YOU NEVER GET A SECOND CHANCE to make a first impression, so the slogan goes.
When I first heard of the Yellow Vests Canada group and looked into them a little bit a few weeks ago, the first thing I noticed on their official Facebook page was a fulsome discussion on the virtues of Adolf Hitler.
Even so, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt, that this was just a few wackos.
After all, several components of the groups statement of values seem reasonable enough.
It includes positions on taxation and resource development that are widely held among many Canadians.
It includes opposition to the UN Migration Pact, and it's just fine to have a rational discussion of immigration policy, based on facts and not stereotypes and overblown fears.
The group's members don't like Justin Trudeau, and as we saw when the prime minister was here this week, that position can be held by a very wide variety of people.
But the benefit of the doubt is now gone, as the last shred of credibility for Yellow Vests Canada was flushed down the drain.
The group showed up in force outside of the prime minister's $300-per-plate party fundraising event on Wednesday, which one could expect.
Later that evening, though, when the 9-to-5 workday was done and the event was free, when they had a chance to face the prime minister and put their concerns to him directly, the Yellow Vests were nowhere to be found.
More egregious, though, was members of the group's response to Radio NL's Brett Mineer, when he called out racism among the group's members.
Mineer was immediately inundated with online death threats.
Not only that, his comments were shared on the Yellow Vests Canada Facebook group, and that triggered another avalanche of the most ugly and disgusting threats of violence.
Some of this group's stated concerns about the direction of this government may be valid.
But as soon as it offers a forum for unbridled racism and threats of violence against anyone, its credibility is shot.
Yellow Vests Members like to complain - and I'm sure they'll complain about this, too.
After this week, though, their complaints will not be taken seriously again, and they'll be screaming into the void.