Obamamania and Trudeaumania

Canadian blogger I, Ectomorph offers an instructive analogy to the rise of Pierre Trudeau to power in 1968:

“If there is anything that can compare to this it would have to be Trudeaumania, which I am not really old enough to remember (I`m now old enough that I look rather fondly on anything I`m not old enough to remember) but which — as I`ve later learned — involved an attractive young politician who by dint of birth bridged the two solitudes of his country but also had a slightly mysterious and more radical past that he seemed willing to shelve away for the sake of winning power — power that, as he campaigned for office, the candidate somewhat vaguely promised to exercise in a way that would be excitingly different than it had ever been exercised before by the old boring men who had occupied the office since time immemorial, and (in particular) in keeping with the youthful idealism of the upcoming generation. What this meant nobody knew, but it made no difference.”

What was Trudeau`s buried past? From the Amazon write-up of Young Trudeau: 1919-1944:

This book shines a light of devastating clarity on French-Canadian society in the 1930s and 1940s, when young elites were raised to be pro-fascist, and democratic and liberal were terms of criticism. The model leaders to be admired were good Catholic dictators like Mussolini, Salazar in Portugal, Franco in Spain, and especially PĂ©tain, collaborator with the Nazis in Vichy France. There were even demonstrations against Jews who were demonstrating against what the Nazis were doing in Germany.

Trudeau, far from being the rebel that other biographers have claimed, embraced this ideology. At his elite school, Brébeuf, he was a model student, the editor of the school magazine, and admired by the staff and his fellow students. But the fascist ideas and the people he admired – even when the war was going on, as late as 1944 – included extremists so terrible that at the war’s end they were shot. And then there’s his manifesto and his plan to stage a revolution against les Anglais.

This is astonishing material – and it’s all demonstrably true – based on personal papers of Trudeau that the authors were allowed to access after his death.What they have found has astounded and distressed them, but they both agree that the truth must be published