Musings —11.29.2016 01:00 AM—
Grateful, relieved, happy.
That’s what not a few of us felt when Donald Trump “won.”
(I put “won” in flying quotes because, as various experts have now noted, there’s an excellent chance that the bilious billionaire actually lost the presidential race, but “won” because industrious Russian hackers nudged 100,000 votes in three states towards him. In that way, Trump – who is now more than TWO MILLION VOTES behind Hillary Clinton nationally – “won” the state-by-state Electoral College. But we digress.)
Nobody who is sane was in any way grateful, relieved or happy when Trump “won,” naturally. Anyone with the slightest stake in the present was variously outraged, mystified and/or scared shitless. We still are, on a global scale.
But, nationally, at least, I suspect most Canadians were happy. Because (a) we live in Canada, and (b) because Justin Trudeau is Prime Minister.
If you live in Canada, you are generally always happier than our American friends. We have a better quality of life, we have free health care, we have better public schools, we have safer streets, we have better regulation of banks and industries, we have much better relationships with our fellow citizens – whatever their race, religion or sexual orientation. Up here, everything is just way better – hockey now regretfully excluded. Every Canadian knows that.
But, in the past three weeks, we have been made better by Justin Trudeau running things, too. It’s the truth.
It is also true that I have not always been wildly enthusiastic about the way the newly-minted Prime Minister does things. Having had the privilege and honour of working for the Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien for quite a few years, I learned the value of the following things:
• always undersell and over-perform
• always be in the papers as little as possible
• always treat taxpayer dollars like they are precious things, because they are
The Trudeau guys have a different way of doing things. The selfies, the media focus, the tendency to be slightly-less-than-parsimonious, the frequent use of adjectives when describing what they were elected to do. I’m not used to that style of governing, at all, and I don’t particularly like that style of governing. I have often said so, Liberal Party membership card notwithstanding.
But now? Now, after Trump? Now, when the world is about to become decidedly more nasty, more brutish, more short?
In Trump World, I now feel like kissing the ground upon which Justin Trudeau walks. I feel like giving voice to heavenly hosannas and hallelujahs. I feel like dancing, to quote Leo Sayer, circa 1976.
Trudeau, whatever his shortcomings, is a giant on the world stage when compared to the sausage-fingered, sphincter-mouthed, combed-over, racist/sexist/arguably fascist Human Cheeto to the South.
Justin Trudeau is everything Donald Trump is not: Likeable. Sane. Decent. Smart. Democratically elected (see: industrious Russian hackers perverting democracy in three states, above).
Will we Canucks be safer in the coming Dark Times? Probably not. Trump is the best recruitment tool ISIS has ever had. Will we benefit economically? Don’t be ridiculous: Trump’s trade policy is more protectionist than North Korea’s. Things are about to get way worse, and everyone will feel it.
But Canada, as several Americans recently told me, is a much better place to be until Trump is indicted. During the campaign in which she would get TWO MILLION VOTES more than her vile opponent, my wife and I volunteered for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, Maine and at her Brooklyn headquarters. Over and over, our fellow Team Clinton members would say to us: “If Trump wins, can we move into your basement? Oh, and PS: Justin Trudeau is awesome.”
Well, folks, we can reveal that there are now several million American refugees down in our basement, stacked like cordwood. All clutching Team Trudeau campaign buttons.
They are grateful, relieved and happy that Justin Trudeau and Canada both still exist.
Like I am. And like you should be, too.