Monday, January 18, 2016

Good Clickbait, Bad Punditry, Canadian Edition

Michael Den Tandt is a pretty good columnist, but he just crushed his own reputation today with potentially the dumbest op-ed of 2016.  Yes, the year is young, but arguing that the new government should demonstrate more "fury" over terrorism?  As I tweeted last night, what good decisions have come when one is furious?  No, I am not satiring.  Here is part of this incredibly weak hottake:
Has the government, and Trudeau personally, condemned these atrocities? Certainly they have. Canada “strongly condemns the deadly terrorist attacks,” the PM said in a prepared statement in response to the Burkina-Faso massacre. On his personal Twitter feed, he offered his condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those murdered. In the statement, he proposed a “speedy recovery” to the injured. “We are deeply saddened by these senseless act of violence on innocent civilians,” the release went on.
My question: Where is the expression of fury at the sociopaths who chose to murder these good people in cold blood? Where is the resolve to fight back, the passion for justice?
Resolve is important, but fury?  Passion?  Puh-lease.  Given that the terrorists tend to want their targets to lash out without thinking, given that one could argue that the target of ISIS is reason that comes along with the whole Enlightenment thing, it would seem to me that fury/passion would be precisely the reaction the terrorists want. 

While it might make people feel good to demonstrate anger and bluster, I think one of the reasons why the Liberals and Trudeau did so well in the campaign was precisely because the previous government overheated the rhetoric so much.  Blowing hot all the time may be good for warming up one's house on a cold Canadian day, but making a difference?  Perhaps setting unrealistic expectations, but passion as good policy?  No.

Where is the policy, Den Tandt asks?  And that is a fair question.  But also reeks of impatience.  Yes, they have had nearly 100 days, but the first month was summit-apoolza, so little time to develop coherent policies and the next month was the holidays.  I would like to see a clear decision quickly about the Iraq/Syria mission, but I would like far more is a good, well-conceived decision.  Haste, passion, fury?  These are not good ingredients for a good policy. 

Perhaps we now need hottakes rather than insight?

No comments: