We have wasted our own experience and proximity to the U.S. because we were too busy flaunting our often-hypocritical liberal virtues, writes Philip Cross in the Financial Post. Below is an excerpt from the article, which can be read in full here.
By Philip Cross, November 13, 2020
The Trudeau government was quick to close the book on the Trump presidency and congratulate Joe Biden on his election. Other major American trading partners, notably Mexico and China, weren’t so quick off the mark, perhaps fearing Donald Trump’s wrath if he succeeds in overturning the results or launches another bid for the presidency in 2024. More importantly, Canada’s haste to move on from Trump denies what should be our advantage in explaining to the world the rise and apparently enduring popularity of Trumpism.
Commentators and pollsters underestimated the depth of Trump’s support in the electorate in both 2016 and 2020. They discounted 2016 as a protest vote against a corrupt establishment, but the 71 million Americans who voted for Trump in 2020 clearly knew what they were voting for.
These repeated, massive failures of governance prepared the ground for the rise of Donald Trump. After Trump won in 2016, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan ruefully acknowledged that Trump had “heard a voice out in this country that no one else heard. He connected in ways with people that no one else did.” The disillusion, despair and exclusion felt by working-class whites was vividly reflected in their falling life expectancy.