Donald Trump is just one part of international trend, values expert says
Trump harnessed widening gap between majority and minority views found in other countries too, consultant says
While the results of the U.S. presidential election continue to reverberate throughout the world, a Winnipeg-based values expert believes that the nationalism, racism, and rhetoric spouted by Donald Trump during the campaign is in keeping with emerging trends seen in other countries.
Martin Itzkow is a professional coach, engagement facilitator and a foresight practitioner. He's also a certified consultant with the Barrett Values Centre in London.
"It's not just about the U.S. It's about Sweden, it's about the UK, it's about what's happening in other places around the world," he said.
The results didn't shock him. Itzkow said the results of a 2011 national values survey taken in many countries, including the U.S., showed a level of cultural entropy he called "incredibly high."
The art of persuasion
"The words that people were using to reflect how they saw their own community were 'bureaucracy,' 'blame,' 'corruption,' 'uncertainty' ... words that really talked about the fact that people didn't trust what was happening in their community, and were quite fearful," Itzkow said.
In the U.S., white voters were convinced they weren't being heard.
Enter Donald Trump, and what Itzkow called the Republican candidate's "art of persuasion."
"The man was smart enough, and is smart enough, to know how to use the language he heard from his audience, and to be able to use that as the vehicle to engage even more people so that they believed that he was listening to them, heard them, and could actually reflect what was important to them," Itzkow said.
"It plays well in the U.S., it plays well in Canada ... and in Sweden, same issues. Sweden is having significant trauma. They are trying to engage the minority, to bring them into conversations with the majority."
Itzkow said that in many countries, assimilation is becoming more important than multiculturalism.
"The notion of being multicultural versus assimilating people? Well, the trend is much more about, 'Let's move to assimilation, let's actually diminish the multiculturalism.' The belief, for parts of our population, is that it's better for us."
'Engage the people who have the power'
Other trends moving in a problematic direction for Canadians are tolerance and acceptance, patriarchy, trust in our institutions and fear and anxiety about change, Itzkow said.
So, what does Itzkow think we need to do about it? Figure out how to engage the majority with the minority.
"We need to start to engage the people who have the power, who have the voice, who have the control, and bring them to a place where they're openly interested to engage the minority, where the minority voices are heard in the same way as majority voices.
"So we need to actually learn how to work with each other, and accept the fact that the majority voices have to allow, and bring in the minority voices, and it just simply cannot be perceived as a place of control."
Itzkow insisted it will depend on people who have hope for change, and who are willing to engage.
"I'm still very positive, and I'm still seeing that there's possibility for change," he said.