A Libertarian View: CPC Leadership
We last talked to Dave Reesor back in the summer of 2015 when he was promoting his website called, "Let's Do It Ourselves". His goal is to promote conservatism and libertarian ideas to young people using video-related social media. His project continues and he hopes to influence the next generation of conservative young people with a more dynamic approach that reaches them on their own terms. Since these are the days of conservative transition, I thought I’d reach out to Dave and hear his thoughts about the Conservative leadership race. What’s he hearing from members and friends? Who does he like in the race and more importantly...who doesn’t he like? I chatted with Dave over the phone last week…
Jeff: So Dave, what are your thoughts about the Conservative leadership race?
Dave: First of all, the next leader has to be someone that can beat Justin Trudeau. One concern I had about Donald Trump was that he couldn’t get elected, but luckily for the Republicans, the Democrats ran one of the least appealing candidates in recent memory. Even though he ended up winning the election he did so after losing the popular vote by several million ballots. If the Democrats run someone more appealing next time, Trump will have a difficult time repeating his success.
There’s people in Canada that look to Trump’s example and think we can repeat this success with Kevin O’Leary against Justin Trudeau and I think it’s a fantasy. First of all, Kevin O’Leary can’t speak French and a quarter of Canadians speak French as their mother tongue. A guy who can’t speak both official languages is going to be a hard sell to upwards of 80 seats out of 338. We need someone who is able to articulate ideas in both official languages. Secondly, he is unelectable against Trudeau. As Arlene Dickinson said, “He’s a narcissistic, opportunistic self-promoter who lacks empathy”. I think that’s true.
People need to understand the distinction between Canada and the United States.
Jeff: What about Maxime Bernier?
Dave: I like Maxime Bernier. I’m an ex-farmer and I like what he says about supply management. I used to hate the Wheat Board and it was a happy day for me when Harper abolished it. Bernier is pro-consumer and will save people money on milk and poultry products. The fact that he has the guts to advocate for this when his riding is the heart of the dairy industry in Quebec is impressive. He’s a libertarian and I like that.
Jeff: Lisa Raitt?
Dave: I think she’s an excellent person. I don’t think she’s as electable as Bernier.
Jeff: So Bernier is your first pick, then tell me who’s your second choice.
Dave: My second choice is Andrew Scheer. He doesn’t have any business experience, but I heard him speak and I was impressed. He has a lot of caucus support and I think a good leader surrounds himself with smart people and leans on their experience. I think Andrew could do this to shore up his weak spots. He reminds me of Jason Kenney a little bit. I think Andrew can counter Justin’s “sunny ways”.
Jeff: What about Kellie Leitch?
Dave: I have supported immigration since I was a kid. Otto Lang back in the day talked about Canada being a country of immigrants and needing more. I agree with that. I think what Kellie is trying to do is advocate for a stronger security system around immigration and I don’t disagree with her, but with Canada’s liberal/left-wing media using that issue as a weapon, it will make her unelectable in a general election. The mainstream media will paint Conservatives as a party of racists. We have to be smart about this.
Jeff: The mainstream liberal media bias will likely play a role in 2019 anyway. What do you think the Conservatives should do about this?
Dave: I think Trump set a good example about what to do, but maybe not in how to do it. We need to go after millennials and the way to do that is to use social media and bypass the mainstream media. Get to them on their smartphones and show them videos about our ideas. The older generation of conservatives need to finance this and create a space for conversations and discussions. The left now is trying to shut down every conversation they don’t agree with and the way to get away from that is to bypass them. It’s cheap to do anyway. I wrote an article called Socialism Remembered and it cost me nothing. I put it up on my blog and it went viral. I had over 125,000 hits on the article and I didn’t spend a dime.
Dave will next be seen at the Essentials of Freedom Conference this March in Calgary.