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The Whole World is Watching

September 18, 2016

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I love living in Canada and being a Canadian. In typical Canadian fashion, I’m not a flag waver nor engage in what often seems at times adolescent patriotism south of the border. But I have to share a secret, not only mine but that of my fellow 35 million Canadians: we can’t seem to get enough of the political circus that has been going on for the past year in the United States. Canadians are great voyeurs, and have a certain competency at crapping on Americans in order to build themselves up. And that’s not something of which to be proud.

It doesn’t matter where you’re at—grocery store, work, gym, you name the place—Canadians are having a ball watching the world’s greatest reality show star inch his way to the White House. All the while, the first woman in U.S. history to run for President is desperately trying to repel accusations thrown at her on several fronts. Her teflon shield seems to be getting badly chipped in the process.

It’s a very sad state when instead of Americans rejoicing that finally a woman has a shot at the White House—a sad indictment for the world’s oldest existing democracy since 1776—many voters are either repulsed by Hillary Clinton’s political baggage or indecisive of whether to vote for her on November 8th.

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton meets with civil rights leaders at the National Urban League in the Manhattan borough of New York

In a recent leadership post I wrote on the U.S. election, and which appeared on another social media site, an American (Trump supporter) told me essentially to butt out since he couldn’t give a “shit” what Canadians think. Well, I can understand that comment to a point. Except, as I pointed out to him, not only do Canadians have a big stake in the November 8th outcome but indeed the entire world has a stake, a huge one at that. For example, about 75% of Canada’s exports go to the U.S. (at one time it was as high as 83%). Commercial vehicle flow across the border is extremely important to Canada. Cooperation on security and defence for our two countries is of utmost importance.

Hillary Clinton has never shown herself to be a friend of Canada. To gain political points, she blamed Canada for the 911 terrorists, stating that they came across the border (they came from Saudi Arabia). She later blamed Canada for the huge power failure that struck northeastern North America on August 14, 2003 (it started at an Ohio power plant).

But this doesn’t make it any better with a potential Donald Trump presidency. The truly scary part is that no one knows (except maybe his immediate family) what his true intentions are and how he would behave both on the international stage and how he would lead America on numerous intersecting domestic issues. How many of Trump’s rantings and flip-flops are genuine as opposed to being fabricated, made up along the way, to appeal to disenfranchised voters?

Is the reality show ringmaster as crazy as they say, or as cunning as a fox? Is Donald Trump’s end game, now that he’s stumbled his way to where he’s at, to accept losing to Hillary Clinton and then launch a new realty show series aimed at smearing a Clinton presidency? And if he were to win on November 8th, would he bring in the TV crews and cameras to give Americans—and the world—a never-before-seen reality show from the White House?

President Seal.jpg

Where does the weirdest election campaign in U.S. history end? In Armageddon, if we’re believe those who oppose Donald Trump’s bid for the role of President of the United States? Or more cronyism and pandering to the rich and powerful if Hilary Clinton wins?

In less than two months we’ll find out which of these two polarizing figures wins the presidency. However, it will be months later for the world to start seeing the real intent and policy changes of a President Trump or President Clinton. For example, would Donald Trump actually show some compassion and common sense towards America’s huge number of illegal aliens? Would Trump have the back of NATA partners who face aggressive tactics from Russia? And would he re-think his strategy to hugely increase the deficit, and in turn the debt, of the United States through idiotic tax measures?

On the flip side, would a President Hillary Clinton actually shoot the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the head as she’s espoused, or cave to the demands of conglomerates? Would she show some love to Canada, a country to which she’s shown little interest in the past?

Regardless of who wins on November 8th, Canada is more or less screwed. And while Americans may believe that their national election is their business and their’s alone, there’s so much at stake this time that it’s the world’s business what happens in the United States.

Americans like to brag that they live in the best country in the world, that they have the right to intervene in countries on the other side of the world if they don’t like what’s taking place, and that what’s good for the United States is good for the world (aka their version of democracy). If that’s the operating premise for America at large, then the world has a vested stake in how that country leads itself, and by extension, the rest of the planet.

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.
— Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th President of the United States)


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