'In my great and unmatched wisdom': Donald Trump's new world order
Panellists Bob Rae, Linda McQuaig and David Frum discuss the most powerful disruptor in politics
* Originally published on October 8, 2019.
As disruptors go, U.S. President Donald Trump is one of the world's most powerful right now — disrupting everything from national politics, to social issues, to international relations. The question is: how far will he go and what will remain once he's gone?
On October 7, 2019, Donald Trump shocked senior Republican politicians — Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney — with his announcement that the U.S. was withdrawing troops from northern Syria.
Later that day, Trump made another shocking announcement on Twitter:
As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over...—@realDonaldTrump
But if Donald Trump didn't exist, would we have to invent him? Arguably, yes.
If "the business of America is business" as Calvin Coolidge more or less said, then Trump is the walking expression of that principle: take what you can, shut the other guy down, and never apologize. It's a radical notion but Trump's personal ethics aside — is the business model the best model of how to build a society? Trump is showing what the model looks like in action.
As part of our series looking at disruptors, IDEAS convened a panel at Stratford Festival to examine the legacy of U.S. President Donald Trump and how he's changing the nature of politics and international relations.
The discussion was moderated by IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed and features Bob Rae, Linda McQuaig and David Frum.
Watch the full panel discussion:
- David Frum is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic. He's also the former speech writer for president George W. Bush.
- Linda McQuaig is a journalist and the author of Holding the Bully's Coat: Canada and the U.S. Empire.
- Bob Rae was the 21st Premier of Ontario and the author of What's Happened to Politics?
** This episode was produced by Philip Coulter.