Why can't we accept a compliment for our prime minister?

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
July 28, 2017 - 7:01am Updated: July 28, 2017 - 1:22pm

KAMLOOPS — "Justin Trudeau is trying to Make Canada Great Again. He is using, let us say, different methods."

— Rolling Stone magazine

Aw, c’mon Canada, can’t we accept a compliment once in a while?

Our prime minister is on the cover of Rolling Stone, and a lot of Canadians just can’t stand it. They feel it necessary to get all indignant about it, pointing out Justin Trudeau’s spotty record.

He doesn’t deserve accolades from the iconic American rock magazine, they insist.

Oh, loosen up.

“Why can’t he be our president?” the magazine plaintively asks in the cover headline. It calls him the “Northern star.”

Some Canadian media have found it necessary to get huffy about some factual details in the story such as references to the “Liberty” party and the “Royal Canadian Mountain police” and minor misunderstandings of the Canadian electoral system.

And, of course, we in Canada feel it necessary to bring up pipelines, electoral reform, the struggling commission on indigenous women, Elbowgate, and Omar Khadr. We needn’t worry, because Fox News is happy to remind us. One commentator from the rightwing American TV network called Trudeau “horrible” in response to the Rolling Stone story and the Khadr settlement. (Conservative MPs, of course, have lately been crossing the border to trash Trudeau over the Khadr affair, with Fox News happily giving them all the attention they want.)

There have even been the inevitable calls for boycotts of the magazine from Donald Trump supporters who aren’t amused by the way it compares Trudeau to their president.

It's just a magazine, for heaven sakes. The Rolling Stone piece, by the way, doesn't ignore Trudeau's mistakes, listing them off quite efficiently.

Maybe we need to remind ourselves, though, that we have it pretty good with Trudeau. When you think about Trudeau vs. Trump on climate change, immigration, gender equity, abortion, marijuana, health care, the opioid crisis, where would you rather be? Would you rather have a leader who's likeable and makes some mistakes, or a lunatic who governs via daily Twitter rants? One who marches in Pride parades or kicks LGBTQ soldiers out of the military?

Maybe there's so much negative reaction in Canada to the article because Canadians have trouble taking a compliment. Will we ever forgive Justin Trudeau for being good looking?

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