonialism - we're more proud now of our ties to Castro's Cuba. They've worked hard to detach Canada from the United States while sucking up to despotic hell-holes like China and the Soviet Union. A nation that once sat at the table deciding the fate of the post-war world was reduced on their watch to prattling on about "soft power".

But far more insidious has been the unprecedented expansion of the influence of the state in the lives of Canada's citizens and a disturbing erosion of personal liberties under Liberal leadership. There is no aspect of life in Canada now that has not seen its regulation and control by government increased under Liberal rule. Under Liberal administrations, pervasive income-redistribution taxation policies have now made most of the population dependent in some way on the largesse of the state, stifling entrepreneurial spirit and fostering a culture of dependence. We've been told over and over that individuals, parents and families can't be trusted to make intelligent decisions with their own money; that those decisions are best left to the kindly Liberal bureaucrats of the nanny state else we spend it on beer and popcorn.

It has to stop. The Liberal Party must be destroyed and its fields sown with salt. It's leadership must be driven into political exile and it has to spend years in oblivion just to teach it humility. When the Liberal Party realizes that it is not unpatriotic to have a competing vision for the future of Canada, and that Conservatives have a legitimate and equal claim to represent the people as the government of the nation, THEN I'll welcome them back into the political arena. But it's going to to be awhile, and in the meantime I'm going to savour this moment for a long, long time.

Magnanimous in victory? Not bloody likely.


Anonymous said...

Great rant!

Terrific antidote to what I just read oozing out of Heather Mallick here:

The poor woman is losing it - so blinded by hatred, she can't even get her facts straight.

Anonymous said...


Well written and spot on.

Paul MacDonald said...

They never sowed the fields with salt. It's apocryphal.

Other than that, nice piece

Anonymous said...

Beautiful article and spot on.

Anonymous said...

No, It would be wiser to help the Liberals regroup until they are almost as strong as the NDP. After that, they're on their own. I think we should be slow to cancel that per-vote subsidy.

Sixth Estate said...

Interesting that you regard Roman warfare as a model for Canadian politics.

Where are the Liberal slaves I was promised as booty?

Anonymous said...

love the rant.
I totally agree.

Madman2001 said...

Your posting, as always, was sharp and fresh. I just wish you posted more often (without losing the quality that is).

Thucydides said...

Just to stay with the theme we need to have a slave whisper into the Prime Minister's ear as he walks to the doors of the House; "This too shall pass".

Anonymous said...

Actually I thought the Carthagenians were rather cool with their great generals and elephants. Not so much the Liberals.

I also can't forgive the Liberals for letting the Bloc become the leader of the Official Opposition, when Reform had won only two less seats than the Bloc. This gave the Bloc a great boost - money, resources and status. Of course Reform should have boycotted Parliament, but that's another story. The Bloc can never by itself replace the government so it should never have been given this status.