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Columnists

W.H. Auden's poetry resonates on Trump's inauguration day

Image: Roger Doherty/flickr

How did Auden (W.H.) get it so right? He died in 1973, but his lines come to mind during the 21st century's most wracked moments.

Sept. 1, 1939, was written around that date from "one of the dives/ On Fifty-second Street" in New York, at the end of "a low dishonest decade," the 1930s. It included the Great Depression and the global spread of fascism, with World War Two just ahead. Fair enough, he was there.

But on Sept. 11, 2001, with Auden long dead, his poem seemed to rise from the rubble in Manhattan -- reprinted, quoted, viral etc. That was at the end of a proud, boastful decade, which followed the Soviet Union's demise, with smug Western declarations of victory and much reaping of economic spoils.

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Not Rex: The coming dark age of Trump

Not Rex delivers an alternative poem in the epic style on the coming dark age of Trump.

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| December 30, 2016
Columnists

North Carolina Republicans provoke political firestorm with attacks on democracy

Photo: twbuckner/Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina Republicans have provoked a political firestorm. First, Gov. Pat McCrory refused to concede his loss for close to a month. Then, under the guise of providing Hurricane Matthew relief money, they convened several back-to-back special sessions, all geared at stripping power from Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper before he takes office. The North Carolina General Assembly has seen mass protests and civil disobedience in defiance of the assembly's middle-of-the-night proceedings. Whereas President Barack Obama is honouring the tradition of the peaceful transfer of power, a fundamental pillar of American democracy, North Carolina Republicans are taking a different path.

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Columnists

The threat of Trump isn't Trump

Photo: Mark Taylor/flickr

It will be an odd experience: the Trump years. On election night I thought the main task would be deciding what to do about them -- and in less than a day, young (mostly) people were in the streets across the U.S. protesting. Hallelujah. But it's also going to require a lot of thinking about what's going on. We'll need to think our way, as well as act, through the experience because otherwise it will be overwhelmingly upsetting and nobody will get any decent sleep.

In this task, I'm indebted to a Globe and Mail editorial about Trump's newly appointed "chief strategist" titled, "Steve Bannon isn't the problem, Donald Trump is." It helped because it made me realize that I think Donald Trump isn't the problem, Steve Bannon is.

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Columnists

Trump likely to turn peaceful Black protests into race war

Photo: Tony Webster/flickr

I guess we should be glad that no member of the Trump family or transition team actually attended the white supremacist event in Washington last weekend where Trump's victory was celebrated with Nazi salutes.

For those looking for good news in the face of Donald Trump's presidential victory, these are the sort of slim pickings on offer.

The post-election reality -- in which such a gathering was openly held in the Ronald Reagan Building a few blocks from the White House -- suggests America's darkest tendencies have been given the equivalent of a hot massage.

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Donald Trump
| November 17, 2016
Columnists

Building a mass anti-Trump movement to bring democracy back into politics

Photo: Gregg Brekke/flickr

How impressive were those protests across the U.S. on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after Trump won? And he hasn't even deported anyone yet. Imagine what will happen when he does.

I say this not just as someone moved by any political activity that looks beyond casting a vote. Impressive because they have already answered a question that hung in the air once the result was known: What kind of opposition or resistance makes sense for the Trump years ahead?

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Canadian Premiers
| November 3, 2016
FDR
| October 19, 2016
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