Ed West

‘Because it’s 2015’ is not a strong line of argument

‘Because it's 2015’ is not a strong line of argument
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The suspiciously handsome Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau was asked on Wednesday why it’s important to have a gender balance in the cabinet. As the Times of India reported:

'It's an incredible pleasure for me to be before you here today to present to Canada a cabinet that looks like Canada,' Trudeau told reporters after he was sworn in with his team, which includes immigrants, aboriginals, religious minorities, a quadriplegic and 15 women. 

Trudeau, the first son of a prime minister to take office in Canada and the second-youngest in the country's history, has grabbed international attention for his good looks and retail approach to politics.

Asked why he felt gender equality in the Cabinet was important, Trudeau said simply: 'Because it is 2015.'

But when you think about it, that could also be the answer to the question ‘why are you cutting my head off?’

Many places in the world are becoming more conservative, more religious and in many ways more intolerant. There’ s a growing global morality gapyet some people in the shrinking west still have this strange idea that culture and politics are moving in one direction. Is this Marxist eschatology? Is it a post-Christian thing? I’m not sure. Does having a diverse cabinet suggest the world is becoming more progressive, or that your country no longer matters as much as it once did?

A good example of this chronological snobbery was made on the Today programme yesterday when Elton John was talking about Pope Francis ‘bringing the Catholic Church into the 21


century’ because he is liberal on homosexuality, and is opposed to the conservative African cardinals. Yet, whether one agrees with Elton on this subject, the Church is increasingly becoming more African, rather than more liberal.

 A similar argument was made by Barack Obama last year when he said that ‘One thing we can all agree on is that a group like Isil has no place in the 21st century.’ I don’t know, it seems to me that jihadists do have their own, niche place in the century; in fact, asked why they’re executing heretics in the Roman ruins of Syria, they might well answer ‘because it’s 2015’.

President Obama previously described al-Qaeda as ‘small men on the wrong side of history’, yet three years later that only appears true in the sense that they appear dangerously moderate and secular compared to the Isis lads.

It’s almost as if ‘because it’s 2015/the 21


century’ is what you say when you have no actual arguments for why something is a good idea.

Written byEd West

Ed West is the author of The Diversity Illusion, 1215 and All That and is writing a series of books on medieval history

Topics in this articlePolitics