PHOTOS: A Pink Revolution? Protesters in Washington yesterday (Washington Post photo). Below: U.S. President Donald Trump, the demonstration yesterday in Edmonton and CIA Headquarters in Langley, Va.

Was it just my imagination, or was there a whiff of “colour revolution” in the air yesterday south of the Medicine Line?

Yesterday was the first full day of Donald J. Trump’s first term as President of the United States, and he was promptly and perhaps prudently off to visit the offices of the Central Intelligence Agency, thought by some to be our planet’s No. 1 fomenter and organizer of so-called colour revolutions.

Mr. Trump’s first presidential stopover in Langley, Va., may show “marks of foresight, beginnings of wit,” as the great Canadian poet Milton Acorn described such inklings, or merely that the newly sworn-in blowhard still confidently believes he can fool anyone.

Just a week ago, Mr. Trump was comparing the CIA and the rest of the Unites States’ organs of state security to the Nazis, as the New York Times pointedly reminded readers yesterday.

It’s hard to believe the agency’s presumably nervous leaders were much reassured when President Trump told 300 employees that, “I love you, I respect you, there’s nobody I respect more.”

I suspect more than a few found the president’s performance insufficiently obsequious. Tellingly, the just-retired director of the CIA, John Brennan, dismissed Mr. Trump’s speech in the CIA Memorial Hall as a “despicable display of self-aggrandizement.”

Legally, of course, the CIA is not permitted to meddle in political matters within the borders of the United States. Technically, that is the bailiwick of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose director has already done his meddling, rather to Mr. Trump’s advantage, it would seem.

Illegally is another matter of course, and even if only a vague possibility, it is one that an incoming president hostile to significant portions of the American establishment, including many within his own party, might be advised to mind. As the old joke goes, they never have coups and colour revolutions in Washington because there’s no U.S. Embassy there. Perhaps that’s good enough for the ever-confident Mr. Trump.

Colour revolutions, as the Wikipedia accurately describes them, are upheavals most often associated with societies in the former Soviet Union and the Balkans involving strikes, mass demonstrations and other interventions against governments seen as corrupt or authoritarian. “These movements generally adopted a specific colour or flower as their symbol,” the article notes, again accurately.

The frenzy whipped up between November’s presidential election and yesterday’s inauguration about allegations, based on rather flimsy evidence, that Mr. Trump’s victory was the result of Russian interference in the U.S. electoral process certainly had the quality of the rhetoric that has preceded colour revolutions elsewhere.

This left some to wonder not so much whether the U.S. would have one – fomented perhaps, or perhaps not, by the usual suspects – but only what colour the revolutionaries would choose.

Judging by the huge and defiant women’s rallies in Washington and many cities both within and beyond the United States yesterday, the colour will be pink. In Manhattan, the Times reported, “Fifth Avenue became a tide of signs and symbolic pink hats.”

It isn’t just about Mr. Trump, of course. As Edmonton Strathcona NDP MP Linda Duncan told the CBC yesterday at Edmonton’s march, which was attended by more than 6,000 people, “they’re fed up with the misogyny they are hearing here, even in Edmonton.” It is no secret that women politicians have borne a tide of hostility and abuse by Alberta’s right wing.

There is no possibility, of course, that Mr. Trump can keep many of the promises he has made – certainly not within the bounds of the U.S. Constitution, who a lot more people than the president himself have sworn to uphold.

So the key questions are how President Trump will try to distract from that reality as it quickly and inevitably becomes apparent, how his many opponents will react to whatever he does, and just who his enemies will turn out to be.

The far right often assumes people who believe in human rights and due process are never up to a fight. We’ve all heard the snowflake commentary on both sides of the world’s longest undefended border. History shows pretty clearly that’s a risky assumption for the authoritarian right to make.

Once it’s out, it may not be so easy to put this genie back in its bottle. Whatever happens, it won’t be what you expect. We’re in for a wild ride.

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  1. The Pink Revolution would be fine with me. In fact, anything that replaces the grossly overweighted influence of the ultra conservative religious right would be a vast improvement.

    Same goes for Manning, Kenney, the WRP, and the Alberta Conservatives IMHO.


    Profanely angry rant by British commentator Jonathan Pie instructs progressives to stop writing off their opponents as racists or sexists and instead seek them out, engage, and make powerful left-wing arguments that prove you care about tackling corruption and fixing an economy that doesn’t work for all. Backing Clinton sent the opposite message and Trump capitalized.

    Notley might want to reconsider her pandering to the Cons on energy and agriculture. She could even stop telling rural landowners to “Frack off.”

  3. perhaps someone had explained to this guy, CIA isn’t an object to mess with without consequences. interesting how long it will take for him to distinguish reality TV show from real life.
    it was quite impressive his stupidity in the cases when he attacked national security organizations and then took a part in staged by Kremlin “good will” show with diplomats.

  4. I think we are in for some interesting times, and I am curious to see the unintended consequences.

    I think people who travel internationally will start to see a lot more Canadian flags worn by travelers, both Canadians making it clear they are not American, and Americans who don’t want to be blamed for Trump.

    I am curious to see what the consequences of Trump protectionism will be. All the Trump Rednecks are really behind bringing good, high paying jobs back to America, but what will happen to their enthusiasm when the price of the goods produced by those high paying jobs inevitably goes up to reflect the new costs? Given the immense popularity of Walmart and other low end department stores, whose entire business model is built on cheap imported goods, how are the Trump supporters going to react when they see the consequence of the protectionism they support.

    On a secondary level, what will happen to the cheap Asian goods when protectionism hits? Will we see prices at Canadian Walmarts go down as manufacturers look for someplace else to dump their products? Will we see cross-border shopping start going the other way, as Americans come up here looking for their cheap goods no longer available at home?

    Meanwhile, back in Asia, manufacturers will quickly decrease their output to reflect the reduced demand. How much unemployment will result, and will the newly unemployed form a large enough demographic to have influence politically?

    We are in for interesting times, and we know what the Chinese say about interesting times.

    1. well i have no problems with protection of national manufacturing. the price in free market depends on purchasing power of consumers. in case with domestically produced goods and services – perhaps manufacturer/retailer chain should settle for slightly lesser profit margin, which at present in many instances much higher than 100% on invested cost.
      take a look at about 20-25 years back. there were on shelves domestic and chinese product and true enough, chinese goods was significantly cheaper. but that’s was only till the moment when “made in USA”/”made in Canada” products simply disappeared. after that price went up and had become even more expensive, than was for locally made goods and at same time has become much worst quality. i have plenty of stuff from past which still good but everything i bought after “East Asia goods invasion” don’t survive even for year or two.

      another side of this issue – you see, domestic companies moved their production off shore but since those, whose labour been used to make this stuff can’t afford to buy, 90% of manufactured products comes for sale onto western market, which, being in decline of earning, was stimulated for consumption by credits, which in turn did bring record high personal debt.

      third side – West becomes concerned of growing economic and military agressiveness of China but who else put so much efforts to make communist totalitarian regime fast growing super power, if not a western companies and corporations with blessing of western governments?

      i’m not against international trade but it should be equally balanced and with inclusion of national economic and social interests. at present circumstances it’s far cry from fairness

  5. An Amsterdam bar owner explained how he and his staff could immediately discern Canadians from Americans even though they may be both wearing the maple leave pin on their lapels.

    His explanation was that Canadians sported small pins. Americans sported the large pins. He claimed it was a dead giveaway.

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