It’s one thing to lead a nation on the agenda that your country comes first. It’s completely another thing to lead a nation on an “America first” agenda, that also comes with the caveat that, “America first, to the exclusion of all other nations.” Once all other nations are excluded, America stops being the leader of the free world. When a nation slips out of that spot, the next ranking country takes its place.
Such is the premise of a recent New York Times editorial that has now dubbed Canada as leading the free world. The New York Times reports that this torch of liberty has been passed onto Canada by Donald Trump through his recent executive order called a “travel ban.”
The Statue of Liberty is an icon of American freedom, the first sight to many of the weary fleeing a war torn country or persecution in their homeland, to come to America. On the plaque for the Statue of Liberty, is a poem called “The New Colossus” written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 that she wrote to raise money for the construction of Lady Liberty’s pedestal. The poem reads,
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lap beside the golden door.”
But today, many are feeling that the poem on the Statue of Liberty now comes with the caveat, “Offer may vary.” Such was the subject of a cartoon shared by martial arts champion Ronda Rousey.
The plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty reads: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" #resist
A photo posted by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on
The New York Times reported out of Ottawa, Canada, yesterday, in an editorial to say, that Donald Trump’s recent travel ban reflects a “harsh global pattern,” but for “one great exception:” Canada. Canada has made it very clear since Donald Trump’s travel ban was enacted that Canada welcomes everyone.
Shortly after the travel ban, Prime Minister Trudeau sent a tweet that was heard around the world. It was a tweet that reinforced Canadian values, and echoes the sentiments of Lady Liberty.
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017
The New York Times attributes Canada’s new spot as leading the free world to not just the leadership itself, but to Canadians in general, long reputed to be some of the nicest people in the world. As the New York Times reports, “Many groups clamoring for more Syrian refugees.”
One Syrian who has come to Canada, was shot when he was 15-years-old in Syria, and told the New York Times that he feels welcome in Canada and is very glad to be here. He also said,
“I’m really happy Canada does what others don’t.”
Canada has been a leader in the free world for Syrian refugees since the refugee crisis began years ago. Millions have fled Syria, and neighboring countries such as Turkey and Lebanon have taken the bulk of the refugees. But in the free world, Canada leads.
Canada has taken as many as 40,000 Syrians, and America, a country ten times Canada’s population size, has taken 12,000 reports the New York Times. This was before Trump’s travel ban, but Trump’s travel ban is going to drop America down many spots on this list very soon.
The New York Times also reports that Canada’s immigration minister, Ahmed Hussen, said that what he is hearing from Canadians is that Canada isn’t bringing in enough refugees, and that Canada could do more. Ahmed Hussen is a Somalian refugee, and is now serving the country that “once served him.” Two of Canada’s previous attorney generals are also refugees, and Canada now has more Sikhs holding Cabinet positions than India does.
That’s not to say Canada does not have its share of Islamophobia and xenophobia. Canada witnessed last week what happens when a born Canadian does not want diversity in the country when 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette killed six Canadians in a Quebec mosque and injured many others.
America had a real opportunity there to be there for their Canadian brothers and sisters. Trump had an opportunity to show the world who is the leader of the free world. He didn’t point to America as the leader. He used the attack against Canadians as a reason to justify his travel ban.
Instead of leading the free world, Americans were the leader in promoting fake news about a tragedy happening in Canada, to people that were killed while they were praying and seeking refuge from the Islamophobes of the world. One American put out a fake picture of Muslims saying, “Confirmed names of the shooters are all over the place.”
But, the name of the one shooter, a white Canadian national, was not released until well after the timestamp of that tweet. The tweeter, a “pinksugar61” has the hashtag #MAGA in her Twitter bio, as did many tweeting fake news about the Canadian shooting that occurred one week ago today.
— Lena ???????? (@pinksugar61) January 30, 2017
There was only one shooter in the Quebec mosque attack. His name was Alexandre Bissonnette, and he was a Canadian national, white male. He was also a Trump supporter and described by people who knew him as an “online troll” and “Femi-Nazi” who hated women in his online discussions reports Vice News. Vice News also notes Bissonnette as a “ultra-national white supremacist who was obviously pro-Trump,” according to someone who knew Bissonnette well.
— Benjamin Dixon ???? (@TheBpDShow) January 30, 2017
But yet, the fake news about the attack on Canada continued, from America. Trump will cry “fake news” whenever an outlet says something he doesn’t like. But it was his own people, and his own supporters, spreading fake news about a terror attack in Canada. It was also one of Trump’s own supporters that killed Canadian Muslims.
Fox News became the most “famous” for the fake news about the Canadian terror attack, committed by a known Trump supporter. Fox News tweeted an article that the shooter was of Moroccan descent. Fox News was met with thousands of responses from all over the world asking for a retraction on that incorrect information, and Fox did not retract their fake news. The tweet stayed up for days. Days.
— Live From Mogadishu (@Daudoo) February 1, 2017
At least, it did until the Prime Minister of Canada got involved. Because Fox News refused to take down their incorrect news, they got a thumping from the Prime Minister of Canada. Kate Purchase, Director of Communications for Prime Minister Trudeau wrote a letter, and published it online, to Fox News, asking for a retraction.
To repeat: Fox News did not retract fake news about a Canadian terror attack against Muslims, for days, and only did when they were asked to by the Prime Minister of Canada.
In so doing, Kate Purchase also noted the values that Canada holds dear.
— Kate Purchase (@katepurchase) January 31, 2017
Kate also said, “If we allow individuals and organizations to succeed by scaring people, we do not actually end up any safer. Fear does not make us safer, it makes us weaker.”
If there is anyone in the world for Donald Trump to pass the torch of leading the free world to, Prime Minister Trudeau is a wonderful choice. It was his father after all who wrote the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for Canada when the first Prime Minister Trudeau was in office. Those values have become a fabric of Canadian freedom, that is shared with people from all over the world, and 20 percent of Canada is a visible minority with Muslims representing “three times the percentage of Canadians as of Americans” according to the New York Times.
The New York Times also says, if Canada continues leading the free world this way, by 2036, as much as half of Canada will be an immigrant, or a child of an immigrant. When the New York Times reporter asked Canadians what they thought about that, the Canadians he asked looked “puzzled” wondering why having such a diverse country would be such a problem.
While Donald Trump was announcing his pick for Supreme Court this week, at the very same time, Canadians were lining up outside the House of Commons, in frigid temperatures, to attend an emergency meeting on the travel ban, to learn more about solutions that can be offered to countries in the world arriving and traveling to Canada.
— James Smith (@JsrSmith) February 1, 2017
That’s what leading the free world really means. But with Donald Trump putting out executive orders that limit freedoms instead of expanding them, he allows Canada to continue leading the free world in many other ways.
It’s no secret that Trump does not even believe climate change is a thing. Canada leads here as well.
— VICE Canada (@vicecanada) February 4, 2017
But that’s not all. In addition to a travel ban, Donald Trump has also doubled the minimum salary for H1B visa holders, making it almost impossible for America’s tech companies to hire from abroad. Foreign talent is what makes America a leader in the technology industry, in the free world.
Forbes Magazine reports that the executive order restricting H1B visas in the United States will cap the number of H1B visas a year, with the United States limiting the number of H1B visas to 85,000. Also, Trump is doubling the minimum wage requirement to $130,000 which will make it cost prohibitive for tech companies to hire talent from abroad.
Already companies spend as much as $25,000 for their employees to obtain a green card or H1B visa to work in America.
Making it cost prohibitive is Trump’s point. He doesn’t want foreigners in America, he wants to focus only on America. He wants the jobs to go to Americans. And there is actually nothing wrong with that.
But he loses his leader of the free world status when he does. Limiting the open door policy, means other countries who do open their doors, lead the free world. So far, Canada is rising to the top, thanks to Donald Trump.
The New York Times asked Canada’s new foreign minister, former journalist Chrystia Freeland if the new H1B restrictions and travel ban would help Canada’s tech sector. Her response? “That’s exactly right.”
Canada is now leading the free world in immigration, climate change, and soon, technology. And Canada can thank Donald Trump for that.
[Feature Image by Olivier Matthys/AP Images]