HISTORY OBVIOUSLY REPEATS ITSELF …
Categories: Historical Reprints
Source: The New Times, Vol. 34, No. 7, July 1968
Transcribed here from a PDF downloaded at the web site of ALOR, the Australian League of Rights.
Frightening Canadian Federal Elections
Mass Hysteria and Nation-Wide Smearing
By Eric D. Butler
The following report by Mr. Butler was prepared on the eve of the Canadian Federal elections. Mr. Ron Gostick, Director of The Canadian League of Rights, played a major role in the elections. If it had not been for the tremendous campaign initiated by Mr. Gostick, the Trudeau victory would have been astronomical. But as Mr. Butler reports, there is every sign of a major Conservative grass-roots upsurge.
The Canadian Federal elections of 1968 can only be described as incredible. And frightening. In the middle of the campaign, Mr. Pierre Elliott Trudeau, suddenly lashed out at what was described across Canada as “hate literature”. Mr. Trudeau charged that people like Ron Gostick, whose publication of Mr. Trudeau’s Socialist background caused a nation-wide uproar, were “sick” and that their propaganda was an insult to the intelligence of the Canadian people. But at the same time those directing the Liberal Party campaign were blatantly insulting the intelligence of the Canadian electors by using the mass media to project what has been aptly described as Trudeaumania. The result was the spectacle of something approaching mass hysteria in some centres where Mr. Trudeau appeared. In Calgary, Alberta, Mr. Trudeau was unable to address one crowd because the loudspeakers broke down. But this didn’t matter: the presence of Mr. Trudeau was apparently all that was necessary. Rational discussion and responsible voting became increasingly difficult as the campaign developed.
One of the most disturbing features of the Canadian elections has been the use of teenagers to help stir excitement. Those who know their history will recall that Mussolini and Hitler made special use of youth movements based upon mass emotionalism. The Communists have also used young people, although generally by harnessing up their idealism. There has been increasing use of young non-electors in American political campaigning. I have met young American students on the West Coast of America who had come from the East to campaign for Senator Eugene McCarthy. The late Senator Robert Kennedy made a special appeal to young people, and openly urged students to riot. He said that rioting on the university campuses today would make for a better America tomorrow! The Trudeaumania of the Canadian elections was an extension of the carefully designed campaign that won Mr. Trudeau the leadership of the Liberal Party convention by presenting him as a combination of a brilliant academic and a “swinger” who was in touch with the mood of the younger generation. His publicity managers even reduced his age from 48 to 46 in their campaign to project Mr. Trudeau as a man of youth. no one felt it necessary to apologize for what was obviously a deliberate falsehood.
As Mr. Trudeau’s writings and academic career show that he is a cool, calculating man, with a high degree of intelligence, he must have found the mass hysteria generated around his electioneering highly amusing. During the national television debate he was presented by his managers as a sober responsible man. His hair was combed normally while his dress was subdued and conservative. He spoke quietly but effectively. But the cameras also revealed another Pierre Trudeau, undoubtedly the real Trudeau. He looked haughty and almost disdainful. However, he played his role admirably in the election campaign, kissing the teenagers, quipping his way past difficult questions, and saying comparatively little on policy issues. The electors were not invited by Liberal Party candidates to support clearly defined policies, but were invited to surrender to the mass emotionalism centred on the major slogan of “Go Trudeau”. It is true that Mr. Trudeau’s propaganda machine urged Canadians to support “One Canada” and the “just society”. But the only clear impression that one could obtain from all this was that Canada was to be further socialized. However, every effort was made to keep Mr. Trudeau’s Socialist ideas from public discussion.
Serious Economic And Financial Problems
There is no doubt that the Trudeau image coul dhave been severely damaged if the Conservative Party leadership had been prepared to demand that Mr. Trudeau’s record be examined and discussed, and had genuine alternative to offer. There was no realistic criticism of the Liberal Party’s financial and economic policies, probably because this would have placed the Conservatives in the position where they would have to state some definite policies of their own. There is no doubt that the Canadian economy faces serious problems. There has been a serious slow-down in the rate of building, particularly home building. Unemployment is serious in some areas. Interest rates are extremely high. It is difficult to see how the already heavy tax burden can be increased, and yet neither of the major parties has been prepared to give a firm assurance that taxes will not be further increased. Inflation has been growing at an increasing rate in Canada in recent years. Conservative Party leader Robert Stanfield has offered no solution except a vague promise for greater Government “responsibility” — whatever that means. Both Liberals and Conservatives have promised to do something to help the more economically depressed Provinces. But both give the impression that some Provinces will have to suffer financially in order to achieve this.
If ever there was a time when Canadians should be prepared to consider the ecnomic and financial realism of Social Credit, it is at present. But the tragic truth is, as I have reported in the past, that the Social Credit movement in western Canada has been led out in the desert of party politics over the past 20 years and left there to die. During the past twenty years the Manning Government in Alberta has had every opportunity to build up by steady education a firm base from wihch Social Credit could have reached into the rest of Canada. But so far from extending the base that which did exist has been progressively eroded. Mr. Manning may argue that he had no constitutional power to implement Social Credit financial and economic policies. But it would be instructive to hear an explanation of why the Albertan educational system, over which Mr. Manning’s Government has had complete control, has fostered so much Socialist and Communist teaching. if the British Columbia and Albertan Governments had been genuinely concerned about advancing Social Credit, they could by now have built a firmly based movement in western Canada. Their failure to do this is one of the great disasters of this century. The story of whether this failure has been the result of deliberative sabotage or ignorance remains to be written.
Conservative Leaders Join With Liberals
The only realistic comment during the national television debate between the party leaders was the observation by Mr. Caouette from Quebec that if substantial long-term credits could be extended to Communist countries so that Canada could export to them, then why could not Canadians extend similar credits to themselves to make use of their own resources. New Democratic Party (Socialist) leader Douglas frankly said that Canada should extend diplomatic recognition to Red China so that Canada might export more wheat to China, thus helping to solve the growing problems of Canadian wheat growers. Conservative leader Stanfield agreed with Liberal leader Trudeau that Canada should seek to establish diplomatic relations with Communist China. Also that Red China should be seated in the United Nations. It is almost certain now that Canada is moving towards open diplomatic relations with Red China. A careful study of what Conservative leader Stanfield and Liberal Party leader Trudeau have said during the Canadian elections justifies the cynical attitude of those electors who say in effect that there is no real policy difference, that both are Socialistic, and that in effect electors can only choose the man they believe will be a better administrator than the other. The me-tooism of the Conservatives, depriving Canadians of a really meaningful choice, has been serious. But much more serious is the manner in which Conservative leaders have attempted to protect the Liberals by joining with them in declaring tht there should be no public examination of Mr. Trudeau’s background. It is this aspect of the Canadian elections that has shocked many Canadians, including members and some candidates of the Conservative Party.
When Mr. Ron Gostick’s Canadian Intelligence Service first published a background survey on Mr. Trudeau prepared by Mr. Pat Walsh, Research Director, Canadian Intelligence Publications and a former R.C.M.P. undercover agent, it caused a stir inside the Liberal Party but not sufficient to prevent Mr. Trudeau from being elected leader. It was clear then that Mr. Trudeau had deep and well-organized support inside the mass media. Mr. Trudeau’s mass media allies were determined to provide their man full protection. A few columnists and radio commentators suggested that Mr. Walsh’s background material be at least examined. But the Trudeau backers felt that they could safely ignore this, with the great majority never realizing that there were serious charges, which Mr. Trudeau should answer. However, a development of the greatest significance started to take place. There was an increasing flood of demands right across Canada for The Canadian Intelligence Services issue on Mr. Trudeau. The flood reached tidal proportions and Canadian Intelligence Publications could not meet the demand. Some groups were authorized to reprint. Others did not bother to seek permission to republish. A grass-roots development was now taking place, which had broken the boycott of silence by the mass media. Mr. Trudeau’s strategists then decided that something had to be done.
Tremendous Victory for Gostick Movement
Seen in retrospect, I believe that the decision by the Trudeau strategists to openly attack and to attempt to smear Mr. Gostick will be seen as a tremendous victory for the movement Mr. Gostick leads. Mr. Trudeau made no attempt to answer the major points made in the Walsh survey, but tried to make the minor points sound foolish. The strategy was to brand the survey as an example of “hate-literature” and “smeaing”. But the nation-wide attack upon Mr. Gostick resulted in an increased avalanche of orders for the Canadian Intelligence Service. Millions heard about it for the first time. Mr. Gostick was interviewed on national television and by the press. Right across Canada the Canadian Intelligence Service was debated. I have been through a few smear campaigns in my time, but few could compare with the vicious 1968 campaign in Canada against Mr. Ron Gostick. He has emerged as the clear winner because this campaign has focused attention on the role of subversive influences inside the mass media. It has also shaken large numbers of rank and file Conservatives, who were shocked when Conservative Party leaders came out immediately supporting the nation-wide campaign stating that any examination of Mr. Trudeau’s background was “smearing” and could not be tolerated. With his former Socialist colleagues of the NDP supporting his left-flank and now the Conservative leaders supporting his right-flank, Mr. Trudeau’s most vulnerable point, his background and his Socialist views, was reasonably covered.
It is no secret that former Conservative leader John Diefenbaker was extremely restive about the official Conservative policy that Mr. Trudeau’s background was not to be discussed. Many other candidates felt the same way. But Mr. Eddie Goodman, National Chairman of the Conservative Party, had laid down the policy of joining in the national smear against Ron Gostick. Those who spread “hate-literature” were “sick”. Perhaps it is not without significance that Mr. Goodman is a Political Zionist. The impression was given that the same people were running both the Liberal and the Conservative party campaigns. Many Conservative candidates across Canada lost no time in expressing their detestation of the “smear” campaign against Mr. Trudeau. Even Mr. Robert Thompson, former Social Credit leader, who joined the Conservative Party to run as a Conservative candidate, apparently found it necessary to go on record as being opposed to the “hate-literature” against Mr. Trudeau. This is not the first time that Mr. Thompson has supported an anti-Gostick campaign, and has caused even some of those voting for Mr. Thompson to doubt whether he is a man who can be relied upon in a crisis.
Conservative Backlash Developing
The major backlash from the Conservatives’ protection of Mr. Trudeau is yet to come. After all, there was nothing obscure about Mr. Trudeau’s views on how Canada should be socialized by making use of the type of strategy outlined by the Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse-tung. He had outline it in his own writings. But when the Canadian League of Rights in Calgary, Alberta, attempted to put a large advertisement in the Calgary Herald, urging that Mr. Trudeau be allowed to speak for himself by quoting his own words, the advertisement was refused. The nation-wide smear against Mr. Gostick has resulted in a flood of new contacts. Rank and file Conservatives, including candidates, are going to ask why Mr. Trudeau was given official Conservative Party protection. They are going to ask whether the same insidious influences in the mass media reach into the top levels of the Conservative Party as well as the Liberal Party. The stage has been set for a coalescing of genuine conservative anti-Communists around the developing Canadian League of Rights. For every action there is reaction. And in reaction guided by a dedicated and informed minority which offers the greatest hope that a Civilization based upon freedom and individual responsibility can survive those attempting to destroy the individual by organizing him into larger and more hysterical mobs.
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History obviously repeats itself: “Hysteria now rules Conservative movement’s hate-on for Justin Trudeau”