Klein, however, is uniquely qualified to find a new perspective on the 45th president, thanks to the years of diligent research which led to her previous best-sellers. Trump, she argues, is ‘the logical end point’ of a series of trends – the unstoppable rise of financial markets, disdain for the natural world, the disproportionate fear of terror and otherness – which have evolved over recent decades. ‘We should have been expecting him,’ she quips.
Her criticism is sharp. ‘Trump’s plans weren’t credible, but at least they were different,’ she writes, explaining how his lack of political experience failed to harm him against his highly-qualified opponent, Hillary Clinton. ‘Trump didn’t create the problem — he exploited it,’ is her verdict on how the American news media enabled whoever most understood reality TV to be best positioned to benefit from it. ‘This is a man who thinks he can solve anything with the right stage-managed performance,’ she notes, ‘and very often in the past he’s been proven right.’
Ultimately, it’s the full ‘Leap Manifesto’ – initially teased in her previous book This Changes Everything – which she points to as a progressive route forwards for her native Canada and the rest of the world to counter the Trump juggernaut. This includes installing a carbon tax, introducing a universal basic income, and ‘respecting the inherent rights and title’ of indigenous communities (‘the original caretakers of this land’). Whether or not these are the right policies for Trump’s opponents to adopt remains to be seen, however it’s hard to argue with her core thesis: simply saying ‘no’ is certainly not enough.