Duhaime, the sympathetic populist
CHRONICLE – There are those people who, sometimes through obscure or improbable recipes, fascinate the agora. For the best. Or for the worse. Éric Duhaime is, without a doubt, part of this select club.
For more than a decade, I have known the guy. Sometimes from common acquaintances, if not because of our neighboring chalets. And you know what? I love the guy. Seriously. Nice as anything. Zero malice. Funny. Nice (except for the time he walked around the lake with my two labradors without saying a word to me beforehand, but let's move on).
– Worse, Duhaime, how is he, for real ?
I'm still struggling to answer. Because, I repeat, I like it.
– OK, but he's brilliant and plays dumb, or he's just dumb, do you think?
My Freud Caillou diagnosis: probably a brilliant who plays with jerks, flirts with the lie and who, then, comes to believe himself.
The opposite, therefore, of a Maxime Bernier and other populist-hams, Bolsonaro sauce. From there, thus, the fact of the degree of dangerousness of the man: an intelligence combined with a nice character, easy to like.
The perfect recipe at a time that is equally so for ideological fast-food, with libertarian populism undoubtedly at the top of the menu. The me-myself-and-my-navel as an answer, simplistic if not stupid, to complex social issues, which call for empathy, science and solidarity. Like the fight against a pandemic or global warming.
Taking advantage of the improvisatory mess of the Legault government, Duhaime hits where it hurts, bringing navel-gazing and crappy analogies, but marking the spirit, at the center of his media releases. Added to this is the propensity to ptalk about me good or bad, but all the time, which triggers the phenomenon of the Hygrade sausage: climbing in the polls because of its ubiquity, and ubiquitous because of good polls.
Easy part for the moment, therefore, Eric having become the main beneficiary of the citizen stall with regard to health measures. But after the end of the crisis, what a guarantor of the future, that's what makes it bad. Because the leader of the PCQ drags behind him a deafening armada of malevolent pans.
Like his participation in The Rebel, a leading conspiracy “media”, champion of Islamophobia and other shams assumed. Better bad information than no information at all, says the former collaborator.
Like its denial of the (scientific) evidence of climate change, the planet is now approaching, according to all serious studies, the irreversible tipping point. “Enverdeurs”, he will plead.
Like his obsession with the “poor”, even suggesting on the air that the idea of subjecting the right to vote to taxes paid, released all right from the dark days of American slavery, could be “interesting”.
Like claiming that education is a privilege and not a right, thus denying the 60 beautiful candles of a necessary Quiet Revolution.
Like this pearl, laid following 'a rape committed in a student residence:
“Leave your keys in your car, leave your door unlocked, get your car stolen and talk to your insurer to see how they'll react, and there's nothing to do with rape culture. And then you will say: “look my man, you have a responsibility. The criminal who stole your tank will also be guilty, and will go inside, and there was no business in stealing your tank, but you, because you didn't lock your door , he will still punish you.””
Like his statement: “It's boring because black people have had few heroes. Unfortunately, I feel like when they have heroes, it often ends up being zeros.” Obama? Luther King? Mandela? Aaron? Laferriere? Cesaire? How many others?
In short, you're too smart to believe what you're saying, Eric. How dumb you are to refuse to believe in vaccines. The proof, you have received yours. If the latter is medically good for you, what difference does it make to your (target) electorate?
The final word to Camus: truth is like light, blind. The lie, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that highlights each object.
Especially, one would be tempted to add, when formulated by a nice guy.