Justin Trudeau remains one of the most despised leaders in the G-7. If you speak to Canadians about why this is, they’ll likely give a plethora of answers – the left might say that he was disingenuous (about his feminism or promises of electoral reform), the right might say that he’s incompetent, more centrists will likely discuss his scandals with SNL Lavalin, blackface, or his embarrassing ‘peoplekind’ remarks that make Canada an international embarrassment. But there’s one suggestion that I’ve never heard – has anyone stopped to consider that people hate him simply because he wants people to hate him?
It’s an old marketing ploy in professional wrestling where an entertainer will intentionally antagonize an audience for their own marketing purposes. The ones that antagonize obviously and poorly fail to draw money and those that do it well convince thousands of audience members to buy a ticket to see them lose a fight. It works and it works well. WWE currently has more Youtube subscribers than the NFL, UFC, MLB, NBA, and NHL combined.
Consider the latest fiasco with truckers that Trudeau encountered. Trudeau’s initial response to people refusing to get the vaccine is that the unvaccinated are racist and misogynist – a claim easily dismissed as vacuous. No one with a reasonable IQ would ever suggest something so absurd such as these lines of attacks would actually convince vaccine holdouts to go sign up to get vaccinated. It intentionally antagonizes them for political purposes.
These people who were offended by his remarks went out and marketed Trudeau’s vaccine stand for him. They made social media posts, visible to their friends and families who may disagree. Some of the posts are quite angry and this markets Trudeau even more passionately as a pro-vaccine hero to their interlocuting friends and family. Trudeau intentionally antagonized these people for his own marketing purposes. After a lackluster vaccine rollout compared to the G20 averages he stood in desperate need of a boost within the pro-vaccine community, and his antagonism provided just that.
On the issue of abortion, he does much the same thing. He refuses summer grants to students who don’t identify as pro-choice. This does less than nothing for increasing access to abortion, however, it does antagonize the pro-life community who then go on to make social media posts about Trudeau crusading against them. This establishes Trudeau as a devout pro-choice advocate, even though he’s only galvanized the pro-life community to the point where they’re able to shut down abortion clinics in Canada. Their anger is his marketing.
If you hate Justin Trudeau, the reason why is likely because he wants you to hate him. He wants social media posts promoting his agenda. And if the reader does support his agenda it would be wise to consider he does not support his own alleged agenda, he supports his re-election marketing tactics. He does little to increase vaccinations rates, he’s surreptitiously encouraging them not to get vaccinated.
I was having these inclinations about bad guy pro-wrestler psychology being intentional on his part, and it seemed to me that Donald Trump was intentionally antagonizing (trolling, to use social media terms) his opponents, and I came across a Ted Talk by a former executive in professional wrestling, Eric Bishoff, who confirmed that he was seeing much the same thing in U.S. politics. Bischoff extended the observation to media, where CNN appears to be intentionally antagonizing Republicans, and Fox News intentionally antagonizes Democrats.
The reality is that Linda McMahon, co-founder of WWE, is one of the Republican Party’s key fundraisers now. This is the new normal. Antagonism is the new normal. Division and hatred are the new normal. Brother against brother is the new normal. It works. This style of marketing works. As such, it’s not going away.
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