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Posted: August 3, 2019

The bell tolls for all of us, including Donald Trump

“Perceptions,“ by Gerry Warner

Op-Ed Commentary

I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I’d been born about 20 miles south. That would have meant being born an American. O.M.G,  perish the thought!

Then again, it would have meant being born in the richest, most powerful and supposedly the greatest democracy on Earth. Hard to argue with that. But watching the Democratic Party candidates debate Wednesday night, I gave a little shudder of relief that I was born about 20 miles north of the border. That means I’m not beholden in any way to Donald Trump and I only have to worry about a prime minister that apologizes too much.

But let’s face it, my thinking is a bit delusional as former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once said in a famous quote: “Living next to you (the US) is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

Every twitch and grunt indeed. Like it or not, Canada is nothing more than a fly on a dog’s back when it comes to our relationship with the behemoth known as the United States of America. We can complain, jump up and down and scream out our angst over what the Americans do to us and the rest of the world and it won’t make a molecule of difference to the swaggering empire to the south of us. And I don’t mean Mexico.

And never in history has the American Empire swaggered as much as it’s doing now under the belligerent leadership of Donald J. Trump, an unmitigated racist.

Just a few egregious examples. He pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement expressing his disdain for the millions world-wide that fear the consequences of global climate change. He abandoned the Iran Nuclear Agreement raising the spectre of adding yet another country to the world’s Nuclear Club. He also withdrew the US from the Trans Pacific Partnership, delighting China, the second most powerful empire on Earth and lusting to become number one and he has done everything in his power to overturn the Affordable Care Act that provides health care to millions of Americans that never had it before. And he’s doing this just to spite his predecessor, Barack Obama, out of blind envy of the former president. With a neighbour like this can Canadians be blamed for asking who needs neighbours?

So yes, I watched the American candidates’ debate this week and will probably watch a few more on the long march to November 2020 when the fate of the world will literally hang in the balance. And don’t accuse me of being hyperbolic or over-wrought about this. Like it or not, the world’s fate does hang in the hands of Pax America and its irrational, unsteady, bully of a leader.

China’s turn will come but in the meantime it’s Trump and that should scare the hell out of all of us. Remember it was only a month ago that he came within 10 minutes of ordering an American bombardment of Iran.

Simply put, he’s a bad man and he must be removed from power. Who best to do it? It’s far too early to say now, but the process is in motion and eventually it will winnow out the weeds from the winners.

That’s why I’ll keep watching the Democratic debates. It’s not a perfect process, but in the end, I think it will produce a candidate capable of knocking the bully off his pedestal and enabling the entire world to breathe easier again.

Or am I being naïve?

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and a long-time political reporter who has never seen a political phenomenon like Donald Trump.

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