Of late, many mainstream Canadian media pundits have sided with centrist Democrats in the United States to argue that a left-wing Democratic nominee would lead to the re-election of President Donald Trump. For example, Konrad Yakabuski wrote in the Globe and Mail on August 2 that “their (Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren) hate-on for private enterprise has cut them off from the mainstream United States. Instead, they seem to have embarked on a kind of space odyssey 2020.”
In David Frum’s recently published book, Trumpocracy – The Corruption of the American Republic, Frum explores the conditions that allowed for President Donald Trump to take over the oval office. However, Frum seems to have missed the mark, by failing to appropriately cite the rise of inequality and neo-liberalism as the primary drivers of Trump’s victory.
While Canadians are understandably focused on what the election of President Trump means for our bilateral trading relationship and the future of NAFTA, a much bigger issue for the global economy is the pending clash between the United States and China.
Donald Trump’s ascension to the US presidency is being hailed by some as the end of globalization as we have come to know it in the last four decades. Others see in Trump’s electoral victory the end of neoliberal economic policy, which promoted free trade and free markets, and limited the scope of government. But German sociologist Wolfgang Streeck discerns in the demise both of globalization and neoliberalism the end of capitalism itself, at least the variety of capitalism that exists in North America and Western Europe.
On January 20, a dangerous con-man took high office in the United States.
Openly trading in hate while ushering in more inequality will be Donald Trump’s MO for the next four years. While the far right gains ground globally, locally we’re not immune. It is a troubling moment for progressives. It’s also an opportunity to respond and to act.