Friday, March 29, 2019
Coincidence, Or Have We Lost All the Real Leaders?
Donald Trump, Theresa May, Justin Trudeau - what has happened to the leaders of western liberal democracies? Is there no A-list talent left?
Macron seems to have made a botch of it in France. Angela Merkel, today's leader of the Free World, will be packing it in within a couple of years.
Even the pols in waiting - think Andrew Scheer or Jeremy Corbyn - aren't exactly inspirational.
Authoritarians are running the show - in America, the Philippines, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Turkey, Brazil and they're not out to safeguard liberal democracy. These are xenophobes and bigots. Many of them are actively working to undermine action to thwart climate change.
Britain has been wrecked by Brexit. Theresa May has utterly failed to lead the UK to some workable accommodation with the EU. The country is deeply divided. Canadians are being warned by their own government to steer clear of dangerous demonstrations and the prospect of terrorism in Britain. Say what?
Trump, armed with a pretend "get out of jail free" letter from his Attorney General vows revenge on traitors. Now he's threatening to seal the US-Mexico border, even to the point of cutting off trade.
At home, Justin Trudeau looks like a one-man "gang who couldn't shoot straight." He's in a quagmire largely of his own making. One scandal (at least in the public's eye) is followed by the next. Even the resignation of Butts and the clerk of the Privy Council, Wernick, hasn't done him any good. Few seem to be rushing to his side even as what appears to be a slow-moving coup - akin to the take down of Diefenbaker, Joe Clark, John Turner and Stephane Dion - appears to be underway.
I've been following events in Westminster and Brussels lately and it's almost enough to plunge you into a double migraine. Here the Brits are, about three years since the referendum, and still no one has any idea what Brexit is or even if it is.
Trump - chaos. Theresa May - chaos. Trudeau - chaos.
Is this really a trans-national coincidence? Have we suddenly run out of leaders?
Are we watching something unfold that we might not, as yet, recognize? Are these democratic spams a sign of a different, more dangerous order setting in? Who can tell?