Letters: How Canada can survive Trump and/or Trudeau

Maclean's readers write letters to the editor

Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump. (Reuters)

Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump. (Reuters)

Trumping Trudeau

Instead of writing about “How Canada can survive president Trump” (Cover, Nov. 28), you should be writing about how Canada can survive Justin Trudeau. Our Prime Minister has done nothing but travel around the world for the past year and make himself available to the media. Maclean’s has played right into his hands and has put him on the cover many times. Please, no more pictures of Justin Trudeau until he accomplishes something.

Ian Pirie, Kitchener, Ont.

So you and the rest of the mainstream media got egg on your faces with Donald Trump winning the election despite the fact that he was declared unfit and unelectable by the supposedly unbiased media outlets, including your publication. Instead of respecting the results and focusing on the unprecedented positive attitude toward the transfer of power, you double down with negative predictions and personal insults. Pathetic. But, seeing as your publication was so wrong in predicting the election results, I’d say it’s a safe bet that you’ll be off again in your predictions. Trump won; get over yourselves.

Daniel Mackintosh, Morriston, Ont.

The media have been crying, “The sky is falling,” from the day Donald Trump was elected they show no sign of letting up. With all the negative predictions and dire warnings, one would think they must be right. So why are global markets reaching all-time highs? It appears to me that Donald Trump is good for the economy, and a strong economy is good for pension plans, individual investors and all Canadians. I think we should sit back and watch how things turn out, and not listen to the same media who predicted a Hillary Clinton win.

Keith Sutcliffe, Dartmouth, N.S.

While I initially received Donald Trump’s victory with disdain and shock, I am now trying to make sense of it and turn lemons into lemonade. It will hopefully force us to pause and reflect on what went wrong with humanity that a man of such calibre could win the race to the White House. Extremism is a serious ailment that has affected all humanity irrespective of colour and creed. I hope we will come to appreciate this situation as an opportunity for unity, self-reflection, and for finding a cure for this illness.

Abubakar N. Kasim, Toronto

The recent U.S. election begs the question: Did Donald Trump actually want to be the president of the United States, or was he using the election as a platform in order to vent? Since he did win, is this an example of unmatched proportions of the old adage, “He was hoisted on his own petard”?

Joyce Janzen, Nanaimo, B.C.

Election aftermath

I was appalled to learn that Ontario MP Kellie Leitch hailed Donald Trump’s win as “an exciting message” that “we need delivered in Canada” (“It could happen here,” New World Order, Nov. 28). If she means by “exciting,” the campaign Trump ran, rife with racism, bigotry, misogyny, religious intolerance and homophobia, then that is a message that has no place in Canada. We are a diverse country, where our differences are celebrated, not mocked.

Ken Traves, Fort Erie, Ont.

Writer Jason Markusoff seems to have a good understanding of the U.S. electoral system. (New World Order, Nov. 28) It is, however, one of the 95 various forms of proportional representation types of voting systems around the world. Is this what Justin Trudeau is planning for us? As Markusoff points out, it is very unlikely that the U.S. is so totally dissatisfied with the election results to want change. Once a system is in place, it is virtually impossible to change.

Brian Mellor, Picton, Ont.

President-elect Donald Trump’s current assessment of the NATO alliance as being irrelevant (New World Order, Nov. 28) was a risk realized by Lord Ismay, the first NATO secretary-general. His 1949 assessment of the alliance’s role was, “Keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” As the Russians are still out, and the Germans are now a long-standing democracy with a viable military force, there’s now no ongoing need for a large U.S. military presence in Europe.

Ron Johnson, Victoria

I am bewildered by Evan Solomon’s column (“Trump is a changed man? Don’t bet on it,” Nov. 28). I understand what he is attempting to say, but comparing Trump to a 1971 “arrest” of students as part of a psychology experiment is bizarre. What the experiment revealed was what happens when people are arrested and detained. The fact that students were put in positions of power, as guards, over other students should provide lots of clues as to what one could reasonably expect to happen. To leap from there to another of your condemnations of Donald Trump defies logic.

John Bower, Regina

Only about 58 per cent of eligible U.S. voters bothered to show up on Election Day, meaning Donald Trump won the presidency with the support of only 25 per cent of the electorate. So, that’s approximately a 26 per cent mandate for a man who has chosen for his chief adviser Steve Bannon, the inflammatory oracle of all things white supremacist at Brietbart News. Evidently, this entire outcome was pushed through on the rage wave against “political correctness.” As Iowa voter Janet Nives told Maclean’s, “everybody is prejudiced,” and she is so “done with the political correctness crap” (“The rise of Donald Trump,” Election 2016, Nov. 21). This viewpoint is the potent crux of Trump’s ascendancy. All the violent campaigns waged today, as with ISIS, wreak brutality upon the despised “other”—the non-tolerated, out-group of local minorities (Christians, Yazidis, Jews). We all admit to some prejudice lurking deep within our flawed souls, but destroying the other is not a solution. We should all leave our insularity and try to meet this other, look them in the eye and shake their hand. Worth a try, n’est-ce pas?

Jezrah Hearne, Vancouver

Losing Leonard

It broke my heart to find that the issue including your tribute to Leonard Cohen (“Leonard Cohen, R.I.P.” Society, Nov. 28) had Donald Trump on the cover again. Yes, our Prime Minister was there as well, but that doesn’t make it any better. Leonard should have been the cover. No one would mind seeing him again.

Jocelyne Triganne, Montreal

On that sad morning after learning of the passing of our dear Canadian legend Leonard Cohen, I made a casual remark to my partner about the next cover of Maclean’s. I mused that it would be either graced by the orange-hued face of the new president-elect or by the elegant poetic creases of the Golden Voice. The following week, the issue arrived in my mailbox and lo and behold, it was the former on the cover. Imagine my disappointment when, once again, the bully from the south appeared on the cover. Yes, a tribute—albeit short at only four pages—to Leonard Cohen appears on page 50, but only after sifting through (ignoring?) 14 pages about American politics. I am dismayed and crestfallen that you could not dedicate one cover to the man who has given our country so much.

Nicole Ardiel, Victoria

And more incivility

Over the past few years in the political and public policy arenas, we seem to have abandoned any intelligent debate of ideas and reverted to name-calling and bullying. In the Nov. 28 Letters pages, name-calling was frequent, ranging from “smug and arrogant eastern Liberal elites” and “mealy-mouthed” to “devil incarnate…adulterer and cheat.” This does not only happen behind the anonymity of social and print media. An elected municipal official recently told me that municipal staff have been physically threatened, called names and bullied. As a mentors often says, we need to be tough on the issues, not on the people.

Gail Boehm, Calgary

The fiasco of the recent American election is enough of a train wreck without the appalling views of some Canadians (Letters, Nov. 21) who might be more comfortable packing their bags and heading south. Since when is Donald Trump’s questionable behaviour confined to “patting a few bums”? The ability of Trump supporters to dismiss virtually all of his horrendous behaviour and exceedingly ill-informed rants simply boggles the mind. Bullying is not confined to the schoolyard; it is very much a feature of his world.

Michael Copland, Kitchener, Ont.

Many of your readers’ letters make wild and outlandish claims that they fail to substantiate with any kind of verification or proof, or they gleefully or maliciously vilify others with disparaging remarks. An example is Daryl Moad, in your Nov. 21 issue, when he said your staff was “sick and demented,” Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama committed “treason” and that Maclean’s is trying to “destroy North America.” Did he offer any proof? Of course not. Everyone has an opinion, but why do your editors publish uninformed opinions masquerading as facts? It is no better than the rubbish one has to wade through on social media looking for a kernel of truth.

David Densmore, Osoyoos, B.C.

Rien ne change jamais

Martin Patriquin is to be congratulated for his insightful reporting on Quebec’s most recent “unethical” incident (“Bad Boys,” National, Nov. 21). The secret spying on journalists by police flies in the face of one of the most treasured of democratic elements: the freedom of the press to investigate and report without influence. Six years ago, Maclean’s printed another piece by Patriquin noting that Quebec should carry the moniker of “the most corrupt province.” A political hue and cry was raised to denounce his contentions. Well, the Charbonneau commission aptly supported the depth of corruption that exists in Quebec. Thanks to Maclean’s for shining a bright light where many would prefer darkness to remain.

Jon Bradley, Montreal

Whom changes leave behind

What your editorial on self-driving vehicles (Nov. 28) missed are the social ramifications when people previously gainfully employed as truck drivers, bus drivers etc. are left with no means of supporting themselves. What is to be their fate as they fall back upon what is a stretched and strained social safety net? Those persons idled will not disappear as readily as their former jobs did.

Edward Swynar, Newcastle, Ont.