Perhaps misquoting the same person over and over again and expecting people to believe you’re right is the real definition of insanity.
Sorry, we might have to throw away all those Albert Einstein posters. Because it wasn’t the 20th century’s resident genius that uttered the famous quote about repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result being the hallmark of a true simpleton.
It seems as though novelist Rita Mae Brown should actually get the credit rather than dear old Albert. (Oh well, the Theory of Relativity still takes some beating when it comes to true originality of thought.)
But even if the source is wrongly attributed, there’s no doubt the sentiment rings true, which is why so many Canadians should be questioning their own intelligence quota, having voted back into office Justin Trudeau’s government. Thankfully some did see the light, which is why his government is now reduced to minority size.
Yes, he’s back, promising to listen to all Canadians and be more inclusive, etc. etc. Sure. His hearing range might indeed stretch as far as the offices of SNC-Lavalin and to those fortunate regulars on the Montreal/Ottawa cocktail circuit but that’s about the full range of Trudeau’s attention span. Everyone else – especially those grumpy folk in far-away Alberta – is just an extra in his ongoing personal drama.
And that includes the rather boisterous fellow now inhabiting the White House.
Playing it for giggles in front of a trio of world leaders at the recent NATO get-together in England, our prime minister was caught on an open mic mocking Donald Trump.
Now there’s many a laugh to be gained at the local comedy club at the expense of The Donald. But the prime minister of Canada should have sense enough to resist getting up on stage.
Saying it was a private comment doesn’t wash either: he wasn’t talking with his local butcher, but instead the leaders of France, Britain and the Netherlands. Who is to say, regardless of the open mic debacle, that any of those three wouldn’t use his comments for some strategic advantage with the U.S. down the road?
But come on, did we really expect something different from this fellow? He was a walking embarrassment for our country for four years as he wandered across the world stage – no doubt in his mind the best acting gig he’s ever managed to snag – and now he’s simply getting a second wind.
And does anyone think Trump is merely going to shrug it off? Not a chance. He has skin so thin it’s transparent and his quick comment about Trudeau being two-faced is likely just an opening salvo.
Anyhow, even if the U.S. president decided to let it slide, the Democrats aren’t going to let him. Already Joe Biden is using the clip of Trudeau as part of his advertising blitz in his bid to get the party nomination to take on Trump next year.
Now, if this was just a Trudeau and Trump spat – both of them extreme narcissists – we could buy the popcorn and merrily sit back to watch.
But of course it’s not. Like it or not, this country is heavily dependent on good relations and a strong trading partnership with the United States.
Someone once captured that relationship perfectly when speaking to a U.S. audience many years ago.
“Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”
Justin Trudeau should look up the author of that sage warning. He’d discover it was his dad.
Chris Nelson is a long-time journalist. His columns on Alberta politics run monthly in the St. Albert Gazette.