And it's clear that there is a well-funded network of right-wingers aiding and abetting Putin's campaign of destabilizing the West.
Here is a response by Gerald Butts to a tweet by Mike Cernovich praising Ezra Levant. I have blogged about Levant over the past few months, primarily focusing on his insane obsession with Justin Trudeau (which I suspect is partly fueled by homoerotic desire.) Cernovich is a deranged nut job who pushed the deranged Pizzagate conspiracy that almost ended up getting people killed.
Meanwhile Alex Jones, the deranged nut job who also pushed Pizzagate has his lawyer claiming that he's a "performance artist."
“He is a performance artist,” attorney Randall Wilhite told a judge, according to the Austin American-Statesman.I immediately thought of Mike Daisey, an actual performance artist who dabbled in hard reporting before being repudiated by This American Life. Daisey's excuse for why he should be forgiven for making up stories about Chinese employees of Apple was that he is a performance artist and nobody should have ever taken him literally.
The radio host has been known to peddle conspiracy theories without any evidence, including that 9/11 was an inside job, Sandy Hook was “completely fake with actors” and the government is using chemicals in the water to turn people gay.
He also perpetuated the “Pizzagate” theory that Hillary Clinton and other Democratic leaders were running a child sex trafficking ring run out of a Washington, D.C., pizzeria, before eventually apologizing.
Now I despise Mike Daisey, a hateful Berniebro and all-around asshole, but not even I think he's as bad as Alex Jones. Nobody almost got killed thanks to Daisey. But Jones and Daisey both feel they can say anything they want and then refuse to be held responsible for it. And they get away with it. Neither seems to have suffered in his career in the least from this behavior. But Alex Jones is a monster, Mike Daisey is just an asshole.
So who is Gerald Butts? He's "Principal Secretary to PM Trudeau" according to his Twitter profile. I first heard of Butts while reading Trudeau's autobiography. They go back to college. According to his Wikipedia page:
Stemming from a two-decade-long friendship, Butts became the senior political adviser to Justin Trudeau in 2012. Therefore, he is among the five people with whom Trudeau consults regularly. He assisted on the vast majority of policies on which Trudeau campaigned.And according to Trudeau:
|Butts & Trudeau in college about 1993
(a mutual friend) beckoned to a long-haired guy standing nearby, and introduced him as Gerry Butt, Vice-President of the McGill Debating Union. Today, almost twenty-five years later, Gerald is not just still a best friend; he is my closest advisor as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.[obviously the team went onto bigger things after Trudeau's autobiography was published.]
On Gerry's invitation, I joined the Debating Union, where we became fast friends and I spent the next year honing my skills and traveling to tournaments. It was an education on its own, focusing my ability to think on my feet, to spot a weakness in an opponent's argument and exploit in with the right combination of logic and turn of phrase.
Probably we have Butts to thank more than anybody except Pierre Trudeau for mon premiere ministre d'amour.
But also, if Butts believes there is an interconnected, international far-right movement, chances are Trudeau believes it too, although it's not guaranteed since Butts does explicitly say in his Twitter profile that "Tweets are personal views."
But this is important. The Canadians are fully aware of the danger of the far-right network. Something I'm not sure American politicians are paying enough attention to.