National Newswatch
National Opinion Centre

The propulsion of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States has unleashed a sort of cognitive digestion process comparable to the five stages of grief that might be called the five stages of belief: astonishment, disorientation, stabilization, verification and panic.

“Mixed feelings” doesn’t really begin to describe the cocktail of emotions that Mr. Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election elicits.

As a liberal globalist, I’m concerned that the election of someone who espoused such divisive, nativist ideas to the most powerful office in the world will validate the appeals to economic uncertainty and security vulnerability that have rationalized political movements and anti-trade arguments in Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere.

I worry that it lends credence to the notion — recently articulated by British Prime Minister Theresa May — that “a citizen of the world is a citizen of nowhere.” Much as I respect Ms. May as a politician, that strikes me as a sop — intentional or not — to the defenders of illiberal democracies worldwide who prefer people in other countries to mind their own business, not ask too many questions and, above all, not care about the fate of people they don’t know.

As a reporter, columnist and editor who has spent more of her career covering U.S. than Canadian politics, I can’t shake this perpetual loop of images — unleashed by Thursday’s surreal Oval Office photo-op of Barack Obama and Mr. Trump — of the former reality show host starring in the defining rituals of the American presidency…the Inauguration, the State of the Union, the next G7 family photo, next year’s pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey. The soundtrack is Vladimir Putin not so much laughing maniacally as chuckling in a low, c

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