Justin Trudeau has caught the attention of the world stage. Although a lot of the more superficial commentators focus on his looks, this does him a grave disservice. The characteristic I associate most with Trudeau is emotional intelligence. He routinely sees the bigger picture, and does an incredible job balancing the many different stakeholders that inform international (and domestic) politics.
I would like to defend his stance on three issues, and then explain why I hope he changes his opinion on another situation.
The first issue I’d like to discuss is the border situation. Trudeau wants open borders. Although he believes in careful vetting of immigrants and refugees, he has committed to Canada’s welcoming of these demographics. He recognizes their contribution to Canadian society. I have heard him say that not only does it help us domestically but internationally, companies are far more likely to invest directly in Canada because the recognize that we will have the top talent. Not only this, but it will create a lot more middle-class jobs, the part of the population to whom Trudeau is extremely committed.
The second issue I’d like to discuss is his commitment to free trade. This goes along with open borders, to connect us worldwide. Although I haven’t heard him say so, I suspect he would agree with me when I say that the fewer economic barriers which exist across the globe, the better off all stakeholders will be.
George Soros, according to conspiracy theories on the Internet, is constantly paying people to protest, disrupt, and otherwise tear away at the fabric of the international community. The man must be exhausted with all of the different nefarious schemes he’s up to! I wonder if he ever mails the wrong cheque to the wrong set of rabble rousers! By the way, I am kidding. Soros is a philanthropist and humanitarian, someone who spreads democracy across the globe--or at least that is his intention. We can argue about the efficacy of democracy—it seems to me that a democracy is only as strong as the people who vote, and if they are not well-informed, then democracy transforms into a force for evil. But with dedicated global patriots like Soros, at least there is a chance that democracy and human rights, along with peaceful co-existence, can flourish.
The third issue where I would like to defend Trudeau is in his well-developed emotional intelligence. I am not referring to when he cries when he apologizes to different groups Canada has mistreated in the past. This shows his character, but it is not emotional intelligence per se. No, what I am referring to is his ability to protect the interests of many different demographics. He does not just care about one group to the detriment of others. He cares about Islamophobia, and he also is concerned about anti-Semitism. This serves as a microcosm of how emotionally intelligent he is on a world scale. He does not just protect the rights of Canadians; he protects human rights for everyone, inasmuch as he is able to as the leader of a single country. If there ever is a one-world government, I would be delighted if someone with the moral worth of Trudeau were to run it.
However, I am not an apologist for Trudeau. I do think he makes the occasional mistake. Some of them are major, like when he is still part of the coalition against Syria. It is all very well and good to meet refugees at the airport, but Canada, admittedly to a lesser extent than other states, has contributed to these refugees’ displacement in the first place. As far as I know, Canada still is involved with Saudi Arabia in terms of arms sales. I find this unacceptable.
Trudeau can be defended by my pointing out the sheer number of stakeholders with which he must contend on a daily basis. Even if he wishes for world peace, there are still other state actors he has to deal with, sometimes contrary to his own personal interests. No man is an island, as Donne advises us, and no country is, either. We must have international relations. However, I hope that Trudeau someday (I hope he is in power for many years) can somehow manage to be more pacifist in his approach to global affairs.