Donald Trump Lives Where Ever Reason Sleeps
Opinions / August 11, 2016
Canadians are not immune to the monster of Trump
Given the turmoil of American politics, as spearheaded by Republican candidate and professional buffoon Donald Trump, many sit astounded at the difference in quality between the Canadian and American democracies.
Canadians, however, are not immune to manipulative demagogues like Trump—those authoritarian figures who appeal to human emotions and prejudices rather than rationale. As CBC’s Aaron Wherry argues, while Canadians might, “feel new appreciation for our democracy,” we have much to learn from the plight of our neighbours.
We ought to be thankful, says Wherry, for our relatively “calmer” media landscape, our political climate which is more responsive to public concerns, and the “flexibility and efficiency” of our multi-party parliamentary system.
And yet, if we were to trade places, atom for atom, with American citizens, a sizeable number of us would support Trump, whose rhetoric necessitates the sleep of reason. We would support him because some of us relish in worshipping such an unconventional leader, because many of us are defenseless in the face of Trump’s emotional appeals, and because he draws his power from our most base instincts.
Trump’s strength lies in the fact that many people are attracted to his rejection of all things politically correct. In their support of his discourse—one that embodies a lack of impulse control—many have essentially submitted their capacities to think rationally.
Of course, there remain a number of social factors unique to the United States and the modern age that bolster Trump’s rise. The right to bear arms and the implications of such a principle; a dramatic turn to violence propped up by racial profiling, inequalities, and police brutality; and an era of surveillance wherein the threat of being observed is constant—these are perhaps the most notable issues in a series of unfortunate events that give rise to a figure such as The Donald
As Canadians, while understanding the factors involved in sustaining Trump’s platform, we should be wary of the malicious intentions of such windbags who spew inflammatory garbage. What the man lacks in moral clarity, or in mere intellect even, he certainly makes up for in ignorance with respect to basic history and theology, not to mention his fraudulence. Yet even though his bullying tactics position him as easily the least-qualified of the presidential candidates in recent memory, Canadians ought to not scoff at the American political circus, or at Trump’s insincere campaign.
We are merely lucky at this point to not be facing the frightening prospect of a Trump-like figure running for federal office. Through little fault of their own, Americans are faced with a Donald or Hillary decision—a grand-scale dilemma the likes of which we are fortunate to avoid. What is undeniable is that whether or not Canadians ever see such an ignoramus as Trump in the running for Prime Minister, we will suffer the repercussions of American, and ultimately worldly, political and social discontent.