Author: Philip Cross
When Pierre Trudeau was asked how far he would go in imposing martial law during the October Crisis, his famously insouciant reply was, “Just watch me.” Bada-bing. When Ronald Reagan was rehearsing a national radio address announcing expanded religious freedoms, he famously tweaked the opening line to announce “we begin bombing [Russia] in five minutes.” Bada-boom. The contrast illustrates Philip Cross’s argument that conservatives are intrinsically funnier than liberals. Always have been and always will be, because conservatives accept human imperfectability, while liberals are obsessed with fixing it.
Philip Cross was a third-generation civil servant who became renowned for his brilliant data analysis and scrupulous objectivity as Chief Economic Analyst at Statistics Canada. Then he traded the velvet coffin of government for the shark-infested pool of the private sector, becoming a self-employed economic policy analyst and pundit. His former colleagues at Statcan wondered if he “had fallen on his head.” But for Cross, liberation from government was a natural expression of his conservative philosophical convictions – and an experience he recommends to anyone trapped in the drudgery of the civil service.