Anti-Trump protesters hold up signs during a rally at Peace Arch Park.

Anti-Trump protesters hold up signs during a rally at Peace Arch Park.

EDITORIAL: Divisive rhetoric affects us all

The divide-and-conquer strategy of President Trump is being felt everywhere, and prompted protests.

All eyes are on the White House now, as the world ponders fledgling President Donald Trump’s next move.

A polarizing political figure long before he claimed his nation’s highest office last month, Trump has not failed in his bid to divide and categorize the world into – in his own, often-tweeted words – “enemies” and “fans.”

Last weekend’s hastily announced travel ban – in which the president’s executive order blocked entry into the U.S. by refugees and, regardless of Green Card status and residence, citizens from seven select Muslim-majority nations – followed up on the proposed Muslim ban that Trump floated early in his candidacy (though Trump’s team is quick now, for some reason, to note the current rules are not a “Muslim ban” as they don’t specifically target a religion).

Whether Trump’s “America-first” rhetoric somehow led to Sunday’s terror attack at a mosque in Quebec City is being called into question, although, oddly, Trump’s press secretary sees the tragedy as a further reminder of “why the president is taking steps to be proactive and not reactive on issues of national security.”

Whether additional victims will be a result of hate speech being heard across the United States will only be determined in time.

The only certainty now is that the world is divided as much as ever; on one side are those who believe Trump will keep his world safe, on the other are those who fear what threats might come next.

And standing in the middle of it all is a billionaire seemingly sensitive only to his own popularity.

Whether last weekend’s series of anti-Trump rallies around the globe – including a gathering at Peace Arch Park on Sunday – will continue will depend on how seriously this fear is felt.

Trump supporters – and, make no mistake, there are plenty on Canadian soil – continue to split hairs about what they feel are misconceptions of his actions and intent. They accuse protesters of being driven by anger and emotionalism.

They are very likely right. But there can be no mistake about who opened the Pandora’s Box that unleashed the current storm of racism, intolerance, misogyny, uncivil discourse and reliance on “alternative facts” on the world. The evils that were released by Trump’s campaign are swirling around all of us.

Trump has shown himself to be vulgar, thin-skinned and easily swayed. Whether his regime’s divide-and-conquer strategy will ultimately benefit the United States of America – or even just their elected leaders – is truly up in the air.