|by HiMY SYeD via Wikimedia Commons|
David Frum comes from Toronto, but he left many years ago for the United States. He did not live through Toronto's experience with insurgent populist conservatism. That may or may not have led to what I regard as the most interesting omission in a very good article.
After a robust start Rob Ford's term as mayor racked up an increasing number of failures and reverses. The consequences of these failures proved catastrophic for Mr. Ford personally, but less so for the city. The nature of the mayor's job in Toronto limits the effects of any mayor's worst mistakes, and once Mr. Ford's problems surfaced, his colleagues on council acted to prevent further problems. As well, as I have written before, Mr. Ford's ability as a retail politician rested on his willingness to work with people and solve their problems. Everything I have seen, in the presidential campaign and the first weeks of the Trump administration, suggests to me neither Americans nor their president will be that lucky.
|Homeland Security photo |
via Wikimedia Commons
In pointing out the loss to Americans if Donald Trump succeeds, Mr. Frum lays little emphasis on the probability of failure, or on what a really serious failure by Donald Trump might actually mean. Donald Trump has the keys to the world's largest thermonuclear arsenal. Credible reports indicate American nuclear command and control systems make it possible for him to unleash over two hundred megatons on the world in just a few minutes. He commands the largest armed forces on the planet. He also leads a government with the world's largest public debt, and one of the world's biggest net debtor nations. An American president, any American president, does not get to make very many low stakes decisions. Donald Trump came into office showing no understanding this, and even worse, his primary subordinates have sent plenty of signals they do not understand or care what might go wrong.
|By Fibonacci Blue, via Wikimedia Commons|