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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The President of the USA is NOT the Leader of the Free World.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing the President of the USA described as the leader of the free world.  I didn’t vote in the US election; there was no world-wide election!  I live in Canada and vote here.  Why do we persist in this ridiculous notion that the President of the USA is the leader of the free world?

Every country in the world has a responsibility both to its own citizens and to other countries.  Each nation holds others accountable for actions taken or not taken.  No one leader can achieve world peace; it takes all leaders willing to come together.  In the mix of protecting national security and being responsible to other nations, we find a way forward that is just.

No leader can be the leader of the free world simply because there is always vested national interest that gets in the way.  Perhaps if we had a world government and we all voted on a leader or an executive, then a case could be made for a leader of the free world.  And in a very real way, the Secretary-General of the UN is the de facto leader of the free world.

I’m also weary of hearing about President Donald Trump more generally.  Much of the world interest in Trump has become simply voyeurism.  We want to see a spectacle, and certainly Donald Trump is providing that.  But there are other issues with which we need to spend our energy and time.

Climate Justice is a key issue here in Canada with PM Trudeau backing away from some Paris Agreement commitments.  Poverty here in Canada continues to be incredibly high and the gentrification of our communities an important concern.  The relationship with 1st Nations people is a key issue with many of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission needing attention; Grassy Narrows is back in the news because of environmental toxins remaining in the river—they cannot eat the fish and practice their culture without getting sick!  The backlog of refugees waiting to come to Canada, especially from Africa, is a black mark in our history of refugee sponsorship.  Race concerns here in Canada are prevalent, and the recent racist violence against Muslims is deeply alarming.

As the past Moderator of our United Church said at the Epiphany Explorations conference in Victoria this past January, “Enough of Donald Trump!  We have enough to do in our country, not to mention the world.  Let us put our energy to positive use to create change.”  (I’m paraphrasing, but her words drew a loud applause!)

I’d rather not react against the president, or our PM for that matter.  I stand for love and justice.  I stand with my kin from around the world… for clean water, for climate justice, for a good standard of living for all, for a guaranteed annual income, for a distribution of wealth that is just, for relationships that are life giving across cultures.

Peace to you!

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