Thursday, October 07, 2004


Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury comic strip is a must read for me every morning. When I get to my office, I turn on my monitor, open my Netscape or Firefox browser (you're not still using that Microsoft Internet Explorer piece of crap are you?!,) sip on my coffee, munch on a raisin biscuit and read Doonesbury. Sure, I hate just about everything that Trudeau stands for, but the guy is funny. Sick, but funny. Misguided, but funny.

Garry Trudeau appears to be about as far left as you can go without tripping over the ideological remains of Lenin and Marx. He is obviously a bright guy; anyone who can maintain multiple characters and complex story lines in his comic strips, over as many years as he has, can't be stupid. But, like so many other bright people, he appears to suspend reason in favour of emotion. Somehow, the brain is subordinate to the heart. If an idea 'feels good,' it must be right. Yes, we all want everyone to be healthy, safe, educated and prosperous. Those of us with at least one foot in reality recognize that for that to be so, some effort has to be made by those wishing improvement for themselves. Consider the following, often attributed to Abraham Lincoln but more likely penned by the Reverend William J. H. Boetcke:

"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
"You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
"You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
"You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
"You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
"You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
"You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
"You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
"You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.
"You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."

That's the way it goes, Mr. Trudeau. Neither you, nor any other do-gooder, bleeding heart liberal, will ever achieve societal equilibrium by reducing everything to the lowest common denominator. It can only be achieved by encouraging the so-called disadvantaged to take reponsibility for themselves and trying, by hard work and application, to improve their lot themselves. Sniping at those who have already achieved some measure of success is petty and shortsighted and will never solve any problem.

None of the above is intended to convey the idea that politicians and business leaders should be free from scrutiny or that they should not be pilloried if they prove to be dishonest or just plain stupid. Just make sure, Mr. Trudeau, that the pens and brushes you use to bring down those with whom you do not agree philosophically, are applied as mercilessly to those duplicitous and mendatious folks who escape your wrath just because they happen to share your worldview.

If I had your talent, Mr. Trudeau, I could think of many charlatans on the left side of the political spectrum who need some skewering. Let me know if you need a list.


  1. good stuff,

    Along the same lines as;

  2. Thanks, Anonymous. I read the page you suggested. Good read and irrefutable logic. I wrote an (almost tongue-in-cheek) article in the form of a letter to my (then) ten-year-old son trying to make some sense of all the 'isms' out there. It's called Political Philosophooey and can be found here:

  3. Welcome to the wonderful world of political commentary where you can beat upon your enemies while simultaneously protecting those who share your political thought-space even if they are intellecticually inconsistent, ignorant, etc. Welcome to the world of political thought without the philosophical base from which to form coherent political thoughts.

    And so it goes where the punditocracy can pillory candidate X because they claim that he will restrict freedom all the while ignoring the fact that candidate Y (their fair-haired boy) has actually taken their freedoms away. They can do this and continually ignore the fact that both candidate X and Y look, smell and back platforms that came from the southbound end of a northbound dog.

  4. You have a great turn of phrase there, Pope. Your comments are all too true, and unlike dog poop, pass the smell test.