The phraseology of the title is intentional. I could have said, Why Stephen Harper must go, but would have taken out all the fun of being mean. You know me; I like putting on the Nixonian charm especially when it comes to someone so Nixon-like.
I chose a question (an earnest, child-like one) because this blog entry is directed at the apparently simple-minded base—ie, anti-intellectual, crotchety, and utterly certain of how right they are (the kind relatives nervously laugh and make excuses for when they say something racist and/or misogynistic). Why must Stephen Harper go?
Stephen Harper, the person, doesn't inspire much fear in anyone really. Outside the system of political machine built around him, he'd be sadly laughable because there is a real disconnect between his person and the vitriol that issues out of his mouth at his personal (current) pet peeves—I put parenthetic "current" because he came out hating China and communism when he was in opposition and now, clearly, he fawns over them and their super-duper rich state-owned oil companies and morally-questionable Chinese digital technologies giants. I guess he had a talking to by his financiers and put on a short leash to his political minders (snotty kids in short pants, to quote his once strongest media mouth piece).
Do I take Stephen Harper as a joke? Yes and no. He's as serious as an aggressive form of a rare stomach cancer (is that overkill?). He is like Dubya who ran an oil company his father gave him to the ground; like him in so many ways. Harper inherited a government that has always been in relative good standing and credibility among Canadians and the world, and now its legislative powers are falling apart. Seems everything he touches turns to poop.
But I digress.
In this digital age of instantaneous global communications (he's actually good at managing messaging, I'll give him that) all of his negative personality characteristics are amplified. The "master strategist"; the "history buff"; the "political predator"; the "best Prime Minister" Canada's ever had (and, by implication, Canada will ever have—doesn't it start to sound a bit like he's Putin light?)...these are all carefully crafted (but poorly cultivated) epithets of the man. There's a epithet for every politically advantageous happening.
They are also signs of narcissism (perhaps once dormant like in most of us) that is spiraling out of control. In this digital communications age, it has become not only a mere narcissism but co-narcissism with his legion of paid and unpaid media trolls.
I came across this passage in Wikipedia entry on co-dependency that seems to fit this novel phenomenon in Canadian politics:
Narcissists, with their ability to "get others to buy into their vision and help them make it a reality," are natural magnets for the "'co-dependent' ... [with] the tendency to put others' need before their own". Sam Vaknin considered that codependents, as "the Watsons of this world, 'provide the narcissist with an obsequious, unthreatening audience ... the perfect backdrop.'" Among the reciprocally locking interactions of the pair, are the way "the narcissist has an overpowering need to feel important and special, and the co-dependent has a strong need to help others feel that way. ... The narcissist overdoes self-caring and demands it from others, while the co-dependent underdoes or may even do almost no self-caring."
In psychoanalytic terms, according to the great Robert Victor, the narcissist "who manifests such 'omnipotent' behaviour and who seems to be especially 'independent' exerts an especially fascinating effect on all ... dependent persons ... [who] struggle to participate in the 'omnipotent' narcissist's power": narcissist and codependent "participate together in a form of an ego-defense system called projective identification."
Scary and sadly creepy. And all so true of Harper and the base. Why must Stephen Harper go? Because we're all on a path no one in their right mind wants to go.