As all Canadians know by now, Opposition Leader Jack Layton passed away on Monday, after a long fight with cancer. We can debate forever about the man and his politics, but the fact is he was a very effective leader, genuinely stood up for every Canadian, and is probably the most inspiring politician that the country has seen in some time. However, simply respecting this fact, seems to be very hard for some of his critics.
National Post writer Christie Blatchford decided to print a column in yesterday's paper, slamming Layton's deathbed inspirational letter to Canadians as a cynical political ploy. Yes, you read that right. According to her, telling people to be nice to one another, is evil and manipulative, even when it's one of the last things you ever do. Furthermore, she whined and complained about how Layton's death was all over the news... less than a day after Layton had died, when it really WAS news.
Very classy, Christie.
But the sick thing is, that's about as tasteful as the criticism I've seen, gets. If you go to any open comment board on the Internet, that refers in any way to Jack Layton's death, you will find a lot of comments like "good riddance, now we won't have to pay his pension", or "now Stephen Harper can get things done". There are also remarks accusing Layton of being a pedophile, with no evidence at all to back it up. Just how low people are willing to go, to criticize a prominent left-wing leader, seems to depend on whether or not they have to post comments with their real names.
You know, I never thought that I'd be caught dead, defending Stephen Harper on a moral issue, but even he had the class to show some respect to Jack Layton's family and what they've gone through. Yet his followers -- the same kind of people who claim that gay people and atheists are inherently evil -- can't even wait for Layton to be buried, before going to the bathroom on his grave. It reminds me of an obscure children's movie, called "Alaska"; one scene features a polar bear cub being teased by poachers with the skin of his dead mother, which he still licks affectionately.
It does not -- and should not -- matter if you are liberal, conservative, or social democrat. It should not matter if you are religious or not. If you have been raised with ANY moral standards at all, you know that there are certain things that you just don't do. One of them, is attacking a dead man and his family, barely 24 hours after he passed away. Another, is attacking other people for simply being in grief. Presumably none of these ghoulish, sleazy troublemakers would want anyone attacking them and their loved ones after a death in their families, so what makes them think it's okay to kick others while they're down? Furthermore, while it takes very little courage to attack people who are emotionally wounded or physically unable to fight back, I wonder if these scumbags -- including Ms. Blatchford -- would have the guts to hold up signs with their vile views, at Layton's funeral, where they will be seen by Layton's family, friends, and supporters. I suspect not.