U of T profs, community members weigh in on Trump inauguration
Toronto (NUWire)—Ten weeks after a particularly long and messy election season, Donald Trump has been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, with protests engulfing Washington, D.C. and other cities across the world.
With an approval rating between 34–40 per cent, Trump has the lowest of any incoming president in recent memory. Saturday was Trump’s first full day as president and it was met with substantial protest.
“Sister marches” organized in solidarity with the Women’s March in Washington, and took place in over 600 cities across the world including Toronto.
Over 60,000 gathered at Queen’s Park before marching down University Avenue to the U.S. Consulate, and then proceeding to Toronto City Hall. The Varsity attended the march and spoke with numerous attendees to find out their reasons for marching.
A protester named Diane told the Varsity “I’m marching because I’m in my fifties and I lived through the feminist movement, and I can see where we were and where we’ve come, and I want to make sure that we continue to move forward.”
A number of Toronto’s faculty members also participated in the march.
For example, York University Professor Jody Berland said “I’m of the generation of women that spent many years getting health-care rights, abortion rights, equal pay rights, and dignity rights for women, and we don’t want to lose those rights. And we are confident that the new generation will pick it up and run.”
Anna Korteweg, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga also weighed in, saying that she is “scared about what Trump will mean for the globe, for the world, for my children, for my students.”
“I don’t know yet how we can stop the tide Trump signifies, but I hope together we can figure out how to get back on a better path.”
But outside of Saturday’s protest, what’s next for the U.S. and Canada?
In an email to the Varsity, Professor Robert Bothwell of the Munk School of Global Affairs wrote that he felt the relationship between Canada and the United States would be maintained “with great difficulty” under a Trump presidency.
“The U.S. is bitterly divided, with the result that party positions become very rigid,” wrote Bothwell. “One party, the Democrats, is recognizable and comprehensible as a party. The other… well, not so much.”
When asked how Trudeau might maintain Canada-U.S. relations under a Trump presidency, Bothwell said that there are always some Americans that Canada will get along with, and some that the nation won’t, with differences in proportion that we should recognize.
“If we are to believe what Trump’s entourage (says), we are in for some difficulties, especially over trade. I don’t think it would make much difference what Canadian party was in power: I don’t think the Trump team discriminates. Dealing with Trump the Twitterer will be (hard) enough.”