Fear of Donald Trump in Canada becoming overblown:...
Bookmark and Share
Dec 18, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Fear of Donald Trump in Canada becoming overblown: Tim Harper

Donald Trump’s racist ramblings are a problem for Republicans and our American friends, but we’re overreacting in Canada

SEE MOREarticles from this author

It’s now obvious that his rivals for the U.S. Republican presidential nomination have no idea how to deal with Donald Trump.

The party itself has no solution and ultimately — although highly unlikely — this might be a question the entire United States might have to confront.

What’s unclear at this point is why so many in this country believe the offensive comments, the racism and the ill-informed bombastic blathering of the Republican frontrunner is something we have to deal with.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is among politicians who have called for his name to be stripped from a tower in his city. The same call has been heard in Toronto.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair wants him barred from this country and a member of his caucus has sponsored a petition to have that done. Conversely, the mayor of Winnipeg invited him to his city. Brian Bowman thinks a visit to the Museum of Human Rights will fix what’s wrong with Trump.

Here’s another suggestion — leave him alone.

Let the GOP and its comic book slate of candidates figure this out and let our American friends sort it out in 2016. The Republican gang, as the Washington Post editorialized Thursday is a slate, “for whom bigotry, hatred and magical thinking are the new normal.’’

One candidate, now kicked to the curb, wanted to build a wall at our border and another, Ben Carson, wants the National Guard and the U.S. military to patrol parts of the 49th parallel.

Trump has conjured up visions of “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey cheering from rooftops as the World Trade Center came down and tens of thousands of refugees arriving with cellphones with ISIS logos on them. He has a truly North Korean-style plan to close part of “our Internet” to enemies of the U.S.

Trump will not become U.S. president, but he may destroy the Republican party.

Yes, his views are dangerous, but is the level of Trumpidation in this land such that we must ban him from Canada?

Burnaby New Democrat Kennedy Stewart — under a new parliamentary e-petition system he created — asserts Canada is a proudly multicultural nation that embraces people regardless of ancestry or religion. He notes it is illegal in Canada to incite hatred against any identifiable group. Therefore, his petition says, Trump should be banned by the federal government from entering Canada until he withdraws and apologizes for his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Leave aside the incoherence of celebrating the fact that we embrace everyone by banning someone from the country, barring politicians for offensive views is one slippery slope.

“There is free speech and there is hate speech and there is a fine line between the two,’’ Kennedy said Thursday.

We’ve just had an election in this country in which the politics of fear was rejected.

A Conservative incumbent who warned of a refugee crisis as a front for a Muslim takeover was defeated. A “snitch” line to report on “barbaric cultural practices” helped dispatch Chris Alexander to the category of ex-MP, and Stephen Harper’s demonization of a woman who wanted to wear a niqab to her citizenship ceremony, after fully identifying herself privately, was rejected.

On the week Trump was calling for his Muslim ban, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was handing out coats and mitts to Syrian refugees arriving at Pearson airport.

We should not be smug. We must remember that a third of the electorate still voted for the party espousing these views and opposition to the niqab ban helped lead to Mulcair’s demise in Quebec.

We can’t be certain about the reception of Syrian refugees until we see it play out following the glow of the early arrivals.

A San Bernardino-style shooting here, which sparked the most offensive of Trump’s declarations, would change the political equation here. The country’s largest city elected Rob Ford. So we must remain vigilant.

Trudeau has been properly circumspect when asked about Trump.

“Painting (Islamic State) and others with a broad brush that extends to all Muslims is not just ignorant, it is irresponsible,’’ he said this week. He said those peddling fear make us weaker, not safer.

But in an earlier interview with the BBC, Trudeau said the era of the Ford or Trump-style anti-politician “has, to a certain extent, run its course.”

I think Trudeau’s right, but if he’s wrong, he and others in this country will have much larger problems than Trump’s travel plans or whether his name is on a tower.

Toronto Star

Bookmark and Share

(0) Comment

Join The Conversation Sign Up Login

Latest Local News

In Your Neighbourhood Today