The most disturbing thing about the January 6th riot and Trump coup attempt has been the reaction of American politicians. Despite being witnesses and targets of the attack, politics as usual has persisted, including Trump’s dominance of the Republican party.
This suggests a substantial danger that Americans in power will choose the victory of their tribe over the other above the endurance and peace of the union.
In today’s Globe and Mail, Thomas Homer-Dixon writes:
By 2025, American democracy could collapse, causing extreme domestic political instability, including widespread civil violence. By 2030, if not sooner, the country could be governed by a right-wing dictatorship.
During my international relations undergrad, profs often told us about how for most of Canadian history the biggest threat to Canada’s sovereignty has been invasion from the south. If mass political violence does erupt in the US — likely accompanied by a mass sense that the federal institutions of the supreme court, congress, and the presidency do not hold legitimate power over the whole US populace — it’s hard to believe that the US-Canada border would be respected in the uproar.
Of course it’s undiplomatic to talk in public about what will happen if your neighbour and strongest ally falls into civil war or ceases to be a democracy. Nonetheless, given the pathologies in American politics and society, it’s something Canadians must consider with growing seriousness and urgency.