OLIVER: Which one is the real Justin Trudeau?

Well, that didn’t take long. After an intense focus on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s three blackface photos last week, many in the media are back spouting Liberal talking points. The Liberal campaign, tired of being on the defensive, quickly reverted to painting Conservatives as bigoted cretins and to frenzied promises that would leave our children indebted for untold billions.

However, this issue won’t go away so quickly because it reinforced the negative perception of Trudeau as a light-weight and a phoney, dealt a blow to his identity as a woke social warrior and undermined his legitimacy in Canada and around the world. It also raises the burning question of who Justin Trudeau really is.

History is strewn with flawed heroes brought down because of personal weaknesses that were evident to everyone else. As in a Greek tragedy, hubris can motivate a contemporary leader to break a moral code and end his glorious political career in disgrace.

Trudeau has many classic signs of narcissism, including a belief in his superiority, a profound sense of entitlement, boundless ambition, charm, competitiveness, need for constant praise and relishing the centre of attention. Paradoxically, narcissists often use and abuse others due to low self-esteem and insecurity, in some cases because they couldn’t measure up intellectually to a father figure.

This may explain Trudeau’s obsessive showboating – the Superman T-shirt, statement socks, eagerness for selfies, cringeworthy Bollywood dress-up and serial blackface performances. Part is political theatre, and since for him all the world’s a stage, he loves playing the starring role.

It may also explain why, when he feels thwarted, Trudeau can lose his cool or act vindictively or with indifference to others. Recall how he manhandled the Conservative Whip, the late Gord Brown, and elbowed NDP MP Ellen Brosseau in the House of Commons. Far worse was his treatment of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott for standing up to him on principle and the malicious failed prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, a 33-year navy veteran. He also unceremoniously ejected from caucus every Liberal Senator, many long-time party loyalists, as well as numerous MPs, often without a hearing into their alleged offences.

Trudeau seems taken back when foreign leaders won’t tolerate the condescending sanctimony he can get away with at home. Somehow, he thought he could persuade Xi Jinping, supreme leader of 1.4 billion people, to change China’s labour laws or coax the ‘America First’ President to adopt his gender equity and climate policies. And he expected Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ignore that he downplayed Indian concerns about Khalistan separatism. With the latest revelations, Trudeau diminished his standing internationally and weakened our chance for a Security Council seat.

Sometimes, Trudeau’s platitudes are so vacuous you would think you were listening to Chance the Gardner in the 1979 film ‘Being There’. On other occasions, his troubling declarations challenge fundamental beliefs Canadians have fought and died for – Canada has no core identity, it is the first post-national state, how much he admired the basic Chinese dictatorship and Fidel Castro.