Trump is many things, but stupid isn't one of them. Watching the Canadian government run into every trap is truly breath-taking and the combined forces of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is no match for Trump, who plays both those pampered airheads like a violin.
Trump is more than a chess master: he is a Go master, and that is a rare quality. He sets up a series of circumstances, sets up a narrative, creates chaos before creating another set of misdirections, and then lights a match to bring pandemonium with layers of unpredictable behaviour, while downplaying his own military genius.
Canada should have seen this coming a mile away, but as usual, the detrimental "It will all work out in the end" narrative blinded the feds to the absolute obvious.
The fact that he bested both the Bush Dynasty and the Clinton Machine to become president should have been warning enough to Canada, a nation absolutely dependent on the US for survival.
After all, not only does the US have ten times the population, they have more disposible income and far more wealthy and wealthier citizens than does Canada.
Canada didn't just rely on US companies for jobs and the US market to export, they were proxies who had goodwill and could serve as a conduit to the US.
Trump had to know this because his strategy has been unprecedented and shocking: he has now declared to the world that Canada no longer has a positive relationship with the US, meaning any foreign agent or nation wanting a backdoor entrance will bypass Canada for the time-being -- and any replacement is not going to let go of that should relations repair.
The US president called Canada spoiled recently, and that was not just a random insult: he told the world precisely how Canada was going to react when they did not get their own way.
And what do spoiled people do when they don't get their own way?
They throw temper tantrums and retaliate, like sheltered brats throwing fits on Dr. Phil when mom and dad cut their allowance.
And like a true pigeon, Canada retaliated when the inevitable happened.
Which is laughable. Trump would have had to bank on Canada slapping back after being punched square in the face, and as usual, the Trudeau regime obliged. You cannot use the same old orderly script with someone who is the personification of chaos.
The US can survive just fine without Canada, and have been cultivating relationships with other willing nations.
Canada cannot say the same.
Hamilton in particular is in jeopardy. The two main steel companies are now foreign-owned, and they can merely close up shop and go to the US. This city has no other industries, and most of the jobs of any value are government-sponsored ones: Mohawk College. McMaster University, schools, hospitals, and various public service outlets. With no sustainable and steady tax base, Hamilton collapses. You cannot bank on a handful of artisan stores, antiques shops, and food trucks to save you.
The local television station CHCH is, as usual, merely deferring to various authority figures and C-list "expert" sources, and have no idea how to ask the hard questions that count. Considering their very existence is now in doubt, you would think they would try a different approach, but no dice. The anarchists who threw a fit a few weeks ago because they feared gentrification should realize their fears were unfounded. Hamilton's fortunes have been rickety for years, and now it is being transformed into a ground zero in a bigger war, and make no mistake, Canada is in the crosshairs.
And that Trump picked one week before the Ontario election to sucker punch his Northern neighbours is very interesting, and a master stroke.
Even if he changes his mind, his move nullifies the NDP's fantasy-world promises completely as there can be no security of financial resources. The Liberals, already in the tanker, are inert, particularly as their federal counterparts are floundering with empty threats as they look as if someone shoved horse dung deep into their nostrils.
The worst is Trudeau's bizarre fixation of pointing out that Canada is not a security threat to the US, missing the entire point of Trump's manoeuvre: it wasn't a question of national security, but to put Canada on notice that he is not going to treat those spoiled, smooth operators with kid gloves. They are not special; ergo, no special treatment for you.
But Trudeau and Freeland kept tweaking Trump with their uppity and patronizing words. It is one thing if you are evenly matched, and Canada isn't evenly matched (Jean Chretien, on the other hand, has an actual brain and grasp of reality, and offered a pathetically simple and non-petty solution). Trump has a plan, and Canada doesn't. For the narrative the feds have chosen that Trump is an idiot, it is an inaccurate one that has led to very precarious results. There were far better ways to deal with the new president who is neither a wonk nor politician, and it is on the federal Liberals that things have gotten out of control.
In boxing, you do not put a lightweight in the ring with a heavyweight. You do not put a heavyweight novice in the ring with the heavyweight veteran. The feds thought they could charm their way into a consensus, not seeing that charm wasn't going to work with someone whose realm rejected consensus. The public sector is an artifical bubble that thrives on consensus because there are no time constraints: you can drag your feet for decades with no consequences because you do not have to hustle to find opportunities, and you get a nice pay check no matter how long you dawdle.
However, in the private sector, you have to grab those precious opportunities and make them yourself -- and those opportunities have a short shelf life. Miss one at your own peril.
We have a leadership completely out of touch with the feral frontier Trump has actively created. They are acting like peeved school teachers dealing with children; however, they are in reality dealing with a strategist who not only has a plan, but reveals his plans and predictions out in the open, and is proven right time and again.
Canada right now has leaders without heads. Their superiority complex has perpetually blinded them to the obvious signs screaming all around them. They haven't got this.
And for Ontario, Trump's gambit could not come at a worst time -- with three leaders who did not proffer a single plan that accounted for this turn of events.
That's right: no Trump Whisperer among them -- and there was plenty of time to prepare -- but didn't...