What’s Common Between Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau?

Pompous Statements! Liberalism also Needs Restraint – Otherwise Terror Will Gain New Dimensions

Striking similarities between US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may be deemed sacrilege as the leaders appear to represent two ideological extremes – dogmatism and liberalism, blunt talk and political correctness respectively.

Yet, I see a streak of commonality running between them. That lies in their overenthusiasm to jump to decisions and issue personality-oriented, even pompous and populist, statements.

Extreme Vetting, Nothing New

By signing the executive order to put a temporary halt to visitor and refugee arrivals from seven countries that are seen to breed terrorism, Trump has stirred a hornet’s nest as is evident in the protests across the U.S. and globally.

Extreme vetting has already been in place, so an executive order to formalise it was uncalled for. The Trump administration could have continued to do it, even with greater rigour, without any loud proclamations.

The result could spell trouble for Americans living overseas. Terror outfits can be expected to sharpen their focus for attacks on Americans and anything of interest to the U.S. Trump’s action that is seen as anti-Muslim carries with it the threat of being counter-productive.

Attack on Mosque Leaves Six Dead

Justin Trudeau, on the other hand, emphatically said “refugees are welcome in Canada.” Soon after he made that remark, terror elements struck at a mosque in Quebec, leaving six dead and several injured.

Canada has been an open country with its leaders having generally shown friendliness and warmth towards people of all races. That did not mean it threw caution to the winds, opened its borders wide and began letting in refugees without any vetting.

With Justin, though, the people saw genuine love and warmth. He had himself gone to the airport to receive a batch of Syrian refugees, living up to his public image as a progressive, pleasant leader.

There is no reason for anyone to suspect that he was trying to take political advantage of Trump’s insularity by making a statement that will make him even more popular with the masses.

But amid a rising tide of anti-globalisation worldwide I thought he could have shown some restraint and avoided making too welcoming a statement. Every religion has its share of fanatics, and the Canada mosque attack goes to amplify that terrorism need not be confined to just one religion.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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