Cullen Reacts to Trump’s Victory
Prince George, B.C. – “Hang on to your hats folks, this is only going to get more interesting.”
The words of Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen following his trip down south to observe the US election.
Cullen was one of several MPs, pollsters and academics invited by the US State Department for an all paid tour of several battleground states culminating with a stop in Ohio.
“It’s a surprising victory, an election for the ages,” he said during a regional teleconference this morning. “We’ve never seen a candidate present himself that way. Never with that much anger against the system.”
Though Cullen “was troubled with how Trump presented his views of the world,” he suggested the divisiveness helped him to victory.
“He was able to stir up a lot of fear and hatred among groups in America and among people who thought the system wasn’t working for them,” said Cullen. “The country is very much split among demographic lines – wealth, age, race, rural versus urban.”
Thus, he says Trump’s challenge will be to “bring the country together.”
Cullen added Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s challenge will be to build a relationship with him.
“The best relationships find common ground, both were born wealthy but that’s it,” said Cullen. “How does he do that with this president. Trudeau calls himself a feminist yet how do you discuss women’s issues with a man who’s said such things?”
He said time will also tell what Trump’s win will mean for Canada in terms of trade agreements though he fears the Paris Agreement on climate change is now “dead” and the Keystone XL pipeline “is back on the table.”
In all Cullen left the US glad he’s Canadian: “Not to be smug, the warm reception from Americans was wonderful, they want to share food, I definitely put on weight but I leave praying for them that they can connect these divides.
“In my Skeena riding there’s just an understanding for the other person’s perspective. Even my strongest opponents here can still have coffee with me across difficult issues. I don’t know where that’s at there.”