Homer-Dixon on big U.S. divide

Black and white image. A man sits in a wingback chair surrounded by books. The sun streams in through the window.

Thomas Homer-Dixon, executive director of the Cascade Institute at Royal Roads, published an opinion piece in The Globe and Mail over the holiday break that predicts further unrest and a possible dictatorship for our neighbour to the south.

He urges readers not to dismiss the idea of civil instability brought about by increasingly large cracks in the social and political landscape as something that can “never happen”.

“Looking further down the road, some think that authority in American federalism is so disjointed and diffuse that Mr. Trump, especially given his manifest managerial incompetence, will never be able to achieve full authoritarian control. Others believe the pendulum will ultimately swing back to the Democrats when Republican mistakes accumulate, or that the radicalized Republican base – so fanatically loyal to Mr. Trump – can’t grow larger and will dissipate when its hero leaves the stage.

One can hope for these outcomes, because there are far worse scenarios.” 

Despite the potential for seeing severe division and political unrest, Homer-Dixon says Canada, as “one of the most remarkably just and prosperous societies in human history” has to rise to the challenge of preparing for the future, even one that is difficult to contemplate.

Read the full opinion piece in The Globe and Mail (article is behind paywall).