President Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a joint press conference today which clearly showed that the differences in character between the two leaders couldn’t be more extreme.
Perpetually insecure Trump, terrified of the press and their tough questions, only accepted two softball questions from right-wing blogs. The Canadian press was not so timid and asked a pointed question about northern border security and the right way to approach the refugee crisis – and the leaders’ answers couldn’t have been more different.
“President Trump, you seem to suggest that Syrian refugees are a Trojan horse for potential terrorism while the Prime Minister hugs them with open arms. Are you confident that the northern border is secure?” asked a reporter.
Trump failed to properly answer the question, instead plugging his horrifying deportation raids before going on to brag, once again, about the size of his electoral college victory – which, need we remind you, was unremarkable.
“You can never be totally confident, but through the incredible efforts already I see it happening of formerly General Kelly, now Secretary Kelly we have really done a great job. We’re actually taking people that are criminals, very very hardened criminals in some cases with a tremendous track record of abuse and problems, and we’re getting them out, and that’s what I said I would do. I’m just doing what I said I would do when we won by a very very large Electoral College vote and uh I knew that was going to happen. We are going to get the bad ones. We’re going to get them out. And that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
On the other hand, Trudeau reiterated his satisfaction with the Canadian refugee resettlement program and his dedication to humanitarian relief while working closely with the United States on security – and then upstaged Trump by answering again in flawless French.
“Canada has always understood that keeping Canadians safe is one of the fundamental responsibilities of any government and that’s certainly something we’re very much focused on. At the same time we continue to pursue our policies of openness towards immigration and refugees without compromising security and the way we’ve been over to do that in the past year, welcoming 40,000 Syrian refugees, is by coordinating with the United States and our allies around the world, and we take that very seriously.”
Trump used his answer to paint a picture of fear, describing the United States as a nation beset by terrorists and “gang members” and “drug lords” – obvious dog whistles for Muslims, blacks, and Latinos. He is inventing a problem that he will take responsibility for solving after he strips away our civil liberties in the name of national security.
Trudeau, on the other hand, reminded the world that his nation still shows care for one’s fellow humans, that refugee resettlement programs are largely enormously successful, and that you don’t have to compromise your people’s safety to help those in need. The difference is truly like night and day.
Watch it here:
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.