The trucker convoy has come and gone. The bouncy castles have been put away, the hot tubs dismantled, the 18-wheelers towed, the party atmosphere vanished into air, into thin air. They are such stuff as dreams are made of.

The convoy’s main accomplishment was to force the government to show its autocratic hand to the observant and the doubtful. The invoking of the Emergencies (or War Measures) Act was a groundless abuse of power and its hasty withdrawal a sign of an authoritarian government caught with its pants down. But in the aftermath of the Freedom Convoy’s magnificent display of resolute patriotism and good faith, the federal vaccine mandates it protested remain in place, a finance minister of dubious antecedents bears the fasces, and the administration of a petty and vindictive tyrant is still intact. The partial triumph of the truckers turns out to be a Pyrrhic victory, for it is the truckers who have suffered most.

Our blue-collar benefactors now face the consequences of the scorched-earth policies adopted by the anointed class. Many have lost their rigs. Operating licenses have been revoked. Criminal charges have been laid. Bans on trucker commerce have proliferated. Bankruptcy looms for many. Livelihoods have been demolished. Families have been obliterated. Marriages are bound to collapse. And I suspect that suicides will mount as desperation sees no escape from ruination. In effect, Justin Trudeau declared war on those who kept the goods and services flowing through the ersatz pandemic and who enabled the populace to weather the government-induced travesty. Gratitude is not in the dwindling catalogue of common virtues. The casualties, though hidden by the Soviet-style media, are devastating.

Canadians mourn the death and destruction they read about in the press and view on television newscasts in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The media wax furious over the suffering of ordinary people in that far Republic. But not a word about the war unleashed on our most loyal and courageous citizens by an unmitigated despot and his suppliant minions, a disaster whose consequences are not yet fully known but are gloomily foreseeable. Just as there is no guarantee that the America of old will still be recognizable come the November midterms, so there is no assurance that the Canada we once knew will survive until the next election. Canada’s traditional mode of civic decorum has been supplanted by rancor and schadenfreude. What we are witnessing is the death of “eh.”

The fact is that the government from hell is working to transform a democratic nation into a police state and normalize totalitarian rule without having to mobilize the military and scramble its jet fighters. It moves subtly, insidiously, through legislation, decree, deception, legal subterfuge, financial penalties, and targeted defamation. It divides a country into sectarian belligerents, employs tested techniques of misinformation and disinformation, prevents the free expression of opinion (Bill C-11), and impoverishes and segregates its perceived adversaries. It manipulates a strategy of covert control which, in the long run, may be more effective than overt physical repression. It doesn’t need tanks; a few RCMP horses will do. Slander and sanctimony are excellent weapons.

The truckers were never a menace, bore no resemblance to the volley of epithets hurled against them: white supremacists, racists, misogynists, antisemites, and the like. A Liberal MP is convinced that “honk honk” is code for “Heil Hitler.” Reviewing Paul Gottfried’s must-read Antifascism: The Course of a Crusade in American Greatness, Christopher Zeeman writes, “Organizing a state around a nonexistent threat is a novel approach to governing…the lack of proof is confirmation that they must redouble their efforts to thwart the threat”—a threat, be it said, not to the nation but to the impious power of the managerial elect. In other words, our political elites must conjure their enemies in order to maintain their own compromised existence. The dumbing down of a supine population, still wearing their badges of conformity across their faces, completes the task.

Of course, as noted, there will be the inevitable casualties. The truckers who protested the draconian and useless vaccine mandates have been crushed and their lives ruined. And the majority of Canadians do not care. Some believe the truckers got what they deserved, gloating over the misfortune of their betters. Others do not give them a second thought. The feeble-minded claim to be suffering from “phantom honking.” Some hover over the top like a helicopter pilot surveying rush hour traffic and move on: nothing very significant to see here. Their sympathies go out to the Ukrainian victims of Russian aggression. The victims of government oppression in their own country are an afterthought. Stupefying indifference to the fate of their nation is the order of the day. The government from hell remains solidly entrenched.

O Canada! What has become of thee?

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