Hello, and welcome to the eighth weekly issue of Bright Morning. It is hard to believe that we have been at this for eight weeks already. As always, we are extremely grateful for your viewership and hope that you continue to provide us with feedback as we grow. Having said that, let us jump into some hot, spicy stories and analysis from the past week.
| POLITICS & ECONOMY
Gone, the Orange Man is… begun, the Trade Wars have
The Nitty Gritty:
On his first day in office, President Biden cancelled the Keystone XL Pipeline project, which instantly washed away thousands of jobs
The Orange Man is gone. Persona non grata. Never to be spoken of again. Joe Biden has been sworn in as President, and now we can all celebrate our unity as we run along flowery meadows and rainbow skies, as the children splash around in the rivers of chocolate and play with gumdrop smiles. We’ve been saved… right?
Well, within hours of his inauguration, Biden signed a tsunami of executive orders that are, at the very least, divisive - particularly towards the working class. The most significant was the cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline. In one swift motion, thousands of Canadians and Americans saw their jobs erased and over 1.5 billion dollars washed down the drain. That’s right, folks. In a time when unemployment is soaring and all wheels need to be rolling towards economic recovery, Biden’s first move as President was to make more Canadians and Americans unemployed.
Fortunately, not all Canadians are pushovers. Jason Kenney, the Premier of Alberta, was furious. Correctly referring to the order as a “gut punch,” Kenney vowed retaliation, with or without the support of Justin Trudeau. Trudeau, whose response to the cancellation can best be described as a halfhearted shaking of the head, said that he is “disappointed.” However, a group of Ontario Premiers have Kenney’s back and are pressing Trudeau to retaliate via “proportional economic consequences,” including, but not limited to, demands that the US Administration pays for the project that it just flushed down the toilet.
You might be against the use of fossil fuels - as you read or listen to this on your computer, phone, or tablet that was made with fossil fuels - but there is no denying how much of a slap in the face this move is. It sets a dangerous precedent for Canada-US relations. If Trudeau does not respond (which is the most likely outcome), then it will signal to Biden that he can simply renege on any deal, regardless of how much time and money has been invested, and that we will take it. The move also signals a return to the tried-and-failed policies of Barack Obama, where his protectionism severely crippled the Canadian steel industry. And just like Obama used to do immediately after rear-ending Canada, Biden will woo us with flowery language about how much he loves Canada, Hockey, and Tim Hortons. As Ben Shapiro describes, despite the drooling from the media and rich elites over the inauguration of Biden, the harsh reality is that this is the tip of the iceberg for bad economic policies. And the working class is going to pay for it - literally.
The New Glass Ceiling
The Nitty Gritty:
Amongst the plethora of executive orders signed on Biden’s first day in office included one of which that severely threatens women’s rights: Preventing and Combatting Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation
In addition to the erasure of thousands of jobs, Biden’s first day as President also saw the erasure of women’s spaces via executive order. The order, called “Preventing and Combatting Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation” claims that “every person should be treated with respect and dignity, no matter who they are or whom they love.” It is hard to disagree with this statement, and that is precisely the point - anti-oppositional language is a feature of ideologues. But underneath this flowery language is the elimination of women’s spaces. As Abigail Shrier writes, what this executive order does is permit “biological boys who self-identify as girls on to girls’ sports teams, or [the schools will] face administrative action from the Education Department.” In other words, if a biological man claims that he is a woman, he can now play on women’s sports teams, compete against women, or enter women’s bathrooms and locker rooms.
We are about to wade into very deep waters with this following argument, so we will tread carefully. First, it should go without saying that the issue here is not that we believe trans women (biological men who identify as women) are predators, abusers, and rapists. We are also not suggesting that individuals who identify as trans should not be treated with dignity or respect. So, please consider extending us some generosity as we proceed.
The problem with this executive order is that it denies biology. Men are not women. There are biological differences that exist between men and women; the most notable being that men are, on average, physically larger, stronger, and faster. Thus, to allow biological men to compete in women’s sports is to eliminate fair competition for women. Abigail Shrier has done extensive research in this area and she has documented a concerning trend where women feel “demoralized by the blatant unfairness of a rigged competition.” Even less helpful is that when women raise objections to this intrusion, they are denounced as “transphobic.”
Consider the following example: a trans woman competes against a biological woman in a college-level wrestling or boxing match. Given the physical advantages afforded to the trans woman, such as increased strength and bone density via higher levels of testosterone, it is likely that the trans woman will seriously injure the biological woman. This will all be done under the approval of ideologically-motivated politicians.
Is this morally acceptable? Does it not cut against the entire movement of second wave feminism, which fought for women’s spaces, the right for women to not be judged according to the standards of men, and the right to leave abusive environments? What if you were the parent of the daughter who just suffered a brain injury from this government-sanctioned beatdown? Is it responsible for governments to mandate this potential for serious injury? Would you be “transphobic” if you objected?
Better solutions are needed. Now. The excesses of trans ideology are threatening women and it does not benefit us to avoid the conversation any longer out of a fear of transphobia. As evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein tweeted, “it’s not possible to provide protections for women if a man can declare himself a woman and access the same protections. That’s not an opinion. That is a logical fact. Evolution endowed the sexes differently. Protections for women are just and must be defended.” We agree.
The War on (Domestic) Terror
While legacy media outlets and celebrities continue to drool over Biden’s inaugural speech, there were several utterances that were left unexamined. In his speech, Biden identified new enemies for America, stating that there is “a rise in political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we will confront and defeat.” Okay. But how are we defining these threats?
When speaking about “confronting and defeating” internal threats, we need to be absolutely sure that our language is precise, specific, and accurate. But the way in which these threats are defined is the opposite of that. What and who is a political extremist? Is it all 74 million people who voted for Donald Trump? CNN Anchor Don Lemon certainly thinks so. What is a white supremacist? Is it a member of the Ku Klux Klan (which would be accurate), or is it anyone who disagrees with Robin DiAngelo or Ibrim X. Kendi’s understanding of the term, where white supremacy effectively operates like the Force in Star Wars - that is, a mystical presence that some are more sensitive to than others?
Moreover, who is a domestic terrorist? We do not know, but former director of the CIA John Brennan certainly seems to have an idea. According to Brennan, these internal threats can include “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians” (our emphasis). Setting aside the lack of specificity given to any of these labels for a moment, let us focus on one absurdity glaring us in the face: libertarians. Really? A libertarian, by definition, is someone who “seeks to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association.” But not anymore. Now, this person is among the ranks of the Unabomber.
What about Antifa groups, though? Are they domestic terrorists? Nope. According to Joe Biden, “Antifa is just an idea.”
Over 74 million Americans voted for Donald Trump. Despite the virtuous calls for unity during Biden’s inauguration speech, people on the left appear to be reducing them all down to “white supremacists”, “racists” et al.
Is anyone stopping to ask why half of the country voted for the orange man?
This vague, sweeping language is a feature, and not a bug, for ideologues. If Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want to unify the country, then perhaps they should start by attempting to understand their opposition. What led to Trump’s appeal in the first place? After 4 years, there have been no serious attempts by the Democratic Party to contend with this question. Instead, the Democrats have doubled-down on Hillary Clinton’s insightful analysis that Trump voters are a “basket of deplorables” and now imbibe this idea within their policies and language.
More broadly, conservatism continues to be treated as a dirty word. It appears that the label “conservative” carries with it the image of a cartoonish, fat-faced, uptight, and misogynistic WASP from the 1950s. But nothing could be further from the truth. As we have been at pains to point out, we see conservatism as a restraining impulse. It is a rational skepticism that is designed to test new ideas before they enter the culture en masse. It is a value system that seeks to do the least amount of damage possible as the culture evolves. It is the recognition that it is easier to destroy than it is to build, and that we should not carelessly denigrate institutions and values simply because they are older. It has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with values. Evidence of this can be seen with the fact that Donald Trump received a larger number of votes from visible minorities than any other Republican candidate since the 1960s. Yet the Democrats (and progressives, in general) continue to ignore this. Why?
Perhaps conservatives (and classical liberals) could be more assertive in making this distinction in everyday speech. Instead of masking their beliefs, as they so often do, with meaningless statements such as “I am socially liberal but fiscally conservative,” perhaps they could learn to articulate their values with honesty and without shame. It is okay to think differently. In fact, our entire society is designed to work in concert with people who think differently. Speak up, or else someone will speak for you. Similarly, it is important that we do not imbibe ideas that we do not believe in. As Douglas Murray states, such behaviour demoralizes our souls. Finally, as a friend from across the aisle recently told me, it is imperative that we learn to speak without debating.
To close, not every Trump voter was a rioter on Capitol Hill. Not every person who opposes wokeism is a white supremacist. Not every pot-smoking libertarian with a Rand Paul bumper sticker is a domestic terrorist. But at this time, it appears that the new Administration has no interest in recognizing this extremely important distinction. Instead of “unity,” the ethos of Biden and Harris looks a lot more like “unify with us… or else.”
Further Listening 🎞️
It is a treat for the mind when we get to listen to two of the most influential public intellectuals of our time speak to one another, and this is exactly what we were gifted with this week. Watch here as Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray speak about The Madness of Crowds, COVID, where the right goes wrong, and much more. You will not be disappointed.
Until next week, thank you all for joining us, and best wishes.