A Commentary by Doug Draper
Posted May 4th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
Since a year ago this June, when he glided down the escalator from his gold tower to begin his campaign for the U.S. presidency, Americans have looked on – some with chuckles, some with jeers and some with cheers – as Donald Trump, with reptilian voracity has ripped one piece of flesh after another from the bones of the once proud, 164-year-old Republican Party.
This May 3rd, as the votes were tallied in the latest in a series of presidential primaries in the State of Indiana, what little was left of the grand ol’ party of Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt breathed its last gasp as the Donald emerged as the last clown standing in a year-long race to run against Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders for the highest office in the land.
This May 4rth, on its front page, one of America’s most circulated news tabloids, the New York Daily News, depicted Trump’s victory over an eviscerated Republican establishment and the elephant that serves as its symbol as follows.
Seems like a shocker to many Americans but not so much for those of us living north of the U.S./Canada border that went through this more than two decades ago with the death of the old Conservative Party of John A. MacDonald, John Diefenbaker and Joe Clark, and almost every last one of its so-called “Red Tory” members.
Many Canadians were so fed-up with the way the old party’s last majority leader, Brian Mulroney, was running things with all of his stacking the Senate with party hacks to ram through an unwanted Goods and Services Tax (GST), negotiating away tens of thousands of good paying manufacturing job through a “free trade” agreement with the United States and Mexico and slashing funding for health care, post-secondary education and environmental education that we cheered when it was reduced from a majority to a mere two seats left in parliament in the 1993 federal election.
The problem is that once those rascals are thrown out, what is behind door number two?
In Canada’s case, it ultimately turned out to be Stephen Harper and his Tea Party-like toadies that turned out to be a disaster for the country on a whole host of fronts. It couldn’t even keep some of its most fundamental promises like reforming the country’s undemocratic Senate (in fact, it stacked the chamber with more of its hacks than almost any other government that came before it) and bringing back enough secure, decent paying jobs to rebuild a crumbled middle class. And it left Canada’s dangerously vulnerable to global forces manipulating the price of oil by putting so many of our country’s economic eggs in the tar sands basket.
It took a decade before Harper and his minions finally got the boot and it could well take at least as long for the government that has replaced them to clean up the mess they made.
And now our American friends and neighbours are facing door number two and there is the possibility that Donald Trump could defy all the pundits’ predictions, just as he did when began running last year in the primaries, and be sworn in next January as the 45th president of the United States.
God help the United States and God help Canada (which can be hurt far more than any reckless moves one of our prime minister could make because of the sheer size of the American economy) if he is!
From what I read, there are many other nations around the world very concerned about the prospect of a Trump presidency too. And not because of what he is saying about the unfairness of NAFTA and other trade agreements, which is only thing I happen to agree with, but because of all the other racist, sexist, climate denying and incendiary strongman garbage he is peddling to a hardcore base of supporters that includes everyone from TV celebrity gazers and angry, out-of-work people looking for someone to blame to white supremacist groups.
As bad as it often was, is there any way that Republican elephant can be brought back from the dead?
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