The quotable Trudeau
Known for his wit and intellect, Trudeau leaves a wealth of words behind
Compiled by Dan Glover
On the arms race:
In a very real sense we are not so much threatened by the
ideologies of Communism or of Fascism or even, I would say, so
much threatened by atomic bombs and ICBMs, as we are by the very
large sectors of the world - two-thirds of the world’s population
- that goes to bed hungry every night.
- Question and answer session, Queen’s University, Kingston,
Ont., Nov. 8, 1968.
Pierre Trudeau was correct in terms of his initial comments, but wrong in
his conclusion. As in the case of war and obscene ideology, poverty is a
symptom of a greater problem, the wickedness which lies in the heart of man.
The massive redistribution of income that Mr. Trudeau thought to be so
essential in solving the world's problems and which Mr. Chretien also
believes to be so important, offers an elusive hope. Ironically, in view of
Mr. Trudeau's comment, "progressive taxation," a key component of socialist
and Liberal income redistribution strategy, was also fundamental to Karl
Marx's Communist vision.
What happens in private... is a matter of relations with your own
God and your own internal values. And I think that it is more
destructive of a society to force people to live as hypocrites
and to respect a morality in which they don’t believe... I think
a society can be just as badly maimed by hypocrisy as by these
private codes of conduct which don’t overflow.
- TV interview in New Zealand, May 14, 1970.
Despite being credited as a man of great intelligence, Mr. Trudeau makes two
enormous errors in logic in the above statement. Firstly, he presupposes
that the absence of a law in the area of "relations" takes us into a
value-neutral position. Such a statement is obviously erroneous: can it
be anything but either gross ignorance or intential political manipulation?
Secondly, he says that the legislation that he wants to eliminate, needs to
go because its existence wrongly forces people who violate the law to live
as hypocrites. There is an obvious absurdity in this statement when it is
carried to its logical conclusion, applied in other areas of law and life.
But, furthermore, Mr. Trudeau, by this statement, seems oblivious to the
hypocrisy he is exercising by attempting to divorce private "values" from