Response to Globe article

April 3, 2019

A Globe and Mail columnist published an article today claiming that Trudeau was getting his Trump on in turfing former cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybourn and Dr. Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus on Tuesday.

I posted the following response to Andrew MacDougall’s article:

To compare Trudeau’s actions in this case to those of Trump is to use a weak analogy, lazily.

A far more apt comparison can be found in Jean Anouilh’s modern tragedy, Antigone. Set in Ancient Greece following a civil war, King Creon faces a crisis. He vowed that anyone who rose against him would lie unburied on the battlefield, but then his daughter-in-law attempted to bury her two brothers. Three times she is caught by his guards, and three times she refuses to see reason. Finally he has no choice but to execute her by entombment, but his only son insists upon joining her in execution. Creon’s wife kills herself in grief. At the end of the tragedy Creon has done his job and restored order, only to wear an empty crown.

In her hubris Jody Wilson-Raybould fits the role of Antigone quite well. Hers is a correct moral perspective. For her that’s all she needs. The problem is that her moral vision doesn’t take into account the aggregation of other moral visions, also correct, which make up the moral essence. Because Antigone’s too-particular ethical position is destructive to the moral essence, the gods must strike her down. The spectacle of wasted greatness is the tragedy.


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