It's one thing to know Donald Trump is a demagogue. It's another thing to say he's a demagogue. It's something altogether different to go into the American capital and say:
"When people feel their economic future is in jeopardy; when they believe their children have fewer opportunities than they themselves had in their youth; that’s when people are vulnerable to the demagogue who scapegoats the outsider, the other -- whether it’s immigrants at home or foreign actors."That was part of a speech foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland delivered last night in Washington where she received Foreign Policy magazine's 'diplomat of the year' award.
Freeland offered a brief history of the formation of the G20 and G7, and how international rules-based order came to be. And although those systems spread across the world and created positive change, the assumption that democracy was inevitable everywhere was wrong, Freeland said.
“The saddest example for me is Russia. Even China, whose economic success in lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty is one of the great accomplishments of recent times, stands as a rebuke to our belief in the inevitability of liberal democracy.
“And within the club of wealthy Western nations, we’re seeing homegrown anti-democratic movements on the rise. Whether they are neo-Nazis, white supremacists, incels, nativists, or radical anti-globalists, such movements seek to undermine democracy from within.
“The idea that democracy could falter, or be overturned in places where it had previously flourished, may seem outlandish.
“But other great civilizations have risen -- and then fallen. It is hubris to think we will inevitably be different. Our prime minister likes to say about our country that Canada didn’t happen by accident, and it won’t continue without effort. The same can be said of democracy itself.”