Questions You Should be Asking the World Around You
Right wing news sites aren’t the only ones I read. I sometimes check up on left wing web sites too. This one is from Der Spiegel’s G20 interview with Canada’s Justin Trudeau. It’s a little bit long so I’ve cut out the parts which stood out to me the most.
1 – SPIEGEL: Mr. Prime Minister, half the world regards you as the “anti-Trump.” Do you and Donald Trump have anything in common?
Trudeau: Yes. I got elected on a commitment to Canadians that I was going to make growth work for everyone. I was going to focus on the middle class and those working hard to join it. I was going to make sure that the people who felt that the growth in the economy had left them behind would be included. That’s similar to the promise that got Trump elected. Now, our approaches to the same problems are somewhat different. But in my conversations with him, we’ve very much been able to agree that we want to help the citizens of our countries in tangible ways.
2 – SPIEGEL: What was your first thought when you learned that Donald Trump had won the election?
Trudeau: It was a surprise. I don’t think a lot of people expected him to win. But there was also a recognition that the anger and concerns that many Americans had was real. That this was going to be both a challenge in the relationship, obviously — a president who comes in with an ideology that doesn’t always align with mine, but also the challenge of really needing to deal with this anger, this expression of frustration with the ruling institutions, parties and structures that, for many years, have demonstrated that they haven’t done a good enough job of listening to ordinary people.
SPIEGEL: Do you believe this anger poses a serious threat to democracy?
Trudeau: We had an election in Canada in 2015 in which the conservative incumbent used the politics of division, the politics of fear — of immigrants and Muslims, specifically — and of class envy and security to try and drive what is resonating very much in some of the right-wing populism movements. We countered it with an inclusive vision. Instead of trying to say we were going to protect people from the worst among us, let’s try and bring out the best in all of us and a positive vision of working together to solve big problems, to recognize that, yes, all is not right, things need to be fixed. We’re better off solving things by working together than by pointing fingers at other people. Emmanuel Macron and Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, took a very similar approach. They said: We’re stronger together. And it worked.
These two sections here may not appeal to the right so much, but that’s understandable because Trudeau is sort of center left. Trudeau knows his audience and thus he speaks very neutrally, with a slight bit more consideration for the left. But the part where he mentioned ‘anger,’ and ‘ruling institutions,’ tells me that he’s very aware of the state of affairs in the USA. How CNN in divisive, how the Washington Post, and NyTimes etc. etc. sold out the country, and he’s also aware how it really toasted people’s buns. So to me this says that he’s keeping track of Canada’s closest neighbor (which means he’s interested), and that’s a good thing. Interested means engagement. Engagement means cooperation. Cooperation means that there won’t be so much entanglement like in the previous adminstration, where Obama didn’t care, Harper didn’t care, nobody else cared. The deputies and lieutenants ran amok. The people fell asleep. ZZZZZZ.
With Trudeau, there’s a sense of engagement, where he knows there’s a problem here, here’s a way to iron it out, and here’s how both Canada and the US can benefit mutually.
Trudeau sounds like a thinking person.
The full interview can be found here:
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