Ottawa talks Trump

man wearing shirt that says "we're screwed"

Just south of our border, a little country called the United States of America recently inaugurated their 45th president. Donald Trump has been in charge of the country for just over a week now and has already committed to a good chunk of his promises, including his infamous plans for a wall separating the U.S. from Mexico.

What goes on in America absolutely affects us here in Canada, and the inauguration of Donald Trump is no exception. So, we the north, have some opinions about the new landlord calling the shots in the house next to ours. Jasmine Goodridge is critical of Trump and says he’s not qualified for the job of president, going as far as to call him unstable.

“I would hope that someone running a country would be of sound mind and didn’t have to file for bankruptcy multiple times,” says Goodridge, a graduate of Algonquin College’s public relations program.

She praises the protests that occurred the day after his inauguration, but notes that he went ahead and cut abortion funding anyways, so the protests didn’t make a palpable difference. “Women still come lower on the totem pole,” says Goodridge.

Bahareh Manesh is a recent graduate from the University of Ottawa’s biochemistry program. She’s inspired by the ubiquitous protests around the world.

“We would have never seen such a protest 50 years ago,” says Manesh. “People are standing up for beliefs that would’ve been considered ‘taboo’ before.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Chris Pelley-Moore says Trump’s victory represents the end of powerful special interests controlling the government. He notes how Barack Obama took more campaign donations from financial companies than any other presidential candidate in U.S. history. Trump has funded his campaign himself, for the most part.

“Myself and other millennials want to enjoy an economy where there are jobs for everyone who is willing to work for them,” says Pelley-Moore, who works as an aircraft engineer for Jazz airline.

Goodridge says that Trump’s leadership is going to put a strain on Trudeau and that his job is about to get a lot harder. But she does think Canada will fare better because of Trump.

“Instead of being the quiet little brother of America, we’re now the strong, sane leader of the western world,” says Goodridge.

She says her day-to-day life won’t be affected much, but she’ll be reconsidering any American investments.

Pelley-Moore says that Trump’s presidency will be a wake-up call for Canadians, showing what can be achieved if our country was to put its own people first. For him, Trump is the symbol of a paradigm shift in politics across the globe through this priority of populism over Marxism.

Trump represents a new form of childishness and cockiness in politics, according to Goodridge. She says that he stands for everything wrong with the privilege of white males, and his denial of facts is evidence of that.

“He’s proof spoiled children can’t hear the word ‘no,’” says Goodridge.

Pelley-Moore’s support of Trump stems from his beliefs in an ideal structure of government. He says that he values a leader who lets individuals run their own lives instead of bowing to a central authority. He finds the latter dehumanizing.

For Goodridge, honesty and dedication are vital in a leader, and that’s something she doesn’t see in Trump. She says he’s more interested in his own concerns than anyone else’s. She wants to know that a leader is doing all they can do to better the lives of those they lead.

Regardless of what opinions people have of Trump, we still have yet to see how his decisions will pan out. He’s been throwing executive orders left and right since he came into office last week, so it’s only a matter of time before we find out how his choices will influence Canada.

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