E-letter: Clouds from both sides now

Watching politics these days is like watching a cloud of mosquitoes. If you focus on any individual, it can go in any direction, but if you back off and refocus, you can see it’s all one cloud and it moves as one. And you can’t get away from it.

Sunday, France elected a man married to a woman old enough to be his mother. And, while I can theoretically support people’s choices in ways to spend their time, it is worth noting that this represents a significant statistical deviation from what we’ve grown to expect. In fact, put in a proper context it’s funny. For example, I have one “friend” that insists upon remarking about my wife whenever we meet in public that, “I see you brought along your daughter.”

Kerry Knudsen

Kerry Knudsen

But in real life, statistical perversions are not particularly funny, and they deserve some attention to see whether they are part of a larger trend – back to that mosquito metaphor. 

So the married French guy was battling a twice-divorced French single mother with three kids. And he won. But don’t worry, we won’t see Occupy *.* line up protests because of this clear persecution of a single mom by a white guy, because she is “far right,” while he is “centrist,” and the two mainstream parties are out. 

I will leave you to discover what makes Macron moderate and Le Pen extreme, since that’s not the point of this essay. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that a single mom advocating for civil unions for same-sex couples, barring the death penalty and allowing abortion should be categorized as “far right.” For that matter, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has deemed her a “far-left politician,” and (now) former French President François Hollande said she was talking a leaflet from a communist-party flyer. Go figure.


Down south in the States, the Americans are all in a bundle over health care. Trump ran on abolishing health care, and so far has run into fierce resistance from his own party, as well as from the Democrats. Surprisingly, former President Obama has decided to weigh in, both on the French election and on health care and the American presidency.

For what he is, Obama strikes me as being something a genius. Either that, or the luckiest buffoon on the planet. He kept promising stuff that was impossible, and Americans kept gobbling it up. A few examples were the promise of $2,500 premium savings per family, keeping your plan, keeping your doctor, competition and so on. But it worked.

Another thing that worked was that he accomplished an astronomical expansion of government spending without ever needing to raise taxes. He just blew expenses over the rainbow and left it to Republicans to realize that borrowed money, like a gambling debt, must be replaced from somewhere. So the Democrats get to spend, and the Republicans are forced to raise taxes. It’s an act of sleight-of-hand that would put Harry Houdini to shame, and it doesn’t even have the escape clause.

Prime Minister Selfie was quick to steal a page from Obama’s book and go on a to-be-authorized spending spree, including a family vacation on a private island owned by the Aga Khan. And the electorate is giving itself whiplash trying to find out which shell its treasury is under.

Meanwhile, our media propagandists march along, gratuitously pointing out this one is right-wing and that one is left-wing. And a right. And a left. And a right, left, right, left, right, left, right.

But stepping back and looking at the clouds, it seems as though Obama was a reaction against politics as usual. People don’t like politics that play them for chumps, and Obama promised a change you can believe in. I don’t think I need to explain that Trump is a political outsider and was elected on that basis. Le Pen and cougar-bait Macron together blew out the French political establishment, and why not? I can’t imagine the irritation at watching, every time the garbage men want another day off, dump trucks blocking up the Champs-Élysées.

It is no wonder, however, that America’s Republicans can’t find a plan that suits them. To me, it goes back to Obama’s genius. They are looking for a plan that will reduce premiums, reduce deductibles, expand coverage, cover pre-existing conditions, etc., for less money without governmental administration. It is my belief that such an animal does not exist.

But the electorate believes it exists, and the electorate is watching the magic show, ready for the rabbit to come out of the hat.


Here in Canada, Prime Minister Selfie (PMS) is negotiating with the U.S. with threats. For one, he is threatening to end B.C. exports of coal to the States. (That ought to scare them.) For another, he is targeting that liberal la la land of all la la lands – Oregon. And he’s going to hit them right where it hurts: in their wine industry. This is where we all hold our heads and run in circles in despair of ever finding an alternative to Oregon wine.

Of interest, whether it be PMS, Macron and Le Pen or the Republicans and about anybody, it seems the ruling class is tone-deaf to the buzzing around their ears. People have had it with the public-financed minuet of self-absorption, they want political change and they will have it, one way or another. Like reserve casino adherents down to their last $500 trillion, they are ready to put it all on seven red on the hope it will finally pay off as promised.

By now, it’s meaningless to comment that I think entrepreneurs and family owned enterprises will pay the losses. Of course we will. That appears to be what we were invented for. The ruling classes have to make money so they can fly their families to Liberia or Bell Island, toss off a few billion in kickbacks and benefits to garbage workers and find somebody willing to pay off the bill. Meanwhile, most business owners seem to be hoping for somebody that will act like an adult.

I suppose you have heard Canada’s Conservative Party is electing its leader at the end of this month. I am listening to hear anything new or revolutionary from there, but I haven’t, which is why I didn’t mention them until the end. I guess we’re stuck with Justin for the foreseeable future. At least he learned one thing from his dad.

“Just watch me.”

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  1. Amit Gupta says

    I really enjoy reading your articles
    And your writing
    Tried to send you a comment many a times but it doesn’t work
    The political commentary below however, is discomforting

    Trump is a disaster for the united states
    But everyone has their opinion
    And I certainly didn’t enjoy finding our yours in this forum

  2. Wayne Laforet says

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. I would hope the general public would get hit on the head and snap them out of their stupor. Whenever someone places their hope and trust in a politician then they are setting themselves up for disappointment.
    I liked what Kevin O’Leary said about becoming a MP. If someone wants to run as a MP they must have a least 2 years of handling payroll.

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