Classical Canadian Tory Meets Republican Conservative
I would be quite willing, personally, to leave the Hudson Bay Company awilderness for the next half century, but I fear if the Englishmen do not go there, Yankees will.
Sir John A. Macdonald 1865
There were two heads of state that President Kennedy had little patience for and often faced off with in nasty sparring sessions: General Sukarno of Indonesia and Prime Minister John Diefenbaker of Canada. Diefenbaker, again and again, refused to give Kennedy his way. The King of Camelot was never pleased with the way he was treated in Canada.
It was Diefenbaker that gave a red light to
taking warheads for the Bomarc missiles in Canada when Kennedy insisted we do so. Ironically, it was Pearon, the peacemaker, in the 1963 election that promised to take the warheads.
It was Diefenbaker that made it clear that Canada would trade with Cuba and China when the Americans placed trade embargos on these states, and it was Diefenbaker that was quite willing to doubt and question Kennedy’s interpretation of the facts in the Cuban missile crisis. It was Diefenbaker again that wondered whether Canada should join the Organization of American States (a front for American policy in Central America).
In short, Diefenbaker, as a Conservative
Prime Minister, dared to doubt and saw through the seductive imperialism of
Kennedy’s Camelot. The NDP voted with the Liberals to bring down the
Conservative government, and in the 1963 election, Canadians voted against
Diefenbaker’s brand of nationalism and brought in the pro-Kennedy liberal
Lester Pearson. The integrationist approach of Pearson had many historic ties
with other Canadian liberals.
for Nation (1965), by George Grant, recounts, in a
graphic political and philosophic way, this sordid tale. Grant had pleaded with
Tommy Douglas not to vote with Pearson to bring down the Conservative government.
Grant knew only too well where Pearson’s north star was and why.
We have, within a few decades, come to the
place in which a Conservative Prime Minister doubted and opposed the democratic
imperialism of Kennedy to the place in which a Conservative Prime Minister
genuflects before the much cruder republican imperialism of Bush and tribe. How
have we come to this?
Prime Minister Harper tends to follow, for
the most part, the American lead on the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the American
opposition to Kyoto and the environment, the
abundant fruit of free trade, closer ties with the USA on in economic and trade issues and many other hot button social issues in the culture wars. Harper tends to
march lock step with most of Bush’s policies and actions on a variety of
issues. Is this, though, at its best and noblest Classical Canadian
Was Diefenbaker a conservative of the
Macdonald variety? Yes! He knew what the Yankees were all about. Is Harper a
conservative of the Macdonald and Diefenbaker type? The answer is obvious.
Harper and clan are eager and keen to bow low to the New Romans and their
Caesar. Such a low bow and slavish obedience could not but make a Classical
Conservative of the Macdonald and Diefenbaker clan ill at ease with the betrayal
of a nobler way.