Canada if the US collapses

2021-12-31

in Bombs and rockets, Canada, History, Law, Politics, Security

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.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

. December 31, 2021 at 1:36 pm

There’s a Word for What Trumpism Is Becoming

The relentless messaging by Trump and his supporters has inflicted a measurable wound on American democracy.

By David Frum

Two traits have historically marked off European-style fascism from more homegrown American traditions of illiberalism: contempt for legality and the cult of violence. Presidential-era Trumpism operated through at least the forms of law. Presidential-era Trumpism glorified military power, not mob attacks on government institutions. Postpresidentially, those past inhibitions are fast dissolving. The conversion of Ashli Babbitt into a martyr, a sort of American Horst Wessel, expresses the transformation. Through 2020, Trump had endorsed deadly force against lawbreakers: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he tweeted on May 29, 2020. Babbitt broke the law too, but not to steal a TV. She was killed as she tried to disrupt the constitutional order, to prevent the formalization of the results of a democratic election.

If a big-enough movement agrees with Trump that Babbitt was “wonderful”—if they repeat that the crowd of would-be Nancy Pelosi kidnappers and Mike Pence lynchers was “great”—then we are leaving behind the American system of democratic political competition for a new landscape in which power is determined by the gun.

That’s a landscape for which a lot of pro-Trump writers and thinkers seem to yearn.

. December 31, 2021 at 1:37 pm

Menace Enters the Republican Mainstream

Threats of violence have become commonplace among a significant part of the party, as historians and those who study democracy warn of a dark shift in American politics.

Milan December 31, 2021 at 4:34 pm

Russell, Peter H. “Canada’s Odyssey: A Country Based on Incomplete Conquests.” University of Toronto Press, 2019. p. 39-42

. January 2, 2022 at 12:10 am

Prepare for Right-Wing U.S. Dictatorship Before 2030, Scholar Urges Canada

https://www.newsweek.com/prepare-right-wing-dictatorship-america-2030-scholar-urges-canada-1664810

. January 2, 2022 at 12:11 am
. January 2, 2022 at 12:18 am

Retired general warns the U.S. military could lead a coup after the 2024 election

https://www.npr.org/2021/12/31/1068930675/us-election-coup-january-6-military-constitution

. January 3, 2022 at 1:29 am

We Surveyed Experts on Democracy. They’re Worried About the U.S. Turning Even More Authoritarian.

See what has Sherrilyn Ifill, Mehdi Hasan, and others concerned

https://newrepublic.com/article/164849/democracy-watch-authoritarian-sherrilyn-ifill-mehdi-hasan-aziz-huq-rachel-kleinfeld

. January 3, 2022 at 3:14 pm

If the next presidential election reveals the U.S. hurtling toward possible violence and autocracy, should Canada try to intervene?

John Ibbitson

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-if-the-next-presidential-election-reveals-the-us-hurtling-toward/

. January 5, 2022 at 10:19 pm

Carter said he had hope that the deadly attack on the Capitol “would shock the nation into addressing the toxic polarization that threatens our democracy.”
But politicians, he said, “have leveraged the distrust they have created to enact laws that empower partisan legislatures to intervene in election processes” and “seek to win by any means, and many Americans are being persuaded to think and act likewise, threatening to collapse the foundations of our security and democracy with breathtaking speed.”
“I now fear that what we have fought so hard to achieve globally — the right to free, fair elections, unhindered by strongman politicians who seek nothing more than to grow their own power — has become dangerously fragile at home,” said Carter, who in his post-presidency started the Carter Center, a nonprofit that monitors free elections around the globe.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/05/politics/jimmy-carter-democracy-jan-6-oped/index.html

. January 6, 2022 at 8:10 pm

The next US civil war is already here – we just refuse to see it

Stephen Marche

The right has recognized that the system is in collapse, and it has a plan: violence and solidarity with treasonous far-right factions

The United States has burned before. The Vietnam war, civil rights protests, the assassination of JFK and MLK, Watergate – all were national catastrophes which remain in living memory. But the United States has never faced an institutional crisis quite like the one it is facing now. Trust in the institutions was much higher during the 1960s. The Civil Rights Act had the broad support of both parties. JFK’s murder was mourned collectively as a national tragedy. The Watergate scandal, in hindsight, was evidence of the system working. The press reported presidential crimes; Americans took the press seriously. The political parties felt they needed to respond to the reported corruption.

You could not make one of those statements today with any confidence.

. January 6, 2022 at 8:11 pm

White supremacists and militias have infiltrated police across US, report says

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/27/white-supremacists-militias-infiltrate-us-police-report

Hidden in Plain Sight: Racism, White Supremacy, and Far-Right Militancy in Law Enforcement

https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/hidden-plain-sight-racism-white-supremacy-and-far-right-militancy-law

. January 7, 2022 at 1:44 pm

Americans aren’t hearing the ‘democracy in danger’ alarm

https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/06/politics/january-6-democracy-danger-what-matters/index.html

. January 10, 2022 at 12:40 pm
. January 10, 2022 at 3:10 pm
. January 10, 2022 at 3:11 pm

Business Insider published a poll in October 2020 saying a majority of Americans believed the U.S. was already in the midst of a “cold” civil war. Then last fall, the University of Virginia Center for Politics released a poll finding that a majority of people who had voted to reelect former President Donald Trump in 2020 now wanted their state to secede from the Union.

The UVA data also showed a stunning 41% of those who voted for Joe Biden in 2020 also said it might now be “time to split the country.”

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