Time to add a new class of refugees. Americans!
You have to believe me when I say I’ve tried desperately to avoid writing about Donald Trump, but given my respect for civil society, the rule of law, diversity, and indeed, all the good things about the United States, I just have to wade in to the fray.
As lawyers, we should be outraged by any opportunistic, xenophobic fascist politician (George Clooney’s words, not mine) advocating racism, torture, and even war crimes in order to appeal to a very base base that includes the KKK and neo-Nazi groups. Trump has done that, and more. Even Mitt Romney has called him a fraud and a con man. Although Trump’s oratorical style mirrors the bombasity of Mussolini (with hair), or Berlusconi (Bunga Bunga!), it’s better to just think of him as “Rob Ford with Nukes.”
Trump accuses Mexicans of being criminals and rapists and claims that a wall should be built to “keep them out.” He calls Muslims “terrorists” and says he’ll ban them from entering the United States. He has advocated the torture of captured prisoners. Waterboarding isn’t strong enough, which makes me wonder what sort of torture methods he would advocate as Torturer-in-Chief. Fingernail extraction? Flaying? The Rack? Advanced testicular electrocution?
He throws people out of his rallies (“Throw’em out into the cold…. Keep his coat.”). He believes the US should kill the families of ISIS fighters despite the fact that this constitutes a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. When they aren’t roughing up people at his rallies, some Trump supporters taunt black basketball players yelling “Trump Trump Trump.”
If there is anything funny about Trump, it’s the fact that he has sided with nutbar conspiracy theorists who believe the attack on the World Trade Center was an inside job. He’s also an anti-vaxxer, despite the fact that he avoided polio, smallpox and other diseases because he was vaccinated. The perception among his supporters that Trump is a successful businessperson is at odds with his string of corporate failures: Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza Hotel, Trump Entertainment Resorts, Trump Air, Trump Vodka. Even Trump University is being sued for fraud.
Perhaps the good news in all this is that a sizeable number of smart, talented and entrepreneurial Americans may well be looking to move themselves, their talents, and their businesses to Canada. Immediately after “Super Tuesday,” the search topic “how can I move to Canada” increased 1150% on Google.
Trump will likely get the nomination, and has a chance of winning in November’s U.S. election. So if Trump does become the next President, let’s do what Canada does so well. Let’s welcome refugees of Trumpism like we welcome refugees of other dangerous ideologies. To misquote the engraving on the Statue of Liberty, let’s encourage the tired, huddled, tempest-tossed masses of Trump Refugees yearning to breathe free, to move to our teeming shores- particularly if they bring their corporate head offices (like say Apple or Google) with them.
We have welcomed 25,000 Syrian refugees in the past six months. We welcomed 37,000 Hungarians after the failed revolt of 1956, 11,000 Czech refugees after the Soviet invasion of 1968, and more than 7,000 Ismaili Muslims from East Africa in the 1970s. We welcomed more than 60,000 Vietnamese boat people in 1979. We welcomed more than 7,000 Chilean refugees after the fall of Salvador Allende’s government in 1973. And we can’t forget the Bosnians, the Bhutanese, and of course the 40,000 American draft dodgers who came to Canada to escape the unwinnable Vietnam War.
So let’s lift a lamp beside our golden door and create a special category of immigrant: Trump Dodgers.
The views expressed herein are strictly those of Tony Wilson and do not reflect the opinions of the Law Society of British Columbia, CBABC, or their respective members.