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14 February 2017

Celebrating Justin Trudeau’s handshake just shows how desperate we are

Progessives are clinging onto Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. And not because of his looks. 

By Julia Rampen

On Tuesday morning, liberal leftie Facebook worlds were filled with the same story – how the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marvellously defeated US Wotsit-in-chief Donald Trump. 

“Justin Trudeau Just Showed The World How To Shake Hands With Donald Trump,” declared the Huffington Post. Another article breathlessly recounted the incident word by word. Even the Daily Mail dedicated an entire photo gallery to the moment.

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But if Trudeau is the progressives’ shining knight, it is merely a sad reflection of the times. Yes, my Canadian family celebrated the arrival of a dashing young PM after years of being ground down by Stephen Harper. Yes, he brought back that census. And yes, he’s a master of PR. 

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Still, when I watched the footage of what Vice calls “The Handshake”, it was an anticlimax. Trudeau shakes hands with the guy, pats him on the shoulder. That’s really it.

Trudeau still visited the White House. He shared a press conference with Trump. Although he has previously criticised the refugee travel ban on Twitter,  on Monday he said he wouldn’t “lecture another country” about its policies.   

The desire for a liberal leftie hero is understandable. But raving about one man’s firm grip over another is not going to solve anything for Syrian refugees, or those living with climate change, or women’s right to choose. It’s a distraction, and the fact we’ve seized on it shows how desperate we are.