"Fear doesn't make us safer, it makes us weaker.”
The possibility of Donald Trump becoming President of the United States is becoming more of a likelihood every day.
While this is encouraging to some Republicans, it’s downright horrifying to most Liberals and Democrats – and, of course, the rest of the world.
While it’s not usual for foreign leaders to express their opinion on nations’ elections, Canada’s new prime minister made and exception when a resident asked his thoughts on the matter during a town hall meeting.
When Justin Trudeau was asked whether or not he would condemn the “hateful rhetoric” of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, he first stressed that it is important for leaders to avoid commenting on foreign elections. He then, however, shared insight that leaves little room for interpretation:
“I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that I stand firmly against the politics of division, the politics of fear, the politics of intolerance or hateful rhetoric. If we allow politicians to succeed by scaring people, we don’t actually end up any safer. Fear doesn’t make us safer. It makes us weaker.”
The prime minister is well-known for his progressive policies. Shortly after being elected in October, he appointed a 50% female cabinet. And, when a majority of the U.S. was uncertain about helping Syrian refugees, he – on behalf of Canada – elected to welcome 25,000 refugees into the country.
In contrast, Trump has proposed a ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S., citing concerns about alleged weaknesses in the refugee screening process and the potential for extremist violence.
Trudeau does acknowledge that national security is a top priority for Canada, however, he does not believe the solution is to build a wall (referring to Trump’s proposal to build a “massive wall” along the US-Mexico border) or scapegoat the Muslim community.
“I think Canada—indeed, any modern society—does best when we understand that diversity is a source of strength, not a source of weakness, that the elements on which we are similar are always far greater than the elements on which we are diverse, and if we allow politicians to succeed by scaring people, we don’t actually end up any safer,” Trudeau said. “Fear doesn’t make us safer, it makes us weaker.”
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