Friday, November 16, 2018
Donald Trump, Stephen Harper, and the Canadian Trumplings
It was quite the scene the other day. Emmanuel Macron at the Arc de Triomphe warning about the dangers of the new far-right nationalism, and accusing those who support it, of betraying patriotism.
While Donald Trump sat there looking like he was about to explode.
And in fact did explode, when he returned home, and fired off a stream of crude and childish tweets in the general direction of Macron. As only that man beast could.
But while Justin Trudeau, and I'm sure most Canadians, naturally sided with Macron against the bully Trump.
One well known Canadian bully, Stephen Harper, did not.
Instead he came bounding out of his comfy closet to defend Trump and criticize Macron.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s stinging rebuke of Donald Trump’s "America First" policy at the centenary commemoration of the First World War Armistice was another example of the “disconnected elitism” fuelling populism throughout the western world, according to former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper.
“I don’t think you can fault Donald Trump. I don’t think it’s ever reasonable to fault the president of the United States for believing in the United States, any more than I would find fault with the president of France if he believed in France.”
He shrugged off the threat posed by some of the right-wing governments in Europe.
While he says he does not agree with every policy of Mr Trump, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban or Italy’s far-right poster boy Matteo Salvini, Mr Harper believes the underlying concerns they are trying to address are legitimate, from the economy to trade and immigration.
And showed how far right he has travelled since he was defeated, and was spotted sneaking into the White House, without ever telling us what he was doing there...
He sees a new wave of extreme leftists, spearheaded by socialist politicians such as Bernie Sanders and British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, as a “much greater risk” than Mr Trump as they could try to upend the entire democratic capitalist system.
So I'm glad to see that at least one member of our reliably Con media, Stephen Maher, is criticizing Harper and his new book.
Harper’s attack on Macron looks like name-calling motivated by partisan ill will. (In what sense is Macron more elitist than Harper himself? I can’t see it.) It is an empty attack, more appropriate for a campaigning politician than a statesman.
Not just for what's in it, but also for what Harper doesn't mention.
He makes interesting observations about doctrinaire globalists who negotiated trade deals blindly, without sufficient regard to their national interest, and repeatedly warns that they were foolish to ignore the concerns of “those who shower after work, not just those who shower before it.”
But he says nothing about the role that automation played in destroying the jobs of the rust belt workers who voted for Trump, and nothing about the way Trump blamed immigration, using racism to rally his voters, the central political fact of Trumpism.
Before blaming it all on Great Fallen Leader's angry nature.
Harper still seems like a surprisingly angry man: talented, interesting and successful but still—for some reason—really really peeved.
But while that may be true, Harper is said to still be bitter at having being defeated by the man who was "just not ready."
I think the bigger picture is that it shows that Harper, like so many other Cons, is becoming a full-blown Trumpling.
The same kind of Trumpling that Andrew Scheer is becoming. The same kind of right-trampling the faithful Harperites who are running Doug Ford's government, are trying to make of him.
Or the same kind of Trumpling that Maxime Bernier is trying to make himself.
And whether Harper is dreaming of his return to power, or is just trying to sell more copies of his boring book, or whether he wants to be the Canadian godfather of the Trump Harperite cult, one thing is for sure.
We dodged a bullet when Justin Trudeau defeated him, for imagine what kind of a prime minister he would have been in a Trumpling Canada.
And until we can defeat those Trumplings, or they destroy themselves.
Nobody who lives here will be really safe.
And the future of this country will be in real danger...