Trump 2020 election indictment and Trudeau separation — so much for “nothing serious happens in summer”

Aug 3rd, 2023 | By | Category: In Brief

NORTH AMERICAN NOTEBOOK. RANDALL WHITE, FERNWOOD PARK, TORONTO . THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 2023. We had just arrived home from a short late-July adventure in the northern woods. Suddenly the TV and all other mainstream mass media were reporting that “Trump indicted for efforts to overturn 2020 election and block transfer of power.”

Then the next day, here in the native land, we were somewhat more surprised to learn that “PM Justin Trudeau and wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau are separating.” So much for the concept that nothing serious happens in the summer when everyone is away on holidays.


I of course share the view that Donald Trump is altogether unfit to be President of the United States of America. And somewhere I recently read or heard that virtually every serious person who worked for him when he was in the White House finally drew this conclusion as well.

I also find it distressing and unsettling that : “Despite Trump’s deepening legal woes, voters are split right down the middle in a rematch of the 2020 race with 43% supporting each candidate, according to a new Siena College/New York Times poll released Tuesday.”

(At the same time : “In a glimmer of good news for Democrats, the 14% of voters who don’t support either candidate seem to lean fairly strongly to Biden.”)

I similarly agree that the latest indictment of former President Trump “for efforts to overturn 2020 election and block transfer of power” points to a case that ought to be decided by the courts before the 2024 US election. Voters do have a right to know if the former president now running again is a convicted felon, before deciding who to vote for in 2024.

I (also of course) have no idea whether this will happen. And I do still think that those of us who altogether despise Donald Trump ought to try a little harder to understand the substantial millions of Americans who still seem strangely prepared to vote for him.

Here I found a recent review of a new book on “the ancient Persian emperor Cyrus the Great” somewhat intriguing. The book is by the historian Matt Waters who teaches at the University of Wisconsin. The review is by Josephine Quinn who “teaches ancient history at Oxford.” And it begins with : “Christian evangelicals in the United States sometimes like to identify the ancient Persian emperor Cyrus the Great with Donald Trump. Both are vessels for God’s plan on earth.”

Ms. Quinn notes that “obviously” neither Trump nor Cyrus are “Christian” or “would score highly on a morality test.” But Cyrus allegedly made the world safer for the nation of Israel — not because he cared anything for Israel, but because this fit his broader power mongering. And some Christian evangelicals in the United States believe that Donald Trump can do the same for an America that makes more room for them.

I think myself that those who think such things about Donald Trump are profoundly mistaken, in tragic ways. But this kind of story does make me wonder about a progressive vision of America that had more room for many of the people who now feel they have no choice but to vote for Donald Trump. (And note that the African American community, eg, is still quite religious — in ways many white evangelicals might even admire, down deep.)


Meanwhile again, like others with no inside Ottawa track of great depth, I was somewhat surprised by Wednesday’s announcements that Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire were legally separating. (He will be staying with the children at Rideau Cottage, it seems, while she moves elsewhere nearby, and they and their three children continue to live as a family, just about to go on summer holidays together.)

On the bright side of the native land I was happy that both the left-wing “Canadian Resistance” and the right-wing “Don Martin” tweeted in the same direction on these waters.

According to Canadian Resistance : “If two married people decide to part ways, it’s nobody’s business but theirs and their family’s. Butt out.” According to Don Martin : “Let’s prove how different from the Americans we are and let the Trudeau separation become a one-day story without any partisan political cheap shots at what is a sad intensely personal issue.”

My own initial thought was that the separation could be bad for a Justin Trudeau who seriously intends to run in the next election (possibly as far ahead as October 2025?). One of the attractions of PM Trudeau to at least one important group of voters on this view has been his wife Sophie!

On TV later on Wednesday evening I heard more than one analyst argue that the sad intensely personal issue of divorce will humanize Justin Trudeau in the eyes of many voters, and ultimately add to any fourth (and final) quest for a majority Trudeau Liberal government in Ottawa.

While I continue to bemoan Justin Trudeau’s Neanderthal view on the future of the British monarchy in Canada (and probably vainly hope for a change of heart in a fourth and final term?), I think I like this humanizing argument about the the sad separation better than my own original thought. (And on the latest relevant federal polling data see Éric Grenier’s “The Weekly Writ for Aug. 2: So are the Liberals doomed all of a sudden? Why you should take a breather before changing everything you believe to be true”)

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