The G7’s C Team


Convivium, 7 June 2018

Leaders of the G7 countries meeting this week in Quebec aren’t in crisis, observes Convivium Editor-in-Chief Father Raymond de Souza. They are the crisis.

It was a rough week for the former president. Returning to the public eye, he had his White House adulteries thrown in his face. 

No, not Bill Clinton. I mean JFK. The poor man was, as has been his wont since 1963, resting in peace when Clinton decided to tread upon his grave.

Clinton was out on a book tour and likely wished that he was being interviewed by Matt Lauer, formerly of the Today show. Or perhaps over at the CBS morning equivalent by Charlie Rose. Or perhaps at some swanky Hollywood gala hosted by Clinton support Harvey Weinstein where he might have had a public conversation with Kevin Spacey who, inter alia, does a spot-on Clinton impression.

Alas for Clinton, Lauer and Rose and Weinstein and Spacey are not available for the celebrity interview circuit anymore. Indeed, Bill is remarkably the only man standing after the #MeToo tsunami washed over American public life. Countless men who have been at least beastly, if not criminal, toward women are now personae non gratae in polite society. But somehow Clinton continues on, the nation’s most prominent sexual harasser and alleged rapist. 

The Kennedys were back in the news as the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy was observed. But JFK’s biggest mention this week came in the interview given by Bill Clinton, in which he defended his behaviour in the Lewinsky affair by pointing out that JFK was worse: “Should JFK have resigned?”

Indeed, Clinton’s astonishing performance reached backward and forward to argue that as bad as he himself was, others were more so. Hence the implicit reference to JFK’s multiple adulteries in the White House, and the explicit reference to the multiple accusations against Donald Trump of sexual harassment and infidelities. 

Clinton’s defence of his position in the rogue’s gallery is that he may be a rogue, but by golly, it is a gallery. I may be bad, but not as bad as the other guys.

Which, on Ontario’s election day, might just be the perfect summation of the recent campaign. Andrew Coyne this morning expertly summarized the doleful state of politics in Canada’s largest province. 

Yet it is not a unique Ontario problem. Doug Ford is no Bill Davis, but all over the world there is dramatic lack of leaders equal to their task. 

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