U.S. al­lies have ev­ery rea­son to fear Trump

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

View­point: Toronto Star Twenty-four per cent.

That, ac­cord­ing to an au­thor­i­ta­tive es­ti­mate by elec­tion ex­perts at the New York Times, is Don­ald Trump’s chance of beat­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton and win­ning the Amer­i­can pres­i­dency in Novem­ber.

It makes Clin­ton the strong favourite. But not the over­whelm­ing favourite. As Josh Katz of the Times noted in ex­plain­ing the in­tri­cate cal­cu­la­tions that went into the pre­dic­tion: “Mrs. Clin­ton’s chance of los­ing is about the same prob­a­bil­ity that an NBA player will miss a free throw.”

In other words, it could well hap­pen. It’s a def­i­nite pos­si­bil­ity. Sure, it’s just one es­ti­mate at one mo­ment in time, a best-guess based on the avail­able data. But given the stakes in­volved in a Trump pres­i­dency, it’s an ap­palling prospect.

The con­ven­tional wis­dom was that Trump would use the Repub­li­can con­ven­tion to “pivot” from pri­mary mode to the gen­eral elec­tion. That he would try to broaden his mes­sage from his an­gry white male base to other voters who might be tempted to his side.

His “I Alone” speech (as in, “I alone can fix it”) clos­ing the con­ven­tion put paid to that. Once again, the con­ven­tional wis­dom was flat wrong. Trump has ev­i­dently de­cided that enough voters will re­spond to his dark, dystopian vi­sion of Amer­ica to carry him all the way to the White House.

The fact that he has a solid chance of mak­ing it means the world must take him very se­ri­ously. For Cana­di­ans, that in­cludes lis­ten­ing care­fully as he con­tin­ues to at­tack the in­sti­tu­tions most fun­da­men­tal to our mil­i­tary and eco­nomic se­cu­rity.

Last week, he did just that as he tore into both NAFTA, the two-decade-old North Amer­i­can trade deal, and NATO, the bedrock of west­ern sta­bil­ity since the Sec­ond World War. He’s tak­ing pro­tec­tion­ism and iso­la­tion­ism to a new level.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.