Trump and After | The Meighen Forum 2019

Trump and After | The Meighen Forum 2019

(uplifting instrumental music) (muffled chatter) (audience applauding) – Good morning everyone
and thank you for coming. My name is Julie Miles and
I am the Associate Producer of The Meighen Forum. As we speak the Amazon
rainforest is ablaze and the world and its
leaders are watching. The Earth is calling out for help and I want to acknowledge the
Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, and the Anishinaabe and the Neutrals for being the past, present,
and future caretakers of this land we stand on today. This land feeds us, shelters
us, and provides space for our children to play
and for us to gather, and it’s on all of us to
think about caring for it for the generations to come. Today is our final
installment of CBC Ideas five part series titled “The Disruptors” that explores the roots of modern identity through the ideas of five
people who flip the table of conventional thought. The disruptor today is
not a new personality. Shakespeare had him pegged 500 years ago. He has been compared to Iago with this manipulative lies and deceit. As well as he’s been
compared to the conceited, self-absorbed Falstaff, who is oblivious to the
mockery that surrounds him. Yes, today we are talking about a leader who proclaims to be the
Chosen One, Donald Trump. Today’s event is being livestreamed, so I’d like to welcome
our virtual audience around the world. We are so very pleased
that you can join us today. We will begin with
introductions of our guests in a moderated discussion and
of course leaving some time for some questions from you. Our ushers have distributed note cards here in the studio theater
so jot down a question and we will collect
them in a timely manner. For those on our livestream
on our Facebook page, just pose a question
in the feed on the side and one of our staff members
will get the question to our moderator. It gives me great pleasure
to introduce to you today the host of CBC Ideas and our
moderator today, Nahlah Ayed. Thank you. (audience applauding) – Thank you. Thank you very much for that introduction and thank you all for being here. Just so you know it’s a full house, we have an overflow room as well, and people are watching on the livestream, which indicates the interest continues. And as you know, today’s
discussion is titled “Trump and After” and it is
the fifth and last of a series about people who were game-changers, and whose impact on our modern
world has been profound. So people like Darwin, Max, Marks, sorry, Freud, and Einstein. Now two of those have
largely been discredited, so not all game-changers are necessarily always
correct in their ideas, but their influence is still profound, and perhaps that’s where
Donald Trump comes in. So today we’ll be looking
at Trump’s influence and the potential long-term impact he and his presidency
might have on the world. And of course as you all know
as consumers of the media that he has had a profound
impact in geopolitics, his attitude to other nations,
both friends and enemies, on social issues, his
attitudes to women in politics and the way he seems to
also be a party of one. Now with us to discuss
all this are Linda McQuaig is a Canadian journalist, social critic and some-time candidate
for political office. She’s the author of many books
examining issues in democracy and free market economics, the winner of a National Newspaper Award, and a columnist for the Toronto Star. The National Post called Linda McQuaig Canada’s Michael Moore,
and her recent book is “The Sport and Prey of Capitalists”. David Frum is a senior editor
at The Atlantic magazine. He started his journalism
career here in Canada at Saturday Night magazine and he’s written for
the Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine and The Weekly Standard, the National Post as well as many others. His interest in politics
led him to the White House where he was a speechwriter
for George W. Bush and later a fellow at the
American Enterprise Institute. The author again also of
many books on politics and a self-described
conservative Republican who says that in 2016 he
voted for Hillary Clinton. Bob Rae, of course no
stranger to any of you, has had a long career
in Canadian politics. He was Premier of Ontario in the 1990s and later went on to federal
politics as a Toronto MP, eventually becoming interim
leader of the Liberal Party. After Michael Ignatieff
and before Justin Trudeau. A lifelong champion of social justice he’s worked as a lawyer
representing First Nations in political negotiations. He’s been Canada’s Special
Envoy most recently to Myanmar, and advisor to the prime
minister on the Rohinga crisis. Please welcome our panel. (audience applauding) Now the natural place of
course to start is politics, and we can at least talk about, or talk about at least
two distinct areas here. One would be the White House,
the president’s office, and the other is party
politics in the United States, and so David I wanted to start with you. Beyond the day to day,
what are the new hallmarks that you could point to of party politics in the United States that
have directly as a result of the Trump effect? – Thank you very much, well
first I would like to thank you for your hospitality in Stratford. I hope everyone attending
is having a splendid weekend and no one is too downcast by the commotion in the
stock markets this weekend. As they say, it’s all fun and games until someone loses $600
billion in wealth in six hours. (audience laughing) I think one of the most
dramatic ways of understanding what’s happening to
party politics is to look not at the United States
but at the United Kingdom. In 2016 in the referendum over Brexit, if you look constituency by
constituency who voted for and who voted against, of the 25 constituencies
that were most pro Brexit, 20 were held by the Labour Party. And of the 25 constituencies
that were most anti Brexit, 20 were held by the Labour Party. We have built since the War,
and maybe even before the War, a party system that is based on issues about private versus public sector, the role of government in
the economy, redistribution. We’ve moved into a new era, where those issues are less salient. The new issues of ethnicity,
identity, belonging. And the party map is being scrambled. Canada is maybe less affected
by these developments than other democracies, but just about everywhere
across the developed world we see the shrinkage of traditional social democratic parties, the rise of these new
authoritarian populist parties that draw votes in different ways. And that is what has been
going on in the United States. What you are watching
there is the withering of the Republican Party as
I knew it as a young person. When Ronald Reagan was president about a third of Americans
identified as Republicans, today barely more than a fifth do. The Democratic Party has
also shrunk, but not so fast. And we are watching the
remaking of the map, and I think you will see in 2020 some very unusual things happening. States that used to be
solid Democratic states, like West Virginia, becoming
the most Republican state or among the most Republican
states in the Union. The Republican hold on places
like Tennessee and Georgia weakening as voters in knowledge centers like Nashville and Atlanta increasing outnumber those in hinterlands. – So notwithstanding of
course it’s a big one, notwithstanding, but given
that there were so many other factors, I’d like to hone in on where Trump actually comes in, and I wondered Linda if you
could maybe tackle that. What’s his effect on all of this? – Well first of all let me just say I’m delighted to be
here, thank you so much. I guess I was brought in as a, when Steve Bannon couldn’t make it, but. (audience laughing) But let me just say, you know, I agree with a lot of what David’s saying. We’re seeing real evolution in politics. He talks about the rise of the sort of immigrant baiting, the, I mean let’s face
it, some racism there. I don’t know that we’re
seeing the end of the dominance of the issues of inequality, redistribution, all that in politics. In other words, while, and we see this particularly
in the Trump phenomena, you know, the focus is very much on inciting hatred really towards so many different groups, particularly brown-skinned groups. But in fact what’s really
going on too of course is these enormous tax
cuts for the very rich and that that is in fact let’s say what the influence of the Koch brothers has brought about. To fundamentally transform
the Republican Party, pumped billions, they’re
billionaires, pumped billions in, remade it in the name of libertarian extremist right-wing politics. That’s all about
deregulating, corporate power, or deregulating rules on corporations, bigger tax cuts for the rich. So yes, Trump has tapped into this anti-immigrant strain, but what we’re really still
about in American politics is that huge power of the corporate elite. – But Bob, Trump started as an outsider, I mean there were many
Republicans that did not, and perhaps may not still
want him to be president. What is it about him in particular
that helped him you think take over and essentially
recreate the party in his own image? – Oh I think it’s his hair. (audience laughing) More than anything. – The mystery is solved. – Sorry. You know, I think of Darwin, Marks, Freud, Einstein, and
Trump, and I’m reminded of that old Sesame Street song
about which one of these is not like the other, you know? (audience laughing) But seriously, I think, and you have
to, I mean first of all I think laughter is a huge factor in how we survive politics these days. But I think that Trump has, has appealed to a new
constituency of people who have actually been dispossessed by changes in the economy. David talked about West Virginia, well West Virginia has not
benefited to the same extent as many other centers in the United States from the age of globalization and the transformation
of the American economy, the Canadian economy. So there are, the whole
world of who is a have and who is a have not has changed. And it’s changing all the time. And Trump was able to develop a way of connecting with a whole group of
people who were angry and who were left out and
who felt that the world was changing around them and
they had no control over it. And this actually I think is the feed bed of populist nationalism. It comes from, it’s not about does it
really come from identity or does it really come
from economic anxiety, academics and journalists
can debate this forever, but in reality it’s both,
both are playing a big role in this transformation. And that economic change, and
the social changes as well are also creating the polarization and changing the nature
of party coalitions. And I think we can see this
not only in the United States but across Europe and in Canada too, in many many different countries. These are the factors that underlie it. And Trump’s undeniable skills as a communicator, and as, in a way Twitter is
the perfect medium for him. Because it’s a medium that
allows him to speak directly and doesn’t require him to
talk in complete sentences. And also allows him to be as
impulsive as he wants to be because as somebody who uses Twitter, and who occasionally has to be warned I’m not sure you should
be sending that out, but usually too late, it’s an institution of impulse. It’s about impulsive thinking rather than consequential thinking. And I think a lot of problems that people who are critics of Trump from all parts of the
political spectrum are saying, are you really thinking
about the consequences of what you’re doing and saying? And frankly he doesn’t care. Because his full intention is
to continue to build his base. He doesn’t govern in the
name of all the people, he governs in the name
of a political base, and we see that tendency in
a lot of different parties at different times, and when it takes over it’s always a dangerous thing. – Now you mentioned Twitter, and that’s a great departure point for talking about the White House. And David you were there
two presidents ago, could you speak to some of
the checks and balances, I guess for lack of a better description around the president. What he can and what he can’t
do and how that’s changed since the time you were there. – Well first let me
reassure Bob Rae as someone who also uses Twitter
that you just have to make the transition from
politician to journalist, because once you’re a journalist
you never regret anything. (audience laughing) As Michael Kinsley, a
great journalist of the, and editor used to say, as a journalist if you’re not
afraid you’ve gone too far then you haven’t gone far enough. The White House is a whole
system of checks and balances. There’s the White House and then there’s the Executive Branch. What is broken around Trump
is the most important check on the presidency, is Congress. Not the courts, the courts are slow, the courts can only take
cognizance of disputes that are brought before them, and many disputes are none
of the courts’ business and so they can say even
though we think something bad has happened here, it’s
not a legal matter, so the political branches
have to sort it out. So when the oversight of Congress fails or when the oversight of Congress is systematically defeated,
you know, one of the things that makes Trump different
from past presidents is an idea would come up,
well what if we do this, well you say, well the
chairman of this committee or that committee won’t like
it, and oh, that’s a problem. So Trump consistently says, so? Well then there’d be a
vote of the whole House condemning you. So? Well then Congress might
get very very upset. So? Well I guess so nothing. So he pushes it. So those are the restraints
that have broken. And Trump operates because
the Republican Party is such a shriveled
thing, he has constraint. Linda made a point that
I think is a very helpful jumping off point to
understand what’s happening. The Republican Party is both, it’s an entity in transition. There are the backward-looking parts, and there are the forward-looking parts. The backward-looking
parts are indeed the parts that Linda talked about, the parts that are very
beholden to big donors of which the Koch brothers
are just one example. Very concerned with business interests and corporate interests, very determined to
deregulate and to cut taxes. And then there’s the forward-looking part, the part that looks more toward the authoritarian populist
parties of Europe, that looks more toward Brexit, and Donald Trump represents that. Donald Trump never, his gift is his ability
to do all the things that Bob Rae said, but his defect is he cannot understand
why he is successful. And so he continually appeases
the backward-looking parts of the party, and that’s
why he’s in so much trouble. Imagine right now if
Donald Trump had done, had listened not to Jared Kushner’s advice but to Steve Bannon’s advice. Imagine if he hadn’t
done the giant tax cut. Imagine if he had spent that money instead on road paving projects
all over the United States, and now imagine that he were
in this trade war with China. Trump used his trillion dollars of fiscal room to buy the votes of people who were gonna
vote for him anyway. He could have used that
same trillion dollars, which even in the United
States is a lot of money, could have used that
same trillion dollars, that’s the deficit this
coming year, to buy the votes of the people who might
not have voted for him like the farmers, like the others, and said I’m going to do this
trade conflict with China and it’s going to hit yes some people who are not going to vote for me are gonna lose hundreds
of billions of dollars, but the people who might
you will get something. He never quite understood
what he was speaking to. But what he did understand, and this is why he was successful in 2016 and this is the thing that his White House has not been able to deliver to him, he campaigned in 2016 as truly a different kind of Republican, he said I am not going
to cut Social Security. I am going to put more money,
not less, into healthcare. I am not going to do a giant tax cut. I will rebuild the roads. And I will, what I will
do is I will uphold the social welfare system,
and this is the thing that all these authoritarian
populist parties have in common, that we
inherited from the ’50s and ’60s, and I will preserve it for the children of the people of the ’50s and ’60s, and all these newcomers, we
are going to forget about them. We are going to preserve
the social security system for the well-established,
for the so-called deserving, and remove it from the undeserving. And the deserving people, or the people who are
identified as deserving say that sounds like a
very attractive notion. The National Front in France,
the Alternative for Germany, these are pro-welfare state parties. They are not like the old
parties of the center-right. And that’s what Donald
Trump was inching toward, and if he loses in 2020 it’s because he failed to
understand his own success. And the question for the
future is what happens if there is a future Donald
Trump who is more analytic with more understanding of his success, a clearer vision for the
future and a real work ethic, which Donald Trump did not have. – I wonder if just if I could
follow up on that with you. When you watch the pronouncements and what comes from the White House the one question that you’re left with is is there an overarching
sort of political philosophy behind him, like is there a coherence to what he’s presenting to the world or is it as random as it seems? – No, he’s just in the grip of narcissistic personality disorder. And somebody had a very good
line on Twitter the other day that we all try to understand what chess game Donald Trump is playing, but in reality his staff
are trying to stop him from eating the pieces. (audience laughing) – Good line, good line. – But people, but he’s not, this is where he’s unlike, to answer Bob Rae, he’s unlike, he is not a driver of
events, he is riding events. He’s got an intuitive understand,
a feeling for the events, and he was able to ride them. But he I think will end
up being destroyed by them because he didn’t understand them well enough to master them. – I think that’s correct and I
think that what’s interesting is I anticipate he’s gonna
go down to defeat in 2020. (audience applauding) – I don’t know. – So tell us why. – And we can get into debate about that but my point is when he
goes, when he’s finished, and he will be finished at some point, I think what we’re left with then is what will the Republican Party be like. Because I think that it
seems that he’s got a kind of cult-like power over all kinds of people. Not the majority of
Americans but, you know, he seems to be able to hold
people in a trance almost. Despite his incredibly foolish, incoherent policies and
ideas and things he says. And once he loses, I think those people will
probably go somewhere else. And I guess my concern, I mean I think there’s all
kinds of incredibly important existential problems the world faces that the US plays such
an important role in, and therefore what is gonna happen. I think the Democrats have, are interested in moving
on some of those issues, which I’d be happy to identify
if we want to get into that, but I worry about the Republican Party. I worry about it– – That’s a first. (audience laughing) – No, but seriously,
it’s become so powerful partly because of the impact
I think the Koch’s have had with their massive network of
strengthening it both at the, not just the federal but
at all the state levels. And I worry about their influence, I worry about the potential resurgence of what’s never far from the
surface in Republican politics, the militarism, you know, the Cheney school of thought, the Project for a New American Century, all those ideas that dominated
in the George W. Bush era and that brought us the devastation
of the invasion of Iraq. Which let’s not forget is every bit as bad as anything Donald Trump has done. And it’s so important I think
as we look about going forward to try and figure out where this very powerful, incredibly wealthy party will be trying to take
the American public. And I think the influence
of the Koch brothers in fighting climate change for instance and the influence of the other stream, the militarist stream if
you want to call it that, in promoting more wars, I think these are incredibly
important considerations. – So where does that leave
the Republican Party, what’s the prognosis for, I
mean, Bob, what do you think– – First of all I have no idea. Second of all, I have
no idea who’s gonna win the next election in the United States any more than I know
for sure who’s gonna win the next election in Canada. And we could argue about
that for a long time, which wouldn’t be very productive. I do think that the US after Trump is gonna have to come to
grips with what is going to be a very damaging reality. That the world is a much more complicated and difficult place than I
think the president realizes. I think his approaches are very simplistic and I’ve said very impulsive,
they’re not thought through in terms of the consequences. I mean, you don’t start, I
mean he’s tweeted very publicly saying, you know, trade wars are easy. You know, I win, you lose. Well no, trade wars are
actually a lot easier to start than they are to stop. And once you get into
this cycle of, you know, you do this I’ll do that,
you do this I’ll do that, at some point you say, somebody’s going to have a great deal of
difficulty climbing down and when that happens or doesn’t happen we’re all gonna pay a huge price for it in terms of what happens to the economy. We can think that the people
who are losing $600 billion in the stock market are a whole
lot of really wealthy people who’ve got a lot of money in the market, but frankly looking at this audience here and out to those who are
listening and watching, we all have a stake in the market. All our pension funds are
connected to the market, everything we count on
in terms of the stability of our economic life is dependent on what’s taking
place in the marketplace. As well as what governments do. So yeah, Republicans are
gonna have a hard time picking up the pieces. So are Democrats, so are
liberals and conservatives and Labour and Conservative
and every political party in the modern world. It’s gonna be a deeply
challenge situation, but what we need to learn how to do, and I’ve mentioned this a couple times is, how can we learn how to
think more consequentially about what we are doing. And to me, Trump is the classic example of the dangers of an impulsive personality. You call it narcissistic or
whatever you want to call it, I’ve never met anybody in politics who didn’t have a little bit of that (audience laughing) tendency. – Oh Bob, you didn’t. – Oh, well. (audience laughing) There are people in this
audience who can speak otherwise, but I mean I think it’s
really important for us to appreciate that what is, to me the most novel and
dangerous feature of Trump is this crazy impulsiveness that just leads him to
think I’m gonna do this. You know yesterday, or
the other day we were, you know, a tweet came
out said, I hereby order all companies to disinvest from China and bring their manufacturing
back home or somewhere else. You sort of say, do you have
any idea how many companies are totally dependent not
just on manufacturing in China but manufacturing in China
for the Chinese market? Do you have any idea what
would happen to General Motors and Ford and all of the companies that are engaged in manufacturing
if they suddenly said, yeah you’re right
president, we work for you, and you’re our boss and we’re gonna come. You sort of say, even in the most incredible
moments of irrationality I can’t imagine any other
political leader just saying, I hereby order, I mean. You know, I was a first minister, and if I said I hereby order, you’d say what would you like for breakfast
Mr. Rae, would you like? (audience laughing) Would you like? – Yeah, but you weren’t the Chosen One. – How do you want your eggs,
I mean it’s a different, it’s a different, it’s a different thing. – David, you wanted to weigh in? – Okay, let me pick up on two things that are sort of in the
air that I think might be, I could usefully add something to. The first is, while you’re worrying
about the Republican Party please understand this is an infection to which no political grouping is immune. That authoritarian populism has left-wing as well as right-wing variants. The Jeremy Corbyn cult in
Britain is an example of this. I mean how you make a cult out of someone as completely mediocre as Jeremy
Corbyn I do not understand. Just a complete vacancy. But at so many points, his detestation of the independent press, his contempt for
parliamentary institutions as they exist in Britain, and his ability to create a
following that cuts across the traditional lines of politics. What we are seeing everywhere where there are multiparty systems are the withering of traditional
social democratic parties. The German Social Democratic Party, once the single most powerful party in terms of membership on earth,
or in the democratic world, it’s coming in fourth and fifth place in German state elections as its voters desert it, they split. Basically the one whose
grandparents were German end up inside these new
authoritarian populist parties and the ones whose grandparents
come from somewhere else end up inside the greens or
the left or some other thing, but that’s happening all over the world. And the Democratic Party
in the United States is not immune. And I think one of the things that is sort of striking about it is that in order to find
a candidate who represents the big Democratic coalition of the past, they have to reach someone who’s actually older
than the baby boomers. Joe Biden was born in 1942 or ’43. And you thought, you know, we are now go, after what we thought was the last baby boomer president in Trump to the last pre-baby boomer
president possibly in Biden, but that reflects that if
the Democrats look forward that they see they are also
buffeted by these changes. I want to say something
about the Iraq War, in which I had a small role. I think as history is
going to look back on it, we are going to see the Iraq War as the last episode of the 20th century and not the first episode of the 21st. The Iraq War of, the second
Iraq War as we should call it, was authorized by a
United Nations resolution. – No it wasn’t.
– The Bush administration went had a vote in Congress
to authorize the use of force, and it was led by a
multinational coalition. And whatever you think of the
merits of what happened there that it was I think the last expression of American foreign policy ideas at they had existed since
the end of World War II. That the United States tries to uphold an international order, and tries to do so with the consent of its
domestic political institutions, and with the support of allies. I think the failure of the Iraq War discredited a lot of those concepts outside the United States,
and inside the United States. And since then what you
see, and this is I think the hallmark both of
the Obama foreign policy as sort of a small appetizer
course and then the Trump mania is we don’t work with allies anymore, we work entirely unilaterally. We are not here as a preserver
of an international order from which we profit, we are a rogue agent within
the international order. And so you have the crazy spectacle where, you know, the American alliance
system in Northeast Asia is disintegrating as Japan and Korea cancel their
intelligence-sharing operations and are increasingly hostile, Japan and South Korea, with each other, and in which China is inviting the leaders of Japan and South
Korea to come to Beijing to settle their differences. What you see is, America
obviously will remain a very very powerful state,
but the system of alliances which fought the Iraq
War was also a casualty of the Iraq War and we are
into a new chapter post Iraq. I see it as a real, that’s the
decision moment in my mind. – [Nahlah] Bob and then Linda. – I’d like to–
– Or Linda and then Bob. – Oh, I guess it’s Linda
and then Bob, no go ahead. – Please, yeah, go ahead, yeah. (audience laughing) Please. – No, I just, I would like
to believe the Iraq War was the end of something. I fear that that kind of militarism and that kind of willingness to go in and overthrow governments, is not something that’s likely to go away. We see it already with, even
in the Trump administration with you know, the interest
in regime change in Venezuela, possibly whatever they’re thinking about regime change in Iran. I don’t think those ideas are gone. In fact, I think they are endemic in a certain segment of
the American population. You know, and it’s not
about putting in place democracies around the world, supporting values that we care about. The whole Middle Eastern fiasco in many ways goes back to, to 1953 when the US and Britain overthrew a democratically
elected government in Iran, the Mosaddegh government, because he’d nationalized the Iranian oil. And you know, installed a brutal dictator, the Shah, and by the way had the
impact of Shah oppressed, was incredibly oppressive, drove out all kinds, absolutely
clamped down on opposition. So as a result of that the only
place that people could meet that were resisting the Shah
in any way was in the mosques. And so that became the
sort of central focus of the resistance movement, and you can see where
that got off the rails. So my point is, I don’t think this is something
new in American politics, I would like to believe that
the Iraq War was the end of it, and I don’t know where you get the idea there was some kind of UN support. I seem to recall a
coalition of the willing because the UN wouldn’t go along. You know, I think what
that is all about is about, there’s a segment of
the American population and it’s in a little
parties, but it happens to be most pronounced in the Republican Party, that believes in American supremacy. They recognize the US as
the most powerful country in the world, and particularly
after the end of the, the demise of the Soviet Union, they see that as an opportunity to consolidate American
control over the world and to basically take
premeditative, or what’s the word, preemptive action against any country that they consider in
any way challenging them. I don’t think that
mentality has gone away. I think it’s very much a danger. – [Nahlah] Bob. – Well I’m not sure how useful it is to refight the Iraq War. But I do think that what David and Linda are really now talking about is well how can we usefully go forward if we think more about well what is, what is the international
order going to look like, and how is it going to work. And I think that that’s
actually a very difficult but very necessary question. And it isn’t gonna be easy, we’ve already heard differing views about well when do you intervene,
when do you not intervene. It’s important to remember that this whole notion of
responsibilities to protect and the importance of human
security, which was very much part of Canadian foreign
policy in the 1990s and very much part of our
efforts to build arguments in favor of trying to protect human rights and trying to protect people, was used by the Bush
administration and by Tony Blair as the reason why they intervened in Iraq. And Canada felt at that time
that that was not justified. It didn’t in fact have the UN sanction, it didn’t in fact have the
support of a specific resolution authorizing a military intervention. And so we now have to recognize that intervention is a really hard thing to do. You don’t export democracy
like a refrigerator. It’s not that easy. These values are hard to find and you’re entering into
conflicts as every imperial power has discovered over the
last few thousand years, that you’re entering into conflicts that are far more complex,
far more difficult, and very difficult to change and to say well here’s the democratic
group that we’re gonna support and these guys are gonna be able to create a liberal democracy sort of like ours. Well, hello, that hasn’t really worked. But at the same time you
can’t just pull back and say well human rights don’t matter. And how people treat each
other doesn’t matter. So, the work of trying to
build effective alliances that will deal with
the challenges we face, is in fact very very hard to do. But there’s no option but to do it. That’s on the political side. On the economic side we need to understand that
it’s another instance where we’re living in a world
without adult supervision and we were all used to,
I mean Canadians were, we took for granted that when we were thinking about well how are we gonna manage this, we would talk to the British,
we would talk to the French, and we would talk to the Americans, but above all we would
look to the White House for leadership, well, I mean
I’m involved in a file now involving refugees and there are millions of people in refugee camps around the world, that number is growing, it’s exploding. Where is American leadership on this? – Can I say?
– It isn’t there. – I know you have questions.
– Please. – [David] A brief thought on all of this. – Sure.
– The defining characteristic of the US-led world order that comes to being with
the Atlantic Charter, but really after 1945 and
the victory of World War II, was not intervention, it was
the provision of security. The Americans took the
view, we are so secure, and we are so rich, we will
give you all security for free. That Donald Trump keeps complaining that Germany no longer has an army, Japan no longer has a navy. That was not a bug in the post-1945 order. That was a feature. The Allies said to the Germans, you know, you guys concentrate on
making beautiful cars and domestic appliances, and we’ll give you the army for free. And to the Japanese, you
concentrate on what you do best and we’ll give you the navy for free because these knives could hurt people. And the United States also did was it maintained an international
economic architecture, a free trade order in which
the United States said to the Germans and Japanese, you can, and then later the the
Asia-Pacific countries, you guys can undervalue your
currencies a little bit, and get great trade surplusses
and we can afford that. Where Donald Trump is
really an inflection point, and where his successor,
whoever that person should be, and whatever party they should come from will be a continuation, is that he has said no
to both of those things. The United States will no
longer be a security exporter, it is going to act for itself, and it will no longer will be a provider of this system of trade, I mean in 2016 both Hillary
Clinton and Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton insincerely, but both were against the
Trans-Pacific Partnership. The most dynamic candidates in
the Democratic Party in 2020, Elizabeth Warren and the others, not Joe Biden because he’s
from the past, but the others, they are also against the
Trans-Pacific Partnership, the idea that the United
States is going to build this, and uphold this trade architecture and maybe take some
sacrifices to make it work. That’s the world in which we all grew up, and that world, whatever
happens to Trump is gone. And that is a very frightening thing. And Linda does not want to live in a world built on American supremacy. We all lived in that world since 1945, wait till you see the world
without American supremacy it is going to be a much
more frightening place. – Just a minute, we’re in that world now, but just a word about the past. You can’t not talk about,
as Linda did quite rightly, about Iran, you can’t
not talk about Vietnam, you can’t not talk about Latin America, you can’t not talk about a whole bunch of other surrogate wars that went on throughout the period
between 1945 and 1960 and realize that they were in
fact a period of intervention. Sometimes in the name of democracy, in the name of a variety of things, but to suggest that somehow
there was this benign world in which there was no
intervention, there were no fights, there were no battles, I
mean, that isn’t a reality. That’s– – Who said that?
– Well you implied it when you said there was, that the post war order was
nothing about intervention. (lively crosstalk) It was in part about,
no David, just a minute. You interrupted me, let
me just interrupt you. It was about, it was about
intervention in part. I’m not denying the other
two features of the order, and I’m not denying
that that order is gone, I think it’s important
for us to understand it, but it does also mean
that we need to appreciate when we look to how we’re
gonna do things in the future we need to understand all of the elements of what was missing before and how challenging it is to go forward. – [Nahlah] Linda. – And also I think David you’ve made it, the order sound a little bit benign with the idea that the US
was simply trying to provide security so everybody’d be okay. Actually, that’s what the
UN was supposed to do. What the US did was
provide a Pax Americana in which is was dominant,
and if you were on its side, didn’t matter how brutal
you were, you could, Saudi Arabia qualified as being a friend, then you got full US support. If you were offside with the US, you didn’t get very good support and you could end up being overthrown. You know, it’s funny ’cause
the US always tries to project that what they are is
kind of a defensive force, kind of against aggression
around the world. They always, I mean the
US has something like 800 military bases around the world. Just around Iran alone there’s
something like 40 bases. I love the line somebody said, you know Iran is obviously wanting war otherwise why would they locate themselves in the middle of all those US bases? (audience laughing) – Finished, yeah? Thank you for that. Thank you also for all
these great questions. I just want to apologize in advance, we’ll never get to all of these, so I’ll just kind of get a sense of what people are
asking and present those. But I do want to get to,
to sort of back up a point, and Iraq was one thing,
and it’s a big thing, but I just wonder if we could
speak briefly about what else, because I think we all know
that the underlying reasons for the rise of populism,
whether Trump or otherwise is a general dissatisfaction with the current state
of Western democracy. And I just wonder how
else liberal democracy has failed to deliver. Linda, if you don’t mind starting. – Yeah, I mean, first of all, I do think this rise of
fake populism, as I call it, is a real phenomenon and a real danger. And I think it comes out
of the fact that people, in the post-war years
there was a much more equal distribution of wealth and income and much more satisfaction and I think in, what’s happened in, you know,
in the sort of neo-liberal era basically since 1980 is
more and more of the money has ended up at the top. And you know, people are angry, you know, by that. And there’s been an effective
attempt by the right to sort of say, oh you know, that’s, it’s not that the rich got
away with all that money, you know, recasting the
tax laws and trade laws in their own benefit, labor laws. What happened was you got all
these immigrants coming in. – [David] But immigration
was the proximate cause, it’s the trigger everywhere. – No. Well it’s maybe the proximate cause of the neo-populism but it isn’t the cause
of the dissatisfaction. – But it is the proximate cause of the rise of these
authoritarian regimes. I mean, if Angela Merkel had been able to do something different
in the August of 2015, and she was in a, she had some, but her decision to open
the borders of Germany to this influx of about a
million and a quarter people, about half from Syria,
half from other places, that’s what elected the
Kaczynski government in Poland. That was what drove Brexit, that was the most powerful argument. When you study the polls
of why did Brexit win. I mean, Britain has had a
deeply unhappy relationship with the European Union for a long time but the thing that got you
that last segment of approval, that pushed, made them
say yes instead of no as they’d often said in the
past, was the mass migration. Mass migration, the surge
across the borders in 2014 in the southern border
of the United States, that’s a proximate cause of
the election of Donald Trump. And what is driving this, and this problem is not going to become easier to manage, we have this idea, or it’s often suggested that what drives the mass
migration is misery and despair. That’s not true, because
the miserable and despair– – No, it’s true. – It is not true because they can’t– – [Nahlah] I think some
would argue with that. – They can’t afford it. To move from the Middle
East to Europe you have to, from North Africa, you have
to pay a people smuggler somewhere between five
and 10 thousand dollars, which in the context, to move from Central
America to the United States is about 5000. The Angolans who are showing
up have paid about 10. What we have now is the rise of this, as world poverty shrinks, the rise of what I call
a global stiver class. People not living in
poverty, less than $2 a day, but living on 15 to $20 a day. And you can buy things they
could never buy before. Air conditioners and mobile phones, and one of the things they want to buy is migration to a country that
offers better opportunity. And so you have, so it
has been since 1990, the period of the greatest
increase in prosperity in the history of our planet,
also is the greatest increase in migration in the history of our planet because the prosperity buys the migration. – Well some of those people are coming for the air conditioners. – Well, and the United Nations does say that there are 60 million
people on the move who are moved by conflict and by– – And let’s not forget, let’s not forget how many of those people
from the Middle East were refugees as a
result of destabilization caused by the invasion of Iraq. – What the UN figures conflate
are the numbers of people who driven by war or drought
or environmental disaster move immediately away from the, that is what most of the
people from Syria did, they moved to the next place
because it’s expensive. Versus those who move
half a continent away, that costs money. And so the people who are
showing up from southwest Africa in Italy are not people
going to the next place, they are people who have
invested, are making some money, they’re people of some
substance back home, and it’s part of a, and by the way, of course we’d all do the same thing if that had been our fate. – [Bob] Our grandparents did. – We would all do the same thing, but– – [Linda] We wouldn’t be here. – But there are a lot of things that are, in the same way we all
run our air conditioners. But when you have seven billion people all running your air conditioners, things happen that don’t happen when only a million people
are running air conditioner. – I think we could have an
entire separate debate on that, absolutely, but if we
could just pull it back to the failures of liberal democracy, and of course I take your point
that that was a major driver in populist resurgence
but Linda has maybe– – Can I just say, you know–
– Come back to the point. – The rise of this populism, ugly right-wing populism,
that is one huge problem. That’s not the only problem. Like, I think we should be focused on there’s these serious existential threats to the survival of the human race. Climate change. Nuclear war. The absolute destruction
of the environment. Those are the sort of three major ones. What are we gonna be doing
to address those issues? You know. – Bob.
– Well I think, I think Linda in posing those questions also in a sense says, well
how can liberal democracy find definitive answers
to those things quickly. And I think part of what
David is describing, and I don’t completely disagree with him about what are the forces
that drive people to move from different places at different times, and we are certainly in
one of those periods where there’s a great deal
of migration going on. Historically there have been other periods when that’s what’s happened. We wouldn’t be Canada if that
isn’t what happened to our, all our ancestors in terms
of coming to this land which they all thought was uninhabited, but actually had a lot
of people living here before anybody else got here. But liberal democracy has a challenge dealing with these
questions for two reasons, one of them is it’s really difficult. The second one is, actually global warming or climate
change is actually a, is a planetary problem. And we don’t have a planetary government. The United Nations is not a government. It’s a big bureaucracy
but it’s not a government. And it’s really hard right now to find planetary solutions to
what is a very real problem affecting people living around the world and is having a very direct impact. No one for a moment, I
think a few people excepted will deny the reality of climate change. But– – [Linda] The entire Republican Party. – Well no, but I mean, let’s. – [Linda] Pretty important group. – I’m just saying, in rational circles that’s not the way things work. But that’s not to say that
finding the solutions is easy or that in the solutions that we adopt that you can then say as an elected politician,
knock on the door, which I suspect I’ve
done a little bit more than either of my people on the panel. You knock on the door and people will say, yeah but if I pay more,
or if gasoline costs more or if something happens, is that going to actually
change the climate? And the answer to that question is no. Because what happens to
the climate depends on the collective action of governments, 200 governments around the world, and also an industrial and
economic change the like of which we haven’t seen a very
short space of time, ever. – [Linda] But don’t you think– – When people say what Linda
just said, which is don’t, the climate problem is more important than the problem of
authoritarian populism, that’s a little bit like
being on an airplane that’s out of control. And all the instruments are broken and the steering mechanism isn’t working, and the person says that’s
not our real problem, our real problem is that
we’re heading straight for a mountain. Well you’re not going
to escape the mountain unless the steering mechanism
on the plane is working. So especially with, climate requires that a lot of ordinary
people trust the insight of scientists and experts who
have often steered them wrong. I mean just think of the major decision, of the major smart ideas
that people have had since, the people who wear suits and ties, people who hold themselves
out as experts since 1990. How many of them have worked out well from the point of view of
the great majority of our, you know, let’s, we can
make mortgage security safer by chopping them up and securitizing them, a lot of smart people thought
that was a very good idea. – That’s different than the entire body of world scientists. – You’re asking people,
people don’t believe doctors about vaccinations, or
a significant number do. – No.
– You’re asking them to trust authority and
then you’re asking them to make sacrifices. And those things are things that people, that we can, it’s easy for
us to say they should do it, but when they don’t, you
can’t address the problem. These authoritarian populist movements exploit the distrust of expertise– – Yeah.
– Yeah, absolutely. – They exploit the breakdown
of political institutions and those things have to be restored if you’re going to address
any of these larger problems. – I agree, I agree with that. At the same time, I think
it’s misleading to imply that sort of ordinary people
are not willing to get on board with doing something about climate change. I think particularly in the last year you’re seeing a huge
change, you’re seeing polls, people get it, they understand
flooding and drought. And I think what you’re leaving out is the particular role that’s played by something like Koch Industries
in absolutely blocking, you know, attempting to
create such confusion in the public’s mind with this climate denial. We knew, scientists have
known at least since 1988 the breadth of the problem,
the seriousness of it, and it’s been the resistance,
the absolute resistance by big oil, big coal, the Koch
brothers, whoever, you know, in blocking and trying
to throw all this doubt through all their think tanks. And people want information, they want scientific facts, but there’s been this whole
attempt at disinformation. I think that’s a enormous
part of the story. – But that’s not new, in
any political conflict, in any economic conflict,
in any debate about ideas, it’s always going to be contested. I think the challenge that we face, we have to understand better that getting to a different
place from where we are today in terms of what this
world order will look like is actually really tough, and
it’s not gonna just sort of happen automatically or say
well we’ll let the UN do it or we’re gonna establish an
international rule of law that will make sure
these things all change. The world is more complicated and it’s more challenging and difficult. And I think that one of the
things that’s really hard for people who are hurting as a result of all of the uncertainties
that they’re facing to suddenly say, yeah, I’m prepared to make this sacrifice although I have no idea whether or not it’s going to be effective. And very few political
leaders are honest enough to say to people well here’s
what we think is gonna help. But actually in order for
things to be effective, a whole lot of other countries
have to change as well, and we have no guarantees
that they’re going to change. So here we go. Now, I think that’s one of the reasons why liberal democracy is
as challenged as it is because it’s very difficult
for leaders to say those things and it’s very difficult for
a public to accept the notion that collectively we’re
gonna have to do some things that are not easy, and that are not gonna
have an immediate payback, and are not necessarily gonna
be good for my generation but may be good for future generations. – No, but nobody–
– But that’s asking a lot of people.
– Bob, nobody’s– – I just want to jump in here
and take some of the questions from the audience if we could. Just and also to bring
it back to the point that you brought up Bob about the failures of liberal democracy and what some of the solutions might be. Anyway, these questions
are a bit off that topic but they’re important. Here’s one. Should Trump fail to win reelection, and this is a great question,
if he fails to win reelection what would be the five lead
stories in American news? – [Linda] The five lead stories? – The five most important
issues, I mean, this is, it’s actually an issue that
comes up even in our lives. I went and spoke on a panel once where we were talking
about global citizenship and we had an hour and a
half of discussion about this and suddenly the first question comes up and it was for me and they said, “What can we do to stop the
media covering Mr. Trump?” People, some people have had enough. And so the question to
you is where do you think the emphasis would be if it weren’t on, you know, what is coming
out of the White House? David. – Well let’s suppose Donald
Trump does lose in 2020 and let’s say he leaves office and doesn’t do too much damage
on the way out the door, so now it’s some time
in the summer of 2021. So the number one story
will be, if he leaves office the reason he will leave office is because the stock market troubles
indicate that a recession is on the way, so the
first problem will be, inside the United States, the
American economic downturn. The second issue will be
the shock of migration because there is this great pressure as the American economy did prosper between 2014 and 2019 that pulled migration. As the American economy softens that migration will be more resented and people around the world will see the fall of Donald Trump as a, the door is open signal and
you’ll have more migration even as the economy softens,
so that’ll be issue two. I agree with Linda and Bob,
obviously the climate issue, we’ve had the past five years have seen more extreme weather events
inside the United States than in the previous 20. I presume those are going to
continue to afflict people in all kinds of ways,
that’s going to be an issue. We’re also going to have huge issues about fiscal sustainability
as the baby boomers, I’m the last of the baby
boomers, I was born in 1960, as we all begin to qualify,
’58 was the peak year. So we begin to, the people
born in 1958 begin to qualify for these benefits in 2023, a huge strain on Social
Security and Medicare. And I think we also are going to, Donald Trump’s mishandling
of the rise of China does not make this problem
any less important. Since 1900 liberal democracies have contended with a
series of challenges, but the last, from
countries that were both sometimes economically capable, sometimes militarily capable. The last time you had a
challenge from a country that was both economically
capable and militarily capable was the Kaiser’s Germany in 1917, 1918. We have not seen that particular
combination in a long time with China for the first
time since the Kaiser we see it again. – Okay. And another question, Linda
maybe you can tackle this one. What will be the most enduring
damage to American democracy that stems out of the Trump’s presidency? – Wow, let me count the ways. – Just pick the top one.
– No, I mean it’s fascinating ’cause thinking about coming here today I was sort of making up a list of all the terrible things he’d done and it really is a long list. And then I realized when I
got to the end, oh my God I forgot corruption. You know, there’s so much other stuff. In a way I think a lot of these problems will probably correct
themselves or be corrected by a new government that
doesn’t indulge them. You know, I don’t think the
Democrats are going to continue to vilify the free press,
that kind of thing, and continue to lie in the
scale that Donald Trump has. I guess one possible enduring
thing that really worries me is the incitement to racism and white supremacy. I mean that whole problem
goes to the very root of what America was founded on, the fundamental problem of slavery at the very heart of the American system. And the contradiction between the idea of the land of freedom where you had millions of people enslaved. And the very idea that Trump
has played so fast and loose trying to, I mean obviously the problem is that a lot of that white supremacy, hatred of the other never went
away in American politics, it kind of got dealt with in
some ways after the Civil War. At the same time there was
the revival of Jim Crow up until very recently, I mean. I think Ta-Nehisi Coates
did that wonderful piece in The Atlantic a couple of years ago about “The Case for Reparations” and sort of making the case
that it didn’t just disappear after slavery and Jim Crow, this continues up to the present time. It’s absolutely at the root
of the problem of America, and Trump, earlier politicians have
sometimes done dog whistles out there to sort of revive these feelings to their political advantage, but Trump has done it in
a openly provocative way to stir up and excite the
Nazis and white supremacists and they’ve been stirred. And I find it frightening to imagine that problem going forward as a lasting legacy of Trump. – Did you want to add something
or can I ask you a question? – Ask me a question.
– Okay. Given that people are
tired of old fashioned models of democracy I just wonder, you know, people want a voice, they want, they know that the idea of party politics is not what it used to be, are there models out there
for what might be done to give people an opportunity
to reshape party politics, to reshape the way they
can advance their voice, in this environment? – Well, yes, but it’s not easy and it requires, and the
main reason it’s not easy is because it requires
exceptional discipline on the part of politicians themselves. In being willing to listen,
in being willing to hear, and in being willing to
admit the possibility that they’ve been wrong. And those are very difficult things to do. And I think we see it all the
time that it’s very difficult for politicians to say
well I used to think that, but I was wrong when I said
that, and now I think this because I’ve been listening to what people have been telling me. How often do you hear people say that? I mean, forget Trump, I mean we know that’s not gonna happen, but even among the rest of us is that something that’s possible. We can create different models of, in Canada there’s been
a debate for a long time about can we inject some greater degree of proportional representation. That has not happened for
a whole variety of reasons either at the provincial level. We see for example in
the province of Ontario municipal governance being
treated like playthings and borders being changed,
boundaries being changed, representation being taken away. That can change, but it
requires a provincial government and leadership saying, we accept the fact that there will be lots
of municipal councils that will have different
views from our government, and they may even have
different priorities, but we’re prepared to let that happen. And we’re prepared to take a step back. And that is a different political culture than the one that we have today. And talking about what has
been the permanent impact, what is the impact in what’s
happened in the United States and is happening in other
countries and happening here, it’s a change in a political culture in a way that is just not healthy, it’s not actually sustainable
and it’s not good, but that’s what there is. So how do we change it? It’s difficult because
you’re asking people who’ve grown up in a system
to do things differently. And that’s tough, but I don’t
think we have an option. If we want to salvage
a degree of democracy and representation that’s
what needs to happen. It doesn’t avoid dealing
with difficult questions, and I actually don’t
disagree with David about what are the big issues
that we’re gonna be facing. We are facing serious
issues about the economy, we’re facing very difficult
issues about sustainability. Yes, of course immigration
will continue to be a question, I disagree
with him a bit about how massive an issue this is going to be, but it’s going to be a global issue of some considerable importance. And I think that’s, those things are tough for any collection of people to say how are we gonna solve
this or deal with it. But we have to go into it
with a very different spirit, a very different spirit about humility, about admitting as I said the possibility that we’ve made serious mistakes, and then saying, and now
I’d like to go forward. Speaking very personally, I mean again having been
elected and unelected, I know what that’s like,
and it is, it can be quite humbling if not humiliating, but it’s something you
have to got through. And I think if you have that spirit in you as a political leader, and you also need to have a public that’s willing to accept the fact that no leaders are perfect. And none are imperfect and all have flaws. And so you’re not choosing
between this guy is perfect, you know, the Chosen One, and
everyone else is, you know is, that kind of binary way of
looking at people and the world is just, if I may borrow a phrase from the Danish prime
minister, absurd, and so. – [David] May I? – David.
– So nasty, so nasty. – Yeah, nasty.
– David. – May I answer that
question and offer maybe a more hopeful note
because this has not been a super hopeful conversation. – Oh I don’t agree, it’s quite hopeful. – I have a hopeful thought,
and it’s just a thought. We look back on the political leadership of the quarter century after the War and it’s not just hazy romanticism to say that political
leadership was more successful. In many countries, and
built this infrastructure of stability that we all grew up under. They weren’t better than us. What was different? And the difference was,
well they had lived through the experience of seeing the
world tumble off the brink of depression and into world war and they had experienced as a new idea the shock of the possibility
of nuclear holocaust. And so in almost every democracy leaders undertook self-restraint. They never played the game as
hard as they could play it. Unions and management, right
and left, they all understood we have all seen what happened when everyone played the
game as hard as they could, let’s not. And that knowledge
inevitably tended to fade, and especially with
the end of the Cold War and the relaxation of
this terrible pressure from Soviet totalitarianism,
nuclear armed, in every country people
began to play the game more harshly after 1990
than they did before. It is possible, and this
is what I devoutly hope, that maybe you don’t have
to tumble over the brink to have that experience, maybe you can have some of the benefit just from seeing the brink. And Trump and Brexit and a
series of experiences like that. I am hopeful that the
generation of politicians that comes to the fore after
these experiences may say, it was not obviously 1930 and 1945, but it was pretty bad, and
what we all need to do is have, and we all need to
communicate to our supporters that as hard as you press
us to go to the extremities, we will not do it, because
we want to play the game in a different kind of way. I’ve used a series of metaphors,
here’s one that I think, Trump is like that moment,
at best he may be like this, where you’re on the
highway and you’re driving and your attention wanders
and you suddenly realize you’ve been drifting, and then you see the headlights
of the oncoming truck and you pull back into your lane and the pulse of adrenaline
gets you safely home. I am hoping that he’s like that truck and that he’s going to give
us all a surge of adrenaline that gets us safely home. – Yeah. (audience applauding) Yeah, that’s a nice image, I like that. I guess I would just say though, you know, and this is in the spirit
of being hopeful too, that I think one of the problems, you know we have this
whole disenfranchised labor, ordinary people,
whatever you want to call them, unemployed miners, who are
not doing nearly as well as they did in that post-war
era that we grew up in which was more prosperous for everyone. You know, in recent years the benefits have gone more to the top. But here’s my optimism. That you know, after the Trump horror of this brutal, deep tax cut that is so favorable to the rich and does nothing for anyone else, we now have kind of opened the door, you know, like as David says,
we’ve kind of swerved off and maybe we’re gonna find our balance, and listen to people like Elizabeth Warren who are proposing a wealth tax of 2% on
fortunes above 50 million, going to 3% for billionaires. I guess my point is that I
think maybe the time has come to consider that, you know,
Thomas Piketty the big economist who wrote “Capital in the 21st Century” points out that Elizabeth
Warren’s ideas for taxing the rich are actually quite in
line with the historical higher rates on taxing the rich in the US that we’ve gone so far away from because of Reagan and Bush and now Trump. And that there’s room to get back to that. And that that would be so good
in terms of greater equality. – Unfortunately we’re
just about out of time but one last quick question
to you Bob, if you don’t mind. Can the US go back to an earlier
brand of business as usual, US and everyone else
frankly once Trump moves on, or is the model irretrievably broken? – No, I think the remodel has to be, whatever we do is not about
going back to something. My suspicion would be that if
Mr. Trump is defeated in 2020 it could be by candidate Biden
and then President Biden, and he will give everyone a
sense that ah, we can go back, it’s you know, we’re
back to where we were, let’s start up again, and in
fact there’s too many things going on that make that hard to do. I mean it’s now clear to us after the events of the last few months that there’s something rotten outside the state of Denmark and– (audience laughing) – [Nahlah] Okay. – Slowly grow on you,
it’ll slow grow on you, but no we can’t, we can’t actually go backwards,
we can only go forward. And I don’t think it’s
being less hopeful to say it’s gonna be a big challenge. And one of the things
that we have to give up is that we can, that all we have to do is get back to the way things were in 1955 and everything will be okay. That isn’t gonna happen. So you then have to say
what does it take to build, and I think it takes yes dealing with economic justice issues, it takes yes dealing with
social justice issues, yes it means dealing with the challenges of a new diplomatic order,
and it really does mean dealing with sustainability
and climate change in a way that we have
not yet been able to do either as countries or as a world order. – We only have 15 seconds
left, the same question. You think we, it’s broken or can we go back to business as usual? – We don’t want to go, I
completely agree with Bob Rae, we don’t want to go
back to the way it was. We’re not going back to
a world of big industry. Linda mentioned unemployed coal miners, the total employment in the coal industry is smaller than the number of
registered yoga instructors– – Yeah, but they’re very–
– In the United States. – [Linda] Politically
influential, that’s the point. – That it’s a new economy. And we don’t want to
go back to mining coal and having people work on assembly lines, that was terrible, I
mean parents sacrificed so their kids could go to college so they wouldn’t have to do that anymore. We have to, the opportunities now to solve
the problems of our time, they are also exciting,
and we should take those, it’s gonna take a
different kind of politics, it’s gonna take new kind of leaderships, but it’s really possible. Last thought, I am so often
asked to make predictions and I refuse to do that not just because of the
risk of being wrong, although I’m mindful of that, but because predictions treat the future as a thing that exists, that you can see and
make observations about. It doesn’t exist, we all make it. So the thought that we
should all take away today is it’s in our hands, what
are we going to do. And if we decide right,
if we decide better, if we are more generous,
if we are better citizens, we can make it better. – Thank you very much to the panel for their excellent insights. (audience applauding) – Nice to be with you. – And thank you for listening,
thank you very much, Julie. – Again, I want to say thank
you to Linda, Bob, and David for your thoughts and your
optimism this morning. I think it was almost a standing ovation, it’s very exciting. – [Linda] It’s not too late. (audience laughing) – And I also wanted to thank– – Well we know they’re gonna
be standing up to leave anyway. – I also wanted to thank Nahlah. It has been a pleasure welcoming you as a new host of CBC Ideas and it’s been a delight
working with you this summer. (audience applauding) All of our guests have books
for sale in the lobby today, which is exciting for all of you. And everyone will be available
in the lobby to sign books after I stop talking. So I encourage you to
visit that on your way out. The Meighen Forum
continues all season long with inspiring guests and
excellent discussions, and we have an excellent speaker weekend coming up in September. On September 14th the Right
Honorable David Johnston, former Governor General of Canada sits down with Antoni Cimolino
to discuss his new book “Trust: Twenty Ways to
Build a Better Country” and on September 15th
internationally award-winning photographer and explorer
and scholar Wade Davis joins David Goldbloom
for a candid conversation about his life and work. Thank you again to our
guests, and thank you to you for your continued support
of The Meighen Forum. Thank you.
– Thank you. (audience applauding)

4 thoughts on “Trump and After | The Meighen Forum 2019

  1. Bob Rae and David Frum look much more composed and tithered to reality than Linda. As she clearly subscribes to some sort of reverse American exceptionalism – it's all America's fault. Why so many people like her view the world (and especially the US) with such oversimplification and reductionism? The US ain't that powerful. Other countries are perfectly capable of screwing up themselves without outside assistance

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