"Taliban Jack": How The NDP Got Left Behind On The Long March To Kandahar
1. It starts with the counterculture narcissism that has steadily eroded "left-wing" politics in Canada in recent years. It has exchanged solidarity for identity politics, and replaced internationalism with cultural relativism. When you replace critical analysis with a crude anti-Americanism, all that's left is the fashionable radicalism of the liberal elites and the pseudo-leftism of the radical chic.
2. There's this huge sucking sound, and the vacuum gets filled by "anti-war" activists of the kind who lead the Toronto Stop the War Coalition and the Canadian Peace Alliance, and even the kind that runs the cult behind the Mobilization Against War and Occupation. This causes the conversation in the NDP 's activist base to go all pear-shaped.
3. To find some highbrow basis for the empty "anti-war" gesture-making that results, you've got to rely on certain academics and policy wonks to dress it all up in the fancy language of dead diplomacy, and it all ends up sounding just like the same bureaucratic racketeering that was behind the UN Special Mission to Afghanistan, which came crashing down around our heads on September 11, 2001.
Jack's got to somehow triangulate a "progressive" position on Afghanistan through these badlands, and come out the other side with something that makes sense to ordinary Canadians.
It can't be done. And if the latest poll results mean anything, it's even worse than I thought.