Memo to Justin Trudeau: any danger lurks to your left, not your right.
It’s a memo the Prime Minister ought to keep in mind as he recovers from his flaying at the hands of the left-wing American comic Hasan Minhaj.
Minhaj, host of the Netflix series “Patriot Act,” tore Trudeau apart in an episode titled “The Two Sides of Canada,” a segment that put more dents in the Trudeau record in 30 minutes than NDP leader Jagmeet Singh could manage in thirty lifetimes. If you haven’t yet watched it, take the half-hour. You won’t regret it. We’ll wait.
Forget the cheap embarrassment of Trudeau not recognizing his fellow world leaders. Ignore the unfavourable re-hash of the SNC Lavalin scandal, complete with a piercing dig at Trudeau’s feminism. Clear away the cringe of Trudeau citing his 1/16th (or was that 1/32nd ?) Malaysian heritage in response to being labeled the ‘White Panther of Wacanada.’ That’s all window dressing.
What Minhaj managed to do is scythe through Trudeau’s credibility and celebrity in a way his many right-wing critics could never do. And in a format that was vastly more entertaining than a recent and critical long-read look at the Trudeau record in The Guardian. It was devastating.
For one, it proved that even though Justin Trudeau is indisputably politician cool, he’s not celebrity cool. Or comedian funny. He’s just a good-looking bloke who happens to be a politician. A politician with a record. A spotty record at that.
To his credit, Minhaj went through that record and found that, once you strip away the rhetoric and spot-on social media presence, there isn’t as much there as you’d expect from someone who was branded as the saviour of global liberalism. Indeed, there’s a lot of the opposite. Hard questions on the environment, Indigenous relations, Quebec’s Bill 21, and Saudi arms sales elicited nothing but waffle from Trudeau. Minhaj’s trenchant critique shows just how beatable Trudeau could (and should) be to a competent progressive politician.