Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday November 8, 2019
Western Order Reels on Berlin Wall Anniversary
The stage is set at the Brandenburg Gate, the dignitaries are assembling — but 30 years on, is there much cause to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall?
The iconic moment of 1989 crowned a year of revolution that toppled communist regimes across the Soviet bloc, marking the end of the Cold War and the start of a hopeful new era.
The global divisions caused by the 1991 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq stopped that in its tracks. Optimism quickly turned to cynicism, economic boom to bust, and electorates began to look for new answers.
Today, the western liberal order that prevailed in 1989 is crumbling. Vladimir Putin’s Russia is resurgent, communist China is the world’s second-biggest economy, and the U.S. under Donald Trump openly scorns multilateralism, belittles NATO and calls the European Union a foe.
But even as the west looks spent, it’s too early to administer the last rites.
The global climate emergency upends politics as we know it and represents a chance for the west to lead, even if Greta Thunberg complains it’s not enough. Europe is a green energy powerhouse. Environmental concerns top the EU’s agenda. Germany’s Green party is vying for first place in opinion polls.
A Green chancellor of Europe’s dominant country: Few could have imagined that in 1989. (Financial Post)
In 1989, a suggestion was drawn in my comic strip Alas & Alack that Donald Trump would buy the Berlin Wall. Interesting prophesy on how history would eventually play out with a future U.S. President and his penchant for walls and keeping people divided.
Ages ago, 30yrs exactly, Donald Trump even got a mention when I drew this wordy piece after the #BerlinWall fell, for my student paper @The_Fulcrum at the University of Ottawa. #ThrowbackThursday #BerlinWall30 pic.twitter.com/McMDz8cPwh
— Graeme MacKay (@mackaycartoons) November 7, 2019