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Vinay Menon: For the sake of peoplekind, Justin Trudeau needs to shut his mouth

Forget climate change, terrorism, potential war or a volatile stock market. The biggest threat to Canada right now is our leader’s mouth.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, in Chicago.

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, in Chicago.

If I were advising Justin Trudeau, I’d tell him to shut his piehole.

Zip it, Prime Minister. Put an R2-D2 sock in it. Knock it off with this pathological need to sidle up to the nearest microphone to gab, yak, chat, hold court, shoot the breeze, riff or push platitudes like a guest speaker at a kindergarten class while hopped up on ecstasy: “Children, there is no ‘I’ in love. But there is a ‘U’ in ‘Justin’ and in ‘Trudeau.’ I am you. You are me. We are love. Now pick up your crayons and let’s draw a gender-neutral sun.”

Forget climate change, terrorism, potential war or a volatile stock market.

The biggest threat to Canada right now? It is our leader’s mouth.

Consider the global ridicule that emerged from a now viral clip. During a recent town hall in Edmonton, a young woman is asking a meandering question when Trudeau get distracted by a certain word, as if it’s a T-bone and he’s a Rottweiler.

So he interrupts to gnaw on her questionable language.

Woman: “. . .so that’s why we came here today to ask you to also look into the policies that religious charitable organizations have in our legislation so that it can also be changed, because maternal love is the love that’s going to change the future of mankind. So we’d like you—”

Trudeau: “—We like to say ‘peoplekind,’ not necessarily mankind, because it’s more inclusive.”

Now, if such a tortured, ridiculous neologism had tumbled from the lips of another politician, he or she may have gotten a pass. Given the reaction of the woman and crowd — “Exactly!” she squealed, as others laughed — it’s possible Trudeau was playing on her query and engaging in some lighthearted self-mockery.

Indeed, as peoplekind turned into peoplekind-gate on Wednesday, Trudeau blamed the brouhaha on bad comedy genes. He said peoplekind was just a “dumb joke.”

But whether it was a botched punchline or a window into how the unicorns in his brain run wild, Trudeau should be deeply disturbed by how most of the international media now assume it was the latter.

It wasn’t just conservative outlets that had a field day. Peoplekind spread like a virus, infecting Europe, Asia and South America with bouts of laughter. Trudeau didn’t get a pass on peoplekind because, at this point, his mouth has chewed up any benefit of the doubt. How can peoplekind be a dumb joke when it’s so damn believable?

Due to his pandering obsession with identity politics, even his biggest admirers know he is probably capable of making up a word and insisting the change is good for all: “From this day forth, we shall refer to mangos as peoplegos.”

Running the country as if it’s a social media thread punctuated by emojis and Likes — I’m sorry, but is that not what he does? How can he possibly predict when the budget will be balanced when he’s touring more than U2? How can he govern like a policy wonk when he exists within a shallow realm of selfies and gibberish?

In fact, I’m now worried Trudeau may backtrack on this “dumb joke” explanation and make “peoplekind” compelled speech. If we as a nation are forced to contemplate the egalitarian benefits of “peoplekind,” there will be no time to ask questions about Canada Post, pipelines, military spending or NAFTA. There will be no time to follow up on any of the promises made by Trudeau’s mouth that were broken by Trudeau’s actions.

The more he talks, the more damage he inflicts on himself and, by extension, us.

In the same town hall in which he made the peoplekind joke, Trudeau coldly told an ex-soldier who lost a leg in Afghanistan that the federal government is in court fighting over benefits because veterans groups are “asking for more than we’re able to give.” He also bizarrely answered a question about the possible integration of ex-Daesh fighters into Canadian cities by riffing on discrimination faced by European immigrants who came here after the Second World War. Trudeau’s mouth has licked him into a corner.

Trudeau’s mouth is now Trudeau’s greatest enemy.

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb,” observed Nelson Mandela. Or as Trudeau might call him, Nelson Peopledela.

The problem here is the hills Trudeau will be forced to climb in the months ahead are constructed entirely from his hollow words. He says one thing and then either forgets he said it or does something else.

It’s as if the country is run by a Magic 8 Ball.

So the forecast for Sunny Ways has changed dramatically, my friends. Storm clouds have gathered over the rhetorical prairies and verbal valleys. Our Prime Minister is getting heckled more than deadmau5 on a seniors cruise. Once-friendly media outlets have now turned and believe Trudeau is nothing but PC smoke and mirrors.

Oh, the humanity — or should I say, the peopleity?

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