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Running with the cool kids

Elon Musk prompts progressive media types to show us how they think

Elon Musk attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala on May 2, 2022, in New York, N.Y. Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/Associated Press, file

Running with the cool kids
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Elon Musk is an agitator who likes to stir things up, and that can be infuriating or exciting depending on the day. Just recently he decided to slap the label “government-funded” or “state-affiliated” on a number of news outlets including the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC).

Of course, the CBC howled at the insinuation that they belong in the same category as government-controlled news outlets like those in authoritarian countries such as China and Russia. After pushback, Musk changed the label to “70 percent government-funded” and later to “69 percent government-funded.” Later, the label was dropped altogether.

But his point was made, and it put the CBC on the defensive.

On April 20, Brodie Fenlon, editor in chief of CBC News published an eye-roll inducing op-ed in the National Post gravely announcing: “Brodie Fenlon: I run CBC News: Elon Musk’s Twitter changes had to be called out.” In his best Edward R. Murrow voice, he intoned: “Allowing a false impression of government involvement in our work to stand is inconsistent with our commitment to accurate journalism.” Of course, Fenlon is absolutely right. The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau never interferes in what he does. They don’t have to coerce him to do what he does—he does it gladly.

The problem here is not that that government of the day writes the news stories. The problem is that it doesn’t have to do so—so long as it is a Liberal government.

And everybody knows that fact just like everybody knew the emperor had no clothes.

We live in a postmodern, liquid world in which truth in the older sense is deemed not to exist. Truth in postmodern Canada is defined pragmatically. If some makes an accusation, as Elon Musk did, the response is not to ask, “Is the accusation factually accurate?” Rather, the response is to be outraged because: it makes me feel bad, or it harms my reputation, or it causes me to lose power and control. Truth is not a quality of the mind-independent world beyond my control. In the world inhabited by Brodie Fenlon and his ilk, truth is just the word I use to describe what is convenient for me, what is useful to me, what makes me feel good, and, above all, what secures my paycheck.

Our whole society has morphed into one giant junior high school.

The people who run the CBC are postmodern relativists. Their purpose on this planet is to make sure that conservative voices are never heard. They see truth as an instrument of power to be wielded by “us,” of course, because “we” are the “good guys.” The self-image of the typical progressive today is that he or she is on the side of goodness and truth. But how does he or she know this? Because all the other good people say so. This is all that truth means. It is a consensus of what the “good” people currently think. Truth means that the cool kids all agree. Basically, our whole society has morphed into one giant junior high school. For those of us who hated junior high school, it is like something straight out of Dante’s Inferno.

The problem is that the diversity, equity, and inclusion crowd is utterly opposed to diversity of opinion, equal time for opposing points of view, and inclusion of traditional and conservative voices in the public square. This is why they see nothing wrong with labelling, ostracizing, and shouting down those with whom they disagree. Therefore, they see no problem with the CBC actively promoting the latest, cutting edge, progressive views.

They live in a bubble world in which thoughtful, intelligent, conservatives do not exist. The only people who disagree with the cool kids are hateful, racist, bigoted. That prejudice relieves them of the burden of thought, of constructing reasoned arguments, and debate. So, if the current progressive orthodoxy says that 14-year-old girls who are unhappy with their bodies succumb to the propaganda and wonder if they are really boys, we should just inject them with dangerous drugs, surgically remove their breasts, and sterilize them. Only a MAGA type would want to debate it. All the cool kids said so.

Elon Musk is using the tactics of the left against them. He is forcing debate. The problem with conservative Christians is that we spend all our time playing defence. We are always reacting, never acting. We never attack, only defend. And so, inevitably, we come across as overly defensive and as non-progressive. Musk understands that taking the fight to them and putting them on defence is a superior strategy because as soon as they start defending their crazy views, people notice how empty, shallow, and unconvincing they are.

Craig A. Carter

Craig A. Carter is the research professor of theology at Tyndale University in Toronto, Ontario, and theologian in residence at Westney Heights Baptist Church in Ajax, Ontario.

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