Opinion

Trump And Trudeau At The UN: A Tale Of Two World Views

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

If you want to understand just how diametrically opposed are President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, you had only to watch and listen to what the two leaders said to the United Nations this week. Never mind, the strained goodwill between the pair, or that Trudeau enjoys palling around with Ivanka and her husband because they seem just like the kind of people who Justin usually spends time with. Forget the incredibly odd things that Trudeau has said about his policies on the middle class being exactly like Trump’s or Trump telling everybody at the G-20 summit that everybody loves Justin and what terrific work he is doing.

Their UN speeches reveal two polar opposites.

Trudeau took to the UN stage like a man who craved not only the attention of the audience but the space in the building as well. He loves the UN; he is desperate for Canada to retake a seat on the utterly useless and doddering UN Security Council after the previous Conservative government laughed at the ineffectiveness of the body and greased nobody’s palms in the hopes of being invited back into the inner sanctum of UN intrigue.

In the now infamous and decidedly hagiographic interview that Trudeau conducted with Rolling Stone, the aging rocker magazine worshiped Trudeau’s lefty-hip image, wondering why such a great man couldn’t belong to America. Trudeau demonstrated just why American liberals love this man so much on Thursday as he chided the U.S. for walking out of the Paris climate accord, warning Americans no one can walk away from climate change.

Then he lectured us all on how Canada was going through a deep and touching reconciliation with its “indigenous peoples,” the latest catch-phrase for natives/first nations/aboriginals. As he derided the woeful failures of the past, you had to wonder if rich-boy Trudeau really envisioned living in a North America without wealth, technology or modern conveniences.

When he was through with that guilt-fest, he proceeded to tell the general assembly about the wonderful things that Canada is doing to advance something called “gender equity,” which of course really means absolutely nothing these days because of the flexibility of the term “gender,” something that is no longer determined by science or sex as far as Trudeau’s government is concerned, but by whim and choice.

Finally, he did a little campaigning, claiming his Liberal government was reducing child poverty by 40 percent while it was cracking down on tax cheats and forcing the rich to pay that proverbial “fair share.” He forgot to mention the class warfare that he was creating — but maybe next time.

All through Trudeau’s 30 minute disjointed speech you could hear the adulation he feels for the UN and for the utterly pointless work it does. He believes in this body and snaps to attention whenever it beckons him.

Donald Trump does not harbor such illusions. When he spoke to the general assembly this week, he spoke as one who knows the emperor wears no clothes. He talked of national sovereignty and he called out the pathetic dictators in rogue states like North Korea and Venezuela that are so at home at the UN.  He warned of dire consequences for North Korea: he might just have to wipe it off the map if it continues to play with nuclear weapons like an unruly child does with matches.

Clearly, Trump does not love the UN, nor does he respect the bureaucratic language that is its very foundation. He lives and works in a real world that Trudeau can barely grasp, let alone function in. Trump’s triumphant honesty offered a rare moment of deliverance from the stunning and pervasive atmosphere of mendacity that clouds the senses of everyone associated with this gleaming tower of bureaucratic inertia and moral cowardice.

Trump and Trudeau: it was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

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