The Threat To Democracy – A Canada Day/ Independence Day Concern

By Dr David Laing Dawson

The other night on the Bill Maher show Adam Gopnik warned of the threat to liberal democracy that Donald Trump presents. He also said that the democratic candidates arguing about what are usually the important issues (health care e.g.) normalizes Trump’s behaviour. If they don’t focus on that they are saying it is just politics.

We all recently saw Trump make a joke about telling Putin to not interfere in American Elections. We all saw him legitimize the cruel dictatorship of Kim Jong Un and suggest in conversation with Putin and by his friendship with The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia that killing off journalists is not such a bad thing.

But a small exchange between Trump and another journalist was perhaps the most chilling of all. The journalist asked Mr. Trump what he was going to discuss with Putin. And Donald Trump answered, “None of your business.”

And that small exchange embodied the threat to democracy Trump poses. For clearly Donald Trump does not see himself as an elected representative of the people with a four to eight year appointment to that position. He is, in his mind, a potentate, a king, a ruler, a despot, a chosen one, a single being more important than the populace, the populace that is allowing him to temporarily represent them. He does not understand democracy.

And then in Canada I see a cartoonist was fired, presumably for a cartoon depicting Donald golfing by the edge of the Rio Grande and coming across the bodies of Oscar Ramirez and his daughter Angie. The caption read, “Do you mind if I play through?”

Gopnik rightly suggests America is at a turning point; the only issue for 2020 is defeating Donald Trump before they lose their democracy. And the democratic candidates need to focus all energy on this.

And I mention the cartoonist because I think, I believe, that of all the freedoms we have in a democracy, the most important, and the freedom that provides the strongest bulwark against tyranny is not just the freedom of speech, good journalism, the fourth estate, but the freedom to complain, criticize, and most importantly, make fun of our leaders and deities.

A Belated Happy Canada Day.

2 thoughts on “The Threat To Democracy – A Canada Day/ Independence Day Concern

  1. You have mentioned the impending doom that the present head of the free world leads us towards. Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, showed that she is not fooled. Her face told it all as she had to put up with the inane Ivanka at the recent summit. Ivanka is totally unqualified to be at that table.

    Few are qualified around Trump to even have a say in serious matters. Those few that were, are now exiled or have resigned. Last night I Googled Lagarde where she interviewed David Attenborough on the world plight. Here we have an intelligent woman having to deal with the awful Trump. Let’s hope that he can be stopped before he takes us over the brink.

    Ignorance will not be bliss. And, for those of us who have not got our heads buried in the sand, we will continue to endure many hard seasons while Trump dismantles any progress that was possibly being made. Trump’s gall is truly growing bolder. That so many let him get away with it is shocking/ bewildering. Leaders make mistakes, yes, but the agenda here is that of a quote unscrupulous man. And his nature will not change nor will that of his kith and kin.


  2. Can we just celebrate Canada’s birthday please? It is not a day to reflect on American voters and who they elect to office. It is not “Aboriginal Victimhood Day” as some would have it. It’s a family day for BBQs, music, and fireworks for the kids in the evening. It’s a holiday. It’s a day to be grateful for being Canadian. Timing is everything. Pass the beer please.


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