Letter to Editor 2003 - Ottawa Citizen: David Frum Challenged


Morgan Duchesney: Jan. 15, 2003


I first saw David Frum on Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent documentary. Frum, Chomsky and others were panelists in a public debate on U.S. foreign policy. Frum, a shameless booster of U.S. military adventurism, vainly attempted to outwit Chomksy and failed miserably. When I later discovered that David Frum was a Canadian, I was quite surprised and a bit disgusted.

This letter is written in response to Doug Fischer’s January 11, Observer piece on David Frum and Frum’s new book on George W. Bush, The Right Man. Apparently, Frum is disappointed in Canada and wishes to embrace the American Dream with his,“ great libertarian revolution.” This survival of the greediest mentality is based on the assumption that each person is alone and stands or falls on nothing more than their own merits. What simplistic nonsense. Especially when it comes from a man whose deceased mother Barbara was a Canadian journalism icon and whose father Murray was and is a prosperous real estate developer. Fischer writes that Frum has been a, “…fierce opponent of Canada’s social and economic policies…,” who was, “…willing to take on gays, feminists, the homeless and weak-kneed liberals.” From an early age Mr. Frum, was, “…put off by Canada’s culture of entitlement…”

It saddens me to see another child of privilege, who certainly grew up with a sense of entitlement derived from his wealthy and powerful parents, decrying the very things that make Canada special. Canada traditionally has embraced broad social programs like universal health care and encouraged multiculturalism. As well, I must applaud the courage of a man willing to take on the homeless from the comfort of his Washington mansion.

Amusingly, in today’s ‘War on Terror’ climate, Frum has fulminated about military service but he claims to be too old. His point is academic because wars are generally fought by working class kids who lack David Frum’s refined cynicism. Perhaps he ought to ascertain why America is so reviled the world over before he sounds the call to arms The end of the Cold War created the need for new enemies (rogue states). How else could the Pentagon and its friends in the arms industry justify the huge bite they take from the U.S. taxpayer. However, such an examination would be counter-productive for a man set on ingratiating himself with influential U.S. neoconservatives ( social conservatives who worship ‘free’ market economics).

David Frum is more than a social conservative. To be specific, he is a quasi-American neoconservastive socio-political commentator in the service of U.S. power. He abandoned Canada when things didn’t go his way and chose instead to attempt to install himself, “…in the seat of empire...” Apparently he is succeeding admirably. Good riddance to him. Canada is better off without David Frum and his great libertarian race to the bottom.

Morgan Duchesney
MA candidate-Carleton University Institute of Political Economy