Articles

Tuesday November 7, 2017, The Globe and Mail

Will Trumpism come to Canada? When asked over the past year, I’ve said no. Canadian respect for diversity, an economy that has stayed afloat and our reputed politeness have made such an evolution improbable – at least in the near term.

That’s still true, but we’re seeing ground-level challenges.

Yes, Ezra Levant’s hateful website, The Rebel, fell into disrepute after its coverage of the white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last August. Yes, the federal NDP has elected a Sikh man as its leader. And yes, the recent outing of men with a history of predation may actually kick-start change to the oldest status quo in history: the demeaning of uppity women who think they’re equal. [more]

Wednesday July 12, 2017, The Globe and Mail

It appears we can become accustomed to anything, provided it’s repeated often enough. What may have appalled us last year, or the year before, eventually loses its edge and is rendered normal. Think of the way highway speeding ratchets up as drivers accelerate to maintain the faster flow of traffic.

Something similar happens with language. Words accelerate. Without thoughtful restraint, they are like speeding cars, prone to accident. [more]

Monday, May 8, 2017, The Globe and Mail

A heavy sigh of relief could be heard in Brussels and across most Western capitals on Sunday after Emmanuel Macron won France’s second round of voting. Had his opponent Marine Le Pen become France’s next president, the beleaguered European Union might have taken a fatal nosedive into oblivion, further disrupting the international order.

So there’s a reprieve, but possibly just that. Mr. Macron faces formidable challenges, and a failure to meet the high bar he has set for himself could have far-reaching consequences. He’s a man of clear talent and mind-boggling ambition. But for now he’s a one-man show. And without a strong party structure, and without winning a majority in the June parliamentary elections, his bold promises may prove elusive. [more]

Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, The Globe and Mail
‘Be prepared, that’s the Boy Scouts’ marching song …” That’s how singer Tom Lehrer began one of his satirical ditties in a more innocent time. Mr. Lehrer’s borderline naughtiness appealed to the adolescents of my generation; now, as the world teeters on the edge of transition, his Boy Scout advice is even more pertinent.

No one can predict what Donald Trump will set in motion once in office. Will he disrupt Canadian trade and our basic economy? Will he wall off Mexico? Will he create a registry of Muslims? Will he reintroduce torture? [more]

Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, The Globe and Mail

Words matter. That’s how the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum responded after a curious meeting in Washington last week.

“The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words,” the museum said in a statement Monday after a white supremacist conference was held days earlier, just a few blocks from the museum. [more]