Thursday, April 24, 2008

Why I Don't Hate Stephen Harper

I received some angry rebukes from Harper supporters in response to the item I posted, "What I can't stand about Stephen Harper." I was accused to hating Harper. Coming from that part of the political spectrum that embraces hatred, along with fear and suspicion, as philosophical staples, my critics probably just can't help themselves.

For the record, I don't hate Stephen Harper. I don't hate people as a rule, it takes far too much effort and tends to cloud the mind. I'll save my hatred for someone of much greater consequence than this fellow.

I can't stand some of Mr. Harper's policies and I can't stand some of his actions and skullduggery. I routinely comment on his hypocrisy and duplicity and yet I don't hate him. To me, at least, hatred is the most extreme variety of disapproval or dislike, an irrational emotion that carries a desire to see the person harmed or destroyed. I'd be enormously pleased to see Harper and his policies powerfully rejected by the electorate but that's about it.

Another point that my rightwing scolds bring up is the notion that Harper deserves our respect. I see nothing at all in him warranting my respect. Withholding my respect, however, is based on his actions and ideas and is not tantamount to hatred.

Harper loves America and he loves the American way although he's clever enough to know not to make that too obvious while he still heads a minority government. The irony is, if he was an American his political career would be dead. Look at the demeaning remarks he made about Canada and the Canadian people, how he mocked us to an audience of influential Americans in Montreal a decade ago. Any American leader who had shown such disrespect to his nation and people would be shown the door and handed a sandwich wrapped in a road map. He wouldn't be able to stand for dog catcher much less president. For Canadian conservatives, however, that same behaviour in their leader is just fine. Not only fine, they can't wait to proclaim their respect for the man who so plainly doesn't respect our country or our people.

I don't respect Stephen Harper but that's because I am proud of my country and my people. I don't respect Stephen Harper's policies or his chicanery or his hypocrisy or his duplicity. There are many things about Stephen Harper I can't stand. But I don't hate Stephen Harper. He's not worth that.


Anonymous said...

The balance point is probably supposed to be that we respect the office but do not care for the man's politics.
That would be the balance point but the fact is, Stephen Harper assumes an unequivocal right to make up his own rules as he goes along and then rub our noses in it with "color commentary", infused by a stench that'd make a maggot puke.
That, it should be said, makes Steve an unequivocal prick.
So what the hell, insult the man. What comes around has been going around his office for a very, very long time.

The Mound of Sound said...

Well said, Foot. But don't you think "unequivocal" is a bit extreme?

Fish said...

I respect the fact that Harper was able to get more votes than any other party leader during the last election, which is to say that I respect the right of the Canadian people to choose our leader.

He sure as Hell is not my choice, and I'll happily shout from every rooftop that I think he is doing a bad job of running the country, but until the next election (God, and the Canadian electorate willing) he is still my prime minister, who was elected my fellow citizens, and that at least warrants just a little bit of respect. It sucks, but there you have it.

LeDaro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LeDaro said...

Most probably he is a good husband to his wife, good father to his children, and good to his friends if he has any left. And a good man that way.

No one here is implying personal hatred towards the man. As a Prime Minister his policies and actions suck and that is where the problem lies.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mound, for a couple of great posts. On the same topic, Rebecca Firth has a great piece on why we instinctively distrust the man:

Anonymous said...

Your comment "Coming from that part of the political spectrum that embraces hatred, along with fear and suspicion, as philosophical staples, ..." is an excellent example of why politics is so much fun -- I have been observing Liberals in action for many years (going back to the early Mulroney years) and I can honestly say that I see them as "coming from that part of the political spectrum that embraces hatred, along with fear and suspicion, as philosophical staples. I do understand that you don't see yourself(selves) that way but if you would stop listening to your pretty words and take a cold hard look at what your philosophy and actions have wrought you will see a long string of damage to the Canadian public with a decling level of democracy in Canada, a worsening level of health and education standards because the left wing agenda is paramount to the actual health or level of education; your anti-democratic support of abusive Human Rights Commissions and activists courts hinder our growth and hurt our Canadian character. I am sure you will find reasons to accuse Conservatives of many destructive tendencies also. Politics is interesting because I can look at something and you can look at something and see totally different things. I truly beleive left wing groups and philosophies are hateful and hurtful -- this has come about after several decades of watching Liberals excecute their ideals and watching the hurt and harm that result.

The Mound of Sound said...

Well Ron, that's your opinion and you're welcome to it. We do see things differently.