Many years ago, I was reading the transcript of a debate between a biologist and a young-earth creationist (whose names, mercifully, escape me at the moment since neither of them did a particularly stellar job). Not surprisingly, during each man's presentation, their respective supporters in the audience would applaud wildly whenever they thought a point was scored.
During their summations, the creationist pulled a bit of a fast one when he stated (and I'm paraphrasing), "In the end, it's all about wanting the best possible science education for our children. So those people who are here this evening, if you support quality science education, stand up and show it."
Oh, that was clever.
What the creationist did was a well-known and sleazy kind of "bait-and-switch." Naturally, everyone there was prepared to say that they were in favour of good science education (based on how they defined it, of course.) So it wouldn't be at all surprising if the creationists in the audience immediately leapt to their feet and applauded madly.
But what about the supporters of biological evolution? What were they supposed to do? Of course they supported good science education but, if they had stood as well, there's no doubt that that gesture would have been re-interpreted after the fact as overwhelming, bipartisan support for the creationist speaker.
More recently, this bait-and-switch trick in public discourse has been on spectacular display south of the border. See, if you publicly "support the troops," then that support is repackaged as if it were support for the Bush administration. And if you disagree with King George and his minions? Well, then, clearly, you don't support the troops. I'm sure you can see how this works by now. Which brings us to "Wear Red Day," and the latest incarnation of right-wing, bait-and-switch sleaziness.
Canada's wankers would, naturally, have you believe that wearing red is to show support for "the troops." But does anyone actually believe that? Let's consider the evidence, shall we, once again stealing from Mark C. since he's such a delightful source of wanker silliness. As Mark quotes:
Hundreds of military spouses, family members and others are expected to rally on Parliament Hill tomorrow in response to a “Wear Red” campaign launched by family members of soldiers at the CFB Petawawa who last month began a six-month tour of duty in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Now there's the first hint that something devious is up. See, it's not just a "wear red" thing, is it? No, what's happening is a rally on Parliament Hill, where it's going to be irresistibly tempting to portray that mass of humanity as showing their support for the Harper government and its policies after the fact. I mean, be honest -- if you were in charge, could you resist the potential PR bonanza?
What? Me, a conspiracy theorist? Perhaps. So let's give Mark C. the last word and let him dispel any doubts, shall we?
Actually there are likely to be thousands and most will be "others", i.e. ordinary civilians like my wife and me. National Defence Minister O'Connor, Gen. Hillier and perhaps Prime Minister Harper will speak.
Well, how about that? A patriotic rally on Parliament Hill to ostensibly "support the troops" and, gosh darn it, what a coincidence that some prominent members of the CPoC could "perhaps" show up to speak and get some serious media face time. And how could you blame them? All that patriotic emotion in one place -- what a great photo op, and a chance to spin it later as PM Stephen Harper and his cronies basking in the adulation of the worshipping masses. And not a Liberal or Dipper or Green to be seen up on stage, at least not according to Mark C. Life doesn't get any better than that, does it?
And remember -- you read it here first.
P.S. If Canada's military have an ounce of sense, they'll have a recruiting table there. 'Cuz it's always easy to talk the talk, know what I'm sayin'?
DING DING DING ... We have a winner. Thank you, thank you very much. I'm here until Thursday. Try the veal.