One of the GOP’s constant claims against President Obama is that he is alienating the U.S. from its allies. However, the President is very well-liked in many European nations and Canada. In fact, when he recently spoke to the Canadian Parliament, the legislature broke out into applause and cheers of “four more years.”
They are shouting "four more years!" pic.twitter.com/vRZv7S4i9s
— Roberta Rampton (@robertarampton) June 29, 2016
During the course of his speech, the president spoke about the United States’ and Canada’s shared values of democracy and freedom.
‘But in a world where too many borders are a source of conflict, our two countries are joined by the longest border of peace on Earth. And what makes our relationship so unique is not just proximity. It’s our enduring commitment to a set of values — a spirit, alluded to by Justin, that says no matter who we are, where we come from, what our last names are, what faith we practice, here we can make of our lives what we will.’
He also spoke at length about the importance of maintaining alliances in the face of a world that is becoming more divided.
‘We’re linked together, as well, by the institutions that we’ve built to keep the peace: A United Nations to advance our collective aspirations. A NATO alliance to ensure our security. NORAD, where Americans and Canadians stand watch side by side — and track Santa on Christmas Eve.
We’re linked by a vast web of commerce that carries goods from one end of this continent to another. And we’re linked by the ties of friendship and family — in my case, an outstanding brother-in-law in Burlington. Had to give Burlington a shout out. Our relationship is so remarkable precisely because it seems so unremarkable — which is why Americans often are surprised when our favorite American actor or singer turns out to be Canadian! The point is we see ourselves in each other, and our lives are richer for it.’
However, it wasn’t all good news. President Obama also warned about the dangers of rising inequality and how it feeds into xenophobia and isolationism.
‘The world is more prosperous than ever before, but alongside globalization and technological wonders we also see a rise in inequality and wage stagnation across the advanced economies, leaving too many workers and communities fearful of diminishing prospects, not just for themselves, but more importantly, for their children.
And in the face of such rising uncertainty, it is not enough to look at aggregate growth rates, or stock prices, or the pace of digital innovation. If the benefits of globalization accrue only to those at the very top, if our democracies seem incapable of assuring broad-based growth and opportunity for everyone, then people will push back, out of anger or out of fear. And politicians — some sincere, and some entirely cynical — will tap that anger and fear, harkening back to bygone days of order and predictability and national glory, arguing that we must rebuild walls and disengage from a chaotic world, or rid ourselves of the supposed ills brought on by immigrants — all in order to regain control of our lives.’
You can see the full video of the President’s speech to Parliament here:
Featured image via Getty Images.