Stephen Harper explains why Trump won

Mainstream media, pay attention. Well over two years since Donald Trump won the presidential election and the Left’s handwringing about how and why still hasn’t abated.

And no, the answer isn’t Russia, though you wouldn’t know that from watching most press coverage.

Former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, whose book Right Here, Right Now explores populism in great detail, answers the question in a video produced by Prager University.

“I did not expect Donald Trump to be elected president of the United States, but unlike most observers, I did think it was at least possible,” he said. “Why? Because I sensed, as Mr. Trump surely did, that the political landscape had shifted.”

Harper takes aim at the characterization of ordinary people as “deplorables” in distilling the western population to two main groups–the Anywheres and the Somewheres.

The Anywheres can live and work pretty much wherever in the world they choose, unimpacted by things like outsourcing and technological disruption. The Somewheres are your quintessential midwestern voters, tied to their communities and their jobs. They don’t have the luxury of picking up and moving to greener pastures when their communities and jobs cease to exist.

Even if one disagrees with the Somewheres’ views on immigration and economics, Harper said it’s imperative that leaders try to understand and offer solutions.

Those solutions, he says, lie in “tried and true conservative values.”

Leona Alleslev is now a Conservative MP. But is she conservative?

My latest in Loonie Politics, which you can pick up a discounted subscription to using the promo code Lawton.

An excerpt:

While I understand the optical victory in Alleslev’s crossing, I haven’t seen anyone ask the most important question: is the newest Conservative MP actually a conservative?

On paper, Alleslev looks as though she belonged in the Conservative party from the start.  She graduated from the Royal Military College, served as an Air Force captain, and worked for the Department of National Defense and in the private aerospace sector.

She’s no doubt qualified to take on her new role as global security critic in Scheer’s shadow cabinet.

Whether she was ever a true believer in the Liberal cause we’ll never know, but she ran for that party in 2015 for a reason.  Her confidence in that party obviously changed, but I’d urge her to speak to whether her fundamental beliefs did as well.

In her departing speech as a Liberal MP, Alleslev said Canada needs “strong federal leadership to rebuild our nation’s foundations, tax reform, employment reform, a comprehensive foreign policy and a modernized military to reassure our allies and defend Canada’s interests at home and abroad.”

I agree with her that Trudeau isn’t delivering that.  But I still wonder whether she objects to the policies Trudeau is championing, or merely to his incompetence in doing so.

Read the full column here.