Transcript: What the U.S. Election Means for the World | Nov 04, 2020

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, lilac shirt, purple tie, and a red poppy pin.

A caption on screen reads "What the U.S. election means for the world. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says FOUR YEARS AGO, AMERICANS SET A VERY DIFFERENT COURSE BY SELECTING DONALD TRUMP AS PRESIDENT... WELL, AT LEAST, THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE DID. THE MAJORITY OF VOTERS DID NOT. TRUMP'S FOREIGN POLICY WAS A STRIKING DEPARTURE IN MANY WAYS FROM HIS PREDECESSORS. AND WHILE MANY OUTSIDE OBSERVERS EXPECTED THIS 2020 ELECTION TO REVERSE THAT, THE DEEPLY DIVIDED AMERICAN ELECTORATE CLEARLY HAS NOT MADE THAT CLEAR-CUT CHOICE. WITH US NOW ON WHAT THE U.S. ELECTION DAY... AND MAYBE WEEK... MEANS TO THE REST OF THE WORLD, WE WELCOME: IN OXFORD, UK: TIMOTHY GARTON ASH, PROFESSOR OF EUROPEAN STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD AND A SENIOR FELLOW AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY'S HOOVER INSTITUTION...

Timothy is in his sixties, balding, with a stubble. He's wearing glasses, a brown suit and a pink shirt.

Steve continues IN WATERLOO, ONTARIO: BESSMA MOMANI, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO AND A SENIOR FELLOW AT CIGI, THE CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL GOVERNANCE INNOVATION...

Bessma is in her forties, with long straight blond hair. She's wearing a black blazer.

Steve continues AND IN THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL: IN THE ANNEX: JANICE STEIN, BELZBERG PROFESSOR OF CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN THE DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND THE FOUNDING DIRECTOR OF THE MUNK SCHOOL OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS and PUBLIC POLICY AT THE U OF T...

Janice is in her seventies, with short feathered gray hair. She's wearing a bright red blazer and a white blouse.

Steve continues AND SEVA GUNITSKY, AUTHOR OF "AFTERSHOCKS: GREAT POWERS AND DOMESTIC REFORMS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY." HE'S ALSO A PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT THE U OF T, WHO JOINS US FROM THE DOWNTOWN ST. GEORGE CAMPUS TONIGHT...

Seva is in his thirties, with short chestnut hair and a stubble. He's wearing glasses, a black sweater and a checkered blue shirt.

Steve continues NICE TO HAVE EVERYBODY ELSE ON THE PROGRAM. IF YOU STAYED UP UNTIL 2:15 THIS MORNING, YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN SOME OF THIS. SHELDON, ROLL IT, PLEASE.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "November 4, 2020."

In the clip, people wearing masks stand beside cars at night watching an event.

Joe Biden stands behind a lectern and says I'M HERE TO TELL YOU TONIGHT, WE BELIEVE WE'RE ON TRACK TO WIN THIS ELECTION.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

(HONKING)

Biden continues WE KNEW BECAUSE OF THE UNPRECEDENTED EARLY VOTE, THE MAIL-IN VOTE, THAT IT WAS GOING TO TAKE A WHILE. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO BE PATIENT UNTIL WE... THE HARD WORK OF TALLYING VOTES IS FINISHED, AND IT AIN'T OVER UNTIL EVERY VOTE IS COUNTED. AS I'VE SAID ALL ALONG, IT'S NOT MY PLACE OR DONALD TRUMP'S PLACE TO DECLARE WHO HAS WON THIS ELECTION. THAT'S A DECISION OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

In another clip, President Donald Trump gives an official statement and says THIS IS A FRAUD ON THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. THIS IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO OUR COUNTRY. WE WERE GETTING READY TO WIN THIS ELECTION, FRANKLY WE DID WIN THIS ELECTION.

[CHEERING]

Trump continues WE WILL BE GOING TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT. WE WANT ALL VOTING TO STOP. WE DON'T WANT THEM TO FIND ANY BALLOTS AT 4:00 IN THE MORNING AND ADD THEM TO THE LIST.

The clip ends.

Steve says WELL, FOUR YEARS AGO, A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE SHOCKED BECAUSE THEY CLEARLY DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE AMERICA THEY THOUGHT THEY KNEW. THAT WAS ONE OF THE BIG TAKE-AWAYS. TIMOTHY, GET US STARTED HERE. WHAT DO WE NOW KNOW ABOUT AMERICA AFTER SEEING THE RETURNS COME IN LAST NIGHT THAT WE PERHAPS DIDN'T KNOW BEFORE THE START OF THE DAY?

The caption changes to "Timothy Garton Ash. Oxford University."
Then, it changes again to "Trumpism prvails?"

Timothy says WELL, THIS IS CLEARLY THE MOST IMPORTANT AMERICAN ELECTION IN MY LIFETIME, AND IF DONALD TRUMP DOES BECOME PRESIDENT AGAIN BY HOOK OR BY CROOK, AND I THINK THAT PHRASE IS QUITE APPROPRIATE, IT WILL, IN MY VIEW, SPELL THE END OF THE TRANSATLANTIC WEST AS WE'VE KNOWN IT SINCE 1945. WHAT WE KNOW ALREADY, EVEN IF BIDEN BECOMES PRESIDENT, IS, NUMBER ONE, THAT MORE AMERICANS VOTED FOR TRUMP THIS TIME THAN LAST TIME, AND THAT IN ITSELF, DESPITE OR PERHAPS BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY KNOW ABOUT HIS CHARACTER, IS IN ITSELF A SHOCKING FACT. NUMBER TWO, THAT HE HAS QUESTIONS OF FUNDAMENTAL LEGITIMACY OF THE ELECTORAL PROCESS AND THE RESULT, AND THAT MEANS EVEN IF IT'S PRESIDENT BIDEN, THERE WILL BE MILLIONS OF AMERICANS THAT QUESTION THE LEGITIMACY OF HIS PRESIDENCY. AND NUMBER 3, UNLESS THE DEMOCRATS GET THE SENATE, PRESIDENT BIDEN WILL HAVE A DIVIDED GOVERNMENT AND THEREFORE BE IN A VERY WEAK POSITION TO DO THE KIND OF FUNDAMENTAL REFORMS, I WOULD SAY A KIND OF PERESTROIKA, THAT IS ACTUALLY NEEDED IN THE UNITED STATES.

Steve says JANICE, WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT AMERICA NOW THAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW BEFORE ELECTION NIGHT?

The caption changes to "Janice Stein. Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. University of Toronto."

Janice says WELL, ONE THING I KNOW... AND I AGREE COMPLETELY WITH TIMOTHY THAT AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IS IN PERIL. STEVE, DEMOCRACY MEANS MANY THINGS, BUT ONE THING IT DOES MEAN IS LOSING WITH GRACE. AND WE LOSE WITH GRACE IS A FUNDAMENTAL CONSEQUENCE THAT THE RULES ARE FAIR AND THREE YEARS, FOUR YEARS LATER, YOU COMPETE AGAIN AND YOU STAND A CHANCE OF WINNING. WHAT DONALD TRUMP HAS DONE, AND IT'S REALLY ASTONISHING, OVER THESE LAST TWO MONTHS, HAS GONE ROOT AND BRANCH ATTACKING THE FUNDAMENTAL RULES OF THE GAME AND TELLING THE AMERICAN PUBLIC THAT THE RULES ARE RIGGED. THIS TRANSCENDS ANYTHING WE'VE SEEN IN THE HISTORY OF THE AMERICA REPUBLIC SHORT OF THE CIVIL WAR, FRANKLY, AND WHATEVER COMES OUT OF THIS ELECTION, IT DOES MATTER WHAT DOES, BUT WHATEVER COMES OUT OF THIS ELECTION, AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IS WOUNDED, AND BECAUSE DEMOCRACY IS WOUNDED IN THE UNITED STATES, IT'S WHOLE LEADERSHIP IS WOUNDED, ITS ALLIANCE RELATIONSHIPS ARE WOUNDED. THIS IS I THINK ONE OF THE HINGE MOMENTS IN HISTORY.

Steve says BESSMA MOMANI, WHAT DO YOU KNOW NOW KNOW YOU DIDN'T KNOW 36 HOURS AGO?

The caption changes to "Bessma Momani. University of Waterloo. Centre for International Governance Innovation."

Bessma says I THINK HOW RESILIENT TRUMP IS AND THE ENTIRE POPULIST NATIONALIST NARRATIVE IS IN THE UNITED STATES. IT REALLY HAS I THINK ECHOED AND REVERBERATED THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES. CERTAINLY I THINK SOME OF THAT IS ECONOMIC. WE CAN SEE IN THE RUST BELT STATES, IF THE RESULTS CONTINUE AS PROJECTED, THAT TRUMP MAY IN FACT KEEP THESE STATES. THE REALITY IS, THERE IS STILL A LOT OF ANTI-FREE TRADE SENTIMENT THAT TRUMP CONTINUES TO HIT HOME AT. HE'S SEEN AS TOUGH ON CHINA, WHICH I THINK RESONATES IN THESE STATES. CERTAINLY THE SORT OF XENOPHOBIC ANTI-IMMIGRANT ARGUMENT THAT HE HAS PORTRAYED AND REITERATED REALLY DOES RESONATE THROUGHOUT MUCH OF TRUMP AMERICA, AND CERTAINLY I THINK THE LAST THING THAT STANDS OUT, PERHAPS THE CORONAVIRUS ANGLE OF THIS, YOU KNOW, THE CRITIQUE THAT BIDEN WOULD RETURN PEOPLE TO SOME SORT OF LOCKDOWN, WHICH DOES NOT, YOU KNOW, PLAY WELL HERE, IN A POPULIST NATIONALIST BASE. THERE'S A GREAT DEAL OF SKEPTICISM AGAINST ALL MEDICAL ADVICE AND THAT THESE PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE SOMEHOW TRYING TO PREVENT THE FLOURISHING OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMIC SYSTEM WHICH I KNOW SOUNDS REALLY ODD TO US, BUT IT REALLY, I THINK, RESONATES. AND THAT'S WHAT THIS... FRANKLY THIS ELECTION TELLS ME, IS THAT THERE'S A GREAT DEAL OF CRITIQUE AND DISTRUST OF PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS, MEDICAL EXPERTS, AND TRUMP REALLY IS THE SUPPORTER OF ALL OF THAT POPULIST NATIONALIST SENTIMENT THAT IS SO DEEP IN THE COUNTRY.

Steve says I GUESS WE GOT LOTS OF EVIDENCE OF THAT THE OTHER DAY WHEN WE SAW A BIG CROWD START TO YELL, FIRE FAUCI, FIRE FAUCI. SEVA GUNITSKY, WHAT WOULD YOU ADD TO WHAT YOU'VE HEARD SO FAR?

The caption changes to "Seva Gunitsky. University of Toronto."

Seva says I DON'T THINK WE'D ADD A LOT OF THINGS. THEY WERE HOPING FOR A DECISIVE ROUTE OF TRUMP AND HIS REPUBLICAN PARTY. THAT CATHARSIS NEVER CAME. IT'S A DISAPPOINTMENT BECAUSE OF WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT THE COUNTRY, THAT TRUMP IS NOT A FLUKE, THAT POLARIZATION IS EXTREME AND IT'S NOT GOING ANYWHERE. EVEN IF TRUMP LEAVES PEACEFULLY, HE HAS PLANTED THE SEEDS OF A NATIONALIST, AUTHORITARIAN MOVEMENT, THAT WILL CONTINUE TO SHAPE GOP POLITICS.

Steve says YOU REALLY THINK THIS NUDGES US... OR NUDGES THEM, I GUESS, AND MAYBE BY EXTENSION THE REST OF THE WORLD, CLOSER TO AUTHORITARIANISM?

The caption changes to "Seva Gunitsky. Author, 'Aftershocks.'"

Seva says IN WHAT IT HAS SHOWN IN THE LACK OF CLARITY AROUND THE VOTING PROCESS, AROUND TRUMP'S STATEMENTS, IT HAS NOT BEEN A GREAT DAY FOR AMERICAN DEMOCRACY REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME. EVEN IF TRUMP LEAVES PEACEFULLY. REMEMBER, KEEP IN MIND, WHAT THIS ELECTION REINFORCED TO THE REST OF THE WORLD IS, AGAIN, THE IDIOSYNCRASIES OF THE U.S. VOTING SYSTEM. IT'S TRUE TRUMP GOT MORE VOTES THIS TIME THAN HE DID FOUR YEARS AGO, BUT BIDEN IS ON TRACK TO RECEIVE OVER 70 MILLION DOLLARS VOTES AND TO RECEIVE 2 MILLION DOLLARS OR 3 MILLION DOLLARS MORE VOTES THAN TRUMP AS CLINTON DID FOUR YEARS AGO.AND WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE UNCERTAINTY OF THE NEXT FEW DAYS OR NEXT FEW MONTHS. I THINK THAT SPEAKS TO SOME DEEP PROBLEMS IN THE INSTITUTIONAL MAKEUP OF THE UNITED STATES THAT WILL NOT BE GOING AWAY REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME OF THIS ELECTION.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says LET ME PURSUE THAT WITH TIMOTHY. YES, DONALD TRUMP FOUND MILLIONS MORE VOTERS THIS TIME THAN HE DID LAST TIME, BUT SO DID THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE AND I WONDER IF YOU TAKE ANY HEART FROM THE FACT THAT BIDEN STILL, AT THE END OF THE DAY, WILL HAVE MORE VOTES THAN TRUMP?

The caption changes to "Timothy Garton Ash, @from TGA."

Timothy says SO DID HILLARY CLINTON. LOOK, I... NO, I'M FRANKLY VERY DISAPPOINTED THAT WITH EVERYTHING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT THAT PRESIDENT, BOTH THE STAGGERING INCOMPETENCE AND CALLOUSNESS OF HIS HANDLING OF THE COVID CRISIS AND HIS CHARACTER, SO MANY PEOPLE STILL VOTED FOR HIM. I WANT TO PICK UP ON WHAT SEVAA SAID BECAUSE I THINK IT REALLY DOES MEAN THAT PEOPLE NO LONGER LOOK TO THE UNITED STATES AS A MODEL FOR DEMOCRACY. IRONICALLY, THIS VERY DAY, TODAY, AS WE SPEAK, THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN LECTURING A SMALL AFRICAN COUNTRY CALLED COTE D'IVOIRE ON THE RULE OF LAW. WELL, THE WHOLE WORLD NOW IS GOING TO TURN AROUND AND BASICALLY SAY TO THE UNITED STATES, "PHYSICIAN, HEAL THYSELF."

Steve says JANICE, YOUR LAST ANSWER, JANICE, DEFINITELY MY EYEBROWS RAISED WHEN YOU SAID THIS HAS TRULY WOUNDED DEMOCRACY, AND I'VE GOT TO FOLLOW UP ON THAT. IF, AT THE END OF THE DAY, AFTER ALL THE COUNTING IS DONE AND ALL THE LEGAL CHALLENGES ARE OVER, IF TRUMP LOSES AND BIDEN COMES IN, I MEAN, IS DEMOCRACY RESTORED IN YOUR EYES?

The caption changes to "The fate of democracy."

Janice says NO. I THINK WHAT THE REALLY FUNDAMENTAL POINT, STEVE, DEMOCRACY EVERYWHERE IS MORE FRAGILE THAN WE THINK IT IS, AND WHAT WE HAVE NOW IN THE UNITED STATES IS TO ME DEEPLY WORRYING. THERE IS THE SENSE IN BOTH CAMPS THAT IF THE OTHER SIDE WINS, EVERYTHING IS LOST. CERTAINLY THOSE WHO ARE SO DISMAYED... TIMOTHY TODAY... TO LOOK AT THE SUPPORT FOR TRUMPISM IN THE UNITED STATES, FEEL THAT SHOULD TRUMP WIN, EVERYTHING IS LOST. WHAT WE FAIL TO APPRECIATE IS THAT TRUMP VOTERS FEEL THAT IF BIDEN WINS, EVERYTHING IS LOST, AND THEIR AMERICA IS STOLEN. WHEN YOU HAVE THOSE KINDS OF POLITICS, IT'S FUNDAMENTALLY A WAR OF ALL AGAINST ALL, AND THERE'S CATASTROPHE WAITING FOR THE SIDE THAT LOSES. DEMOCRACY IS GENUINELY AT PERIL. THIS GOES BEYOND THE RESULTS OF THIS ELECTION, WHO WINS THIS ELECTION, STEVE. AND I HAVE TO SAY, YOU KNOW, TIMOTHY TALKED ABOUT THE UNITED STATES [indiscernible], THERE'S BEEN A WONDERFUL THREAD GOING AROUND OF AN ATKINSON POLITICAL SCIENCE THAT SAYS COME TO THE UNITED STATES AND HELPS RESOLVE THE DISPUTE, ALMOST A SATIRE ON THE WAY THE UNITED STATES HAS LECTURED AROUND THE WORLD. AND IN SOME SENSE IT HAS FOR 70 YEARS. AND OFTEN FOR GOOD... NOT ALWAYS, BUT OFTEN FOR GOOD. WOUNDING THIS DEMOCRACY TO THIS DEGREE IS [inaudible]

Steve says BESSMA, LET ME PUT IT THIS WAY: YESTERDAY, ON ELECTION DAY, ANOTHER THOUSAND AMERICANS DIED FROM THE CORONAVIRUS. WE KNOW THERE ARE PLENTY OF AMERICANS WHO ARE STILL HURTING AND HAVEN'T GOT THEIR JOBS BACK FROM BEFORE THE PANDEMIC HIT. WE KNOW THERE HAS BEEN A RACIAL RECKONING IN THE UNITED STATES OVER THE PAST EIGHT MONTHS OR SO, THE LIKES WE HAVEN'T SEEN IN MANY, MANY YEARS. AND IN SPITE OF ALL OF THAT, DONALD TRUMP NOT ONLY KEPT HIS BASE, HE ACTUALLY GREW IT. HE GOT MORE VOTES. I'M REALLY CURIOUS AS TO WHAT YOU THINK THAT SAYS ABOUT AMERICA.

Bessma says WELL, OBVIOUSLY IT'S VERY POLARIZED, BUT I THINK, YOU KNOW, IF WE LOOK AT THINGS THROUGH THE CANADIAN LENS, AND REMEMBER HERE, IF THIS VOTE WAS HAD IN CANADA, BIDEN WOULD HAVE WON OVERWHELMINGLY WITH 75 percent OF THE VOTE IF THE POLLS ARE CORRECT. WE LOOK AT THIS THROUGH OUR CANADIAN LENS AND SAY HOW CAN IT BE THAT AMERICANS DON'T SEE THROUGH THIS, DON'T SEE THROUGH THE FACT THAT TRUMP IS INCOMPETENT, AT MANAGING THIS PANDEMIC, ET CETERA. WHAT PEOPLE DON'T KNOW IS HOW STRONG THE DISINFORMATION IS OUT THERE, HOW VERY APPEALING THE NARRATIVE IS THAT, YOU KNOW, FREEDOM IS MORE IMPORTANT, ONE'S PERSONAL LIBERTIES, EVERYTHING FROM NOT WEARING A MASK TO BEING ABLE TO DECIDE ON ONE'S OWN WHETHER OR NOT TO COMPLY WITH PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS, ALL OF THAT. AND IT REALLY IS I THINK VERY INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT IN MANY CASES THE DEMOCRATS SPENT FAR MORE MONEY THAN THE REPUBLICANS DID AND, YES, INDEED WE SAW THAT THE REPUBLICANS WERE ABLE TO HOLD ON TO CONGRESS AND WHO KNOWS? WE'LL SEE WITH THE SENATE. AND THAT JUST SAYS THAT DESPITE ALL OF WHAT YOU THINK OF AMERICA AS BEING SO MANY PLACES, THIS PLACE OF PROGRESSIVE VALUES AND IDEAS, THERE'S A STRONG UNDERCURRENT THERE OF VERY STRONG CONSERVATIVE VIEWS, VERY PRO-REPUBLICAN AND TRUMP IS A PART OF THAT, BUT, YOU KNOW, I THINK, FRANKLY, IF THEY HAD A MORE COMPETENT AND AMIABLE PERSON, THE REPUBLICANS WOULD HAVE HAD MORE SUPPORT. THE FACT THAT TRUMP IS WHO HE IS HURT THEM A LITTLE BIT. IT SHOWS THE ESSENCE OF COUNTRY IS STILL VERY, VERY CONSERVATIVE AND THERE IS A LOT I THINK RECKONING TO BASICALLY THINK ABOUT, YOU KNOW, HOW THIS IS GOING TO SHAPE THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN POLITICS.

Steve says WELL, LET ME BUILD ON THAT WITH SEVA AND I'LL GET A LITTLE BIT PERSONAL HERE AND I'LL INCLUDE MYSELF IN THE MIX HERE AS WELL. MY HUNCH IS THAT MANY PEOPLE IN RED STATE AMERICA CAN'T STAND THE FIVE OF US. WE ARE ALL VERY CREDENTIALED, WE ALL HAVE OUR UNIVERSITY DEGREES, YOU FOLKS ARE STILL WORKING IN THE UNIVERSITY ENVIRONMENT, AND THEY LOOK AT US AND THINK, YOU ALL THINK YOU'RE SO HOT AND YOU ALL TURN DOWN YOUR NOSES AT US, AND THEY FEEL... WELL, THEY FEEL VERY... I'M NOT TELLING ANY TALES OUT OF SCHOOL HERE, THEY FEEL VERY HUMILIATED AND TO SOME EXTENT THIS IS THEIR REVENGE. SEVA, LET'S DO A ROUND ON THIS: CAN YOU DENY THEM THEIR REVENGE GIVEN HOW MUCH THEY HATE DEMOCRATS, HOW MUCH THEY CAN'T STAND PEOPLE LIKE US, AND NOW THEY'VE... THEY'RE HAVING THEIR REVENGE. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

The caption changes to "Seva Gunitsky, @SevaUT."

Seva says WELL, I THINK SOME COMMENTATORS MAKE THE MISTAKE OF THINKING THAT PEOPLE ARE CHOOSING BETWEEN TWO SETS OF POLICIES WHEN REALLY FOR SOME PEOPLE, FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE, THIS IS AN EXISTENTIAL CHOICE, AS HAS BEEN MENTIONED ALREADY. NOT SO MUCH ABOUT THE POLICY PLANS OR THE CANDIDATES, IT'S ABOUT WHAT THEY REPRESENT AND WHAT WORLD VIEW THEY REPRESENT. SO THE FACT THAT WE'VE SEEN VOTES, THE NUMBER OF VOTES FOR TRUMP INCREASE, I THINK SUGGESTS THAT THIS GOES BEYOND TRUMP, THAT THIS IS... THAT THERE'S A SENSE AMONGST SOME PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT LIBERAL SEN TERRORISTS ARE INDIFFERENT TO THEIR PLIGHT AND THAT WE SIT IN AN IVORY TOWER OR WHATEVER, AND I THINK TO SOME EXTENT, LIBERALS HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO GRAPPLE WITH THAT BETTER. WE'VE SEEN A LOT OF CONFLICT ON THE LAST... BETWEEN SORT OF THE CENTRISTS AND THE MORE LEFT-LEANING SUPPORTERS, AND I THINK THAT'S GOING TO CONTINUE TO PLAY OUT WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE ON THE LEFT SAYING, YOU SHOULD HAVE RUN A BETTER CANDIDATE THAN BIDEN. YOU SHOULD HAVE RAN WITH BERNIE SANDERS OR WHATEVER. GIVEN THE LACK OF A DECISIVE BIDEN VICTORY, THAT KIND OF INTER-LEFT CONFLICT WILL ONLY CONTINUE IN THE NEAR FUTURE, I THINK.

Steve says TIMOTHY, DO YOU HAVE ANY REASON TO BELIEVE THE RESULTS WOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT IF IT HAD BEEN BERNIE SANDERS OR KAMALA HARRIS OR ANYBODY ELSE AT THE TOP OF THE TICKET?

Timothy says I THINK THERE IS SOME EVIDENCE, AT LEAST ANECDOTAL, THAT ACTUALLY SOME PEOPLE VOTED NOT FOR TRUMP, NOT IN SPITE OF HIS CHARACTER, BUT PRECISELY BECAUSE OF HIS CHARACTER. LOOK, WE'RE TALKING ALL THE TIME HERE ABOUT THE UNITED STATES, AND THERE ARE SOME FEATURES OF THE UNITED STATES THAT ARE EXCEPTIONAL, LIKE THE THING JANICE POINTED TO, WITH THESE TWO ENTIRELY DIVORCED MEDIA UNIVERSES, THE WORLD OF FOX AND THE WORLD OF MSNBC, TWO BLOCS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT JUST DIFFERENT VIEWS BUT DIFFERENT FACTS. BUT MANY OF THE FEATURES WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, INCLUDING WHAT YOU WERE JUST TOUCHING ON, NAMELY THE RESENTMENT OF LIBERAL METROPOLITAN PEOPLE WITH HIGHER EDUCATION, IS COMMON TO POPULIST MOVEMENTS ACROSS THE WORLD. IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST PREDICTORS OF HOW PEOPLE VOTED IN THE BREXIT REFERENDUM, HOW PEOPLE VOTE IN POLAND, A LOT OF PEOPLE SUPPORT LE PEN IN FRANCE VERSUS EMMANUEL MACRON, SO THIS IS PART OF A MUCH LARGER PHENOMENON OF AN ANTILIBERAL POPULIST WAVE THAT IS VERY FAR FROM OVER. AND I THINK THE BROADER LESSON OF THIS EXPERIENCE IS THAT RUMOURS OF THE DEATH OF POPULISM HAVE BEEN MUCH EXAGGERATED.

Steve says JANICE, LET ME PICK UP ON THAT. DO PEOPLE FROM THE CENTRE LEFT HAVE TO THINK OF SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO SAY TO THE 68 MILLION PEOPLE WHO VOTED FOR DONALD TRUMP, AND JUST SAYING YOU'RE A BUNCH OF DEPLORABLES IS NOT GOING TO CUT IT?

Janice says ACTUALLY SAYING A BUNCH OF DEPLORABLES IS ABOUT THE WORST THING YOU CAN SAY, STEVE. LET ME JUST MENTION SOME EVIDENCE, IT'S VERY EARLY, THAT IS COMING IN FROM LAST NIGHT'S ELECTION, WHICH IS REALLY INTERESTING, THAT TRUMP NOT ONLY INCREASED HIS VOTE, HE BROADENED THE CATEGORY OF VOTERS WHO VOTED FOR HIM. AND FROM WHAT WE KNOW, AND IT'S VERY EARLY, THAT HE INCREASED HIS BLACK VOTE AND HE INCREASED HIS SUPPORT AMONG HISPANIC MEN. THAT SUGGESTS THAT HIS APPEAL GOES BEYOND THE BASE OF WHITE MEN WITHOUT COLLEGE DEGREES AND HE SUCCESSFULLY BROADENED HIS APPEAL BEYOND THAT BASE. IT LOOKS, BY THE WAY, THAT WHERE HIS VOTE HAS GROWN, MAINLY MEN STILL... WHICH TELLS YOU SOMETHING ABOUT THE WORLD THAT WE'RE LIVING IN AND THE APPEAL OF THE FRANKLY MACHO POPULIST NARRATIVE, WHICH IS REACHING OUT NOW ACROSS ETHNIC AND RACIAL GROUPS AND NOT ACROSS GENDERS. LET'S SEE IF THAT HOLDS UP, BY THE WAY, BECAUSE IT'S SO EARLY. BUT YOUR BIGGER POINT I THINK IS SO IMPORTANT, AND SEVA MAKES IT AS WELL, THE NARRATIVE THAT CON CONDESCENDINGLY THE CONSULT THAT KNOW IT ALL, SAY IT ALL, DON'T REALLY LISTEN AND DON'T COMPREHEND THE CONCERNS... I TRULY THINK THIS GOES WAY BEYOND THE PANDEMIC. IT IS A MUCH DEEPER [inaudible] OF KNOWLEDGEABLE EXPERTS THAT ARE NOT GRACED, FRANKLY, AT LISTENING.

Steve says BESSMA, HOW DO YOU SEE IT?

The caption changes to "Bessma Momani, @b_momani."

Bessma says YEAH, I MEAN, I AGREE, AND WHERE THE PANDEMIC IS RELEVANT, AND I GO BACK TO MY PREVIOUS POINT BECAUSE I THINK IF YOU WATCH WHAT THESE RIGHT WING ADVOCATES ARE SAYING AND THE PROPONENTS, IS REALLY THAT THE SCENARIO COMING FROM PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS IS GOING TO BASICALLY KILL WHAT'S LEFT OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY. AND WHEN YOU HAVE THAT ECONOMIC ANXIETY ALREADY WITH THE CURRENT SITUATION WE'RE ALL IN, WHICH DOES FEEL VERY RESTLESS, YOU KNOW, THAT NARRATIVE REALLY RESONATES, AND I THINK THERE ARE MANY FOLKS IN THE UNITED STATES WHO ARE WORRIED ABOUT THEIR JOBS, WHO ARE WORRIED ABOUT THE POTENTIAL LOCKDOWN. YOU HAD BIDEN'S POLICIES ON OIL AND FRACKING, FOR SOME STATES OF COURSE THAT'S A REALLY IMPORTANT, VITAL ECONOMIC RESOURCE. AND THAT ALL PLAYS INTO THAT FEAR MONGERING AND IT WORKED. AND I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING WE'LL NEED TO TAKE FROM THIS TOO. HOW CORONAVIRUS IS BEING USED BY THE POPULIST NATIONALIST IS VERY MUCH IN KEEPING WITH THE WAY THEY THINK ABOUT MEDICAL EXPERTS AND, YOU KNOW, MEDICAL EXPERTS ARE A PART OF THE ELITE, A PART OF THE, YOU KNOW, URBAN EDUCATED FOLKS WHO HAVE ADVICE FROM AN EPIDEMIOLOGY PERSPECTIVE THAT MAY SOUND TO US IN CANADA AS UNREASONABLE BUT TO THEM IS REALLY ABOUT HITTING AT THEIR LIVELIHOOD. IT'S SOMETHING THAT I THINK WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO KEEP WATCHING AS THIS PROBABLY CONTINUES, AS TIMOTHY NOTED, POPULIST NATIONALISTS ARE HERE TO SAY AND THAT'S GOING TO EMBOLDEN THEIR ARGUMENT.

Steve says LET ME PLAY A CLIP FROM A PREVIOUS EPISODE OF "THE AGENDA" AND THIS IS FROM Stephen Marche... JANICE, I THINK YOU WERE ON THAT SHOW... WHO HAD SOME VERY SCARY THINGS TO SAY ABOUT WHAT MIGHT COME NEXT. SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD, THE CLIP?

A clip plays on screen with the caption "September 22, 2020."

In the clip, Stephen Marche speaks on screen. He's in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair.

He says THE VIOLENCE THAT WE'RE SEEING IN OREGON, THE VIOLENCE THAT WE'RE SEEING ON THE STREETS, WHICH IS BASICALLY LEFT-WING VIOLENCE, IS REALLY GOING TO BE NOTHING COMPARED TO WHEN THE ARMED MILITIAS REALLY START TO MAKE THEMSELVES FELT, WHICH THEY HAVEN'T YET. SO, YOU KNOW, I DON'T WANT TO BE ALARMIST, BUT ON THE OTHER HAND I THINK THAT WHEN YOU TALK TO THE EXPERTS, WHAT YOU'RE SEEING IS A VERY CLASSIC SPIRAL WHERE THE SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT NO LONGER IS LEGITIMATE TO PEOPLE, THE LEGAL SYSTEM IS NO LONGER LEGITIMATE TO PEOPLE, AND VIOLENCE... YOU KNOW, VIOLENCE AND CHAOS ARE THE INEVITABLE RESULT.

The clip ends.

Steve says AND IN FACT HE WENT ON TO SAY HE'S PREDICTING A SECOND CIVIL WAR IN THE UNITED STATES. TIMOTHY, MAYBE YOU COULD START US OFF ON THIS ROUND. JOHN MEECHHAM, THE BROADCASTER AND AUTHOR, ASKED AN IMPORTANT QUESTION ON CABLE TELEVISION THIS MORNING, AND THAT IS: WILL TRUMP SUPPORTERS ACCEPT THE LEGITIMATE OUTCOME OF THIS ELECTION IF BIDEN WINS, EVEN IF DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF DOES NOT? ANY INSIGHT ON THAT?

The caption changes to "A powder keg?"

Timothy says SO IT'S A QUESTION THAT IS OBVIOUSLY EXERCISING US ALL BECAUSE IT'S THE FIRST TIME I THINK ANYONE CAN REMEMBER, WHEN YOU HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO IS IN EFFECT INCITING HIS SUPPORTERS, YOU KNOW, THIS FAMOUS REMARK ON THE TV DEBATE ABOUT THE PROUD BOYS STAND BY, AND THEN STAND BACK, BUT STAND BY. SO I THINK A LOT DEPENDS ON TRUMP HIMSELF AND HOW HE SPEAKS TO HIS SUPPORTERS. MY OWN HUNCH, FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH, IS THAT THE DANGER OF WIDESPREAD VIOLENCE IS ACTUALLY OVERSTATED. I MEAN, THERE ARE MANY COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD, AND SEVA KNOWS A COUPLE OF THEM, WHERE THERE IS A TRADITION OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE AROUND CONTESTED ELECTIONS. HISTORICALLY, I DON'T THINK THE UNITED STATES IS HIGH ON THAT LIST. CERTAINLY MY HOPE BUT ALSO MY HUNCH IS THAT IT MAY BE CONTESTED, IT MAY BE REGARDED AS ILLEGITIMATE BY A LOT OF TRUMP SUPPORTERS AND FOX NEWS COMMENTATORS, BUT MY HUNCH IS THERE WON'T BE SUCH WIDESPREAD VIOLENCE.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve says SEVA, WHAT ARE YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF TRUMP SUPPORTERS, IF IN FACT THE CURRENT PRESIDENT GOES ON TO LOSE, BEING GINNED UP BY TRUMP AND THE PRIME TIME TALK SHOW HOSTS, WHAT'S YOUR CONCERN ABOUT WHAT THAT MIGHT PORTEND?

Seva says IT'S SO HARD TO SPECULATE. SO MANY WERE EXPECTED VIOLENCE ON THE DAY OF THE ELECTION, FOR EXAMPLE, AND LUCKILY THAT DID NOT HAPPEN. I THINK THE LONGER THE RESULT REMAINS UNCERTAIN, THE MORE POTENTIAL FOR VIOLENCE THERE IS. AND TIMOTHY IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. HISTORICALLY SPEAKING, IT WOULD BE VERY UNUSUAL FOR A WEALTHY, CONSOLIDATED DEMOCRACY LIKE THE UNITED STATES TO FALL INTO A FULL-SCALE CIVIL CONFLICT. BUT SOME OF THE INGREDIENTS ARE THERE FOR A SORT OF LOW-LEVEL CONFLICT OR SOME KIND OF ATTEMPTS AT INSURGENCY. BASED ON THE STATEMENTS TODAY, IT'S CLEAR TRUMP DOES NOT PLAN TO CONCEDE EASILY, SO WOULD HE MAY EXPECT LAWSUITS AND THINGS LIKE THAT. BUT TO NOT HAVE THE ADMINISTRATIVE RESOURCES OR THE SECURITY FOR SUPPORT TO MOUNT A COUP IF IT'S CLEAR THAT HE'S LOST. SO HOPEFULLY ONCE BIDEN CROSSES THE THRESHOLD OF THE NEEDED 270 VOTES, THE SITUATION WILL STABILIZE.

Steve says AND BESSMA, LET ME TWEAK THE QUESTION A BIT FOR YOU, WHICH IS TO SAY, IF SOMETHING DOES HAPPEN IN THE UNITED STATES, WHAT DANGER DOES THAT POTENTIAL INSTABILITY MEAN FOR US, ON THIS SIDE OF THE BORDER?

Bessma says WELL, REMEMBER, WE HAVE THE LONGEST UNDEFENDED BORDER IN THE WORLD. IT'S VITAL TO US TO HAVE PEACE, CALM, AND SECURITY IN THE UNITED STATES. IT'S NOT GOOD FOR US AND IT'S SOMETHING THAT I'M SURE OUR OFFICIALS ARE WATCHING. I WOULD ADD TO THE PREVIOUS POINT, LOOK, THE UNITED STATES IS WELL ARMED. INDIVIDUALS ARE VERY WELL-ARMED. AND THEY TEND TO BE MOSTLY PRO-REPUBLICAN. AND THAT IS DANGEROUS. THAT IS CONCERNING. AND SOME OF THESE WEAPONS ARE VERY MUCH MILITARY GRADE. AND SO YOU CAN'T IGNORE, YOU KNOW, LOW LEVEL VIOLENCE FOR SURE. WE'VE ALREADY SEEN THE KIND OF INTIMIDATION TACTICS IN A NUMBER OF PLACES FROM VIGILANTES TAKING TO THE BIDEN BUS IN TEXAS TO BLOCKING BRIDGES. SO I WOULD BE CONCERNED, PARTICULARLY IF TRUMP LOSES TO PERHAPS COURTS AND OTHER TYPES OF MECHANISMS THAT THEY INCREASINGLY SEE THE POPULIST NATIONALISTS AS LEGITIMATE AS PART OF THAT LIBERAL ELITE OF EXPERTS. YOU KNOW, THAT'S REALLY I THINK THE CONCERN. SO I DON'T WANT TO... ONE DOESN'T WANT TO BE CHICKEN LITTLE HERE, BUT AT THE SAME TIME ONE CAN'T HELP BUT REALIZE THAT THIS IS A COUNTRY THAT'S VERY WELL ARMED, IT'S A DEMOCRACY, ABSOLUTELY, BUT UNLIKE MOST CONSOLIDATED DEMOCRACIES, MOST PEOPLE DON'T CARRY VIOLENT WEAPONS IN THEIR HOMES AND THAT'S THE CASE WITH THE UNITED STATES.

Steve says JANICE, IF YOU WERE ABOUT TO BRIEF, LET'S SAY, HIGH-RANKING GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ON HOW CANADA OUGHT TO PREPARE FOR POTENTIAL VIOLENCE IN THE UNITED STATES, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THEM?

Janice says SO, FIRST OF ALL, AND I DISAGREE VERY STRONGLY WITH STEPHEN MARSH, AS YOU KNOW, HIS PREDICTION OF CIVIL WAR. ACTUALLY THAT KIND OF, TO BE BLUNT HERE, TYPED CONVERSATION IS NOT HELPFUL. IF I WERE TALKING TO OUR OFFICIALS, I WOULD PUT THE RISKS ON VERY SPORADIC VIOLENCE VERY LOW DOWN THE LIST. WHY WOULD THAT BE, STEVE? FIRST OF ALL, WE SAW TRUMP REFUSE TO CONCEDE AND TELL US WHAT HE WAS GOING TO DO. HE IS GOING TO GO THE CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE HERE. HE'S GOING TO THE SUPREME COURT RIGHT AWAY. IF A FALLS WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF ACCEPTABLE CONSTITUTIONAL. TRUMP BELIEVES THAT SINCE HE APPOINTED THREE JUSTICES TO THE SUPREME COURT, HE WILL GET THE SUPPORT OF THAT COURT, AND THAT'S ACTUALLY HELPFUL, THAT HE BELIEVES THAT, ALTHOUGH I DON'T AGREE WITH HIM. THE THREE JUSTICES THAT HE APPOINTED ARE ALL SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES, YOU KNOW, DEFINED BY THEIR OPPOSITION TO ABORTION AND MINORITY RIGHTS AND LGBTQ RIGHTS, AND NOT TO MINIMIZE THE SERIOUSNESS OF THOSE KINDS OF VIEWS, NEVERTHELESS THESE JUDGES ARE CONSTITUTIONALISTS. AND IN THE U.S. ARE CALLED ORIGINALISTS, WHERE THE CONSTITUTION IS HOLY. I HAVE GREAT CONFIDENCE THAT IF IT COMES TO ANY KIND OF CONFLICT BETWEEN THIS PRESIDENT AND THE FUNDAMENTAL VALUES OF DEMOCRATIC PRACTICE AND DEMOCRATIC PROCESS, THE COURT WILL NOT SUPPORT HIM, AND IT WILL MAKE HIM VERY, VERY DIFFICULT FOR THE TRUMPISTS AND THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN TO TAKE TO THE STREETS WHEN JUSTICES THAT WERE APPOINTED BY TRUMP AND OF COURSE SHAPED BY TRUMP DO NOT SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT IN THESE KINDS OF CHALLENGES. SO WE ARE A LONG, LONG, LONG WAY FROM VIOLENCE, BOTH IN TIME... THIS PROCESS IS GOING TO DRAG ON IN AN EXCRUCIATING WAY... BUT MORE IMPORTANT, IN PRACTICE.

Steve says BUT, JANICE, I CAN EASILY IMAGINE, AND I BET YOU CAN TOO, IF, FOR EXAMPLE, THIS GETS TO THE SUPREME COURT AND THE COURT GOES AGAINST THE CURRENT PRESIDENT AND SAYS, THERE HAVE BEEN NO VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW HERE, SORRY, YOU LOST, YOU'VE GOT TO GO. IT WOULDN'T SURPRISE ME AT ALL TO SEE HIM UP ON A PODIUM IN FRONT OF 5,000 PEOPLE SAYING, I PUT THESE PEOPLE ON THE COURT AND LOOK HOW THEY'VE BETRAYED ME AND GINNING UP THE WHOLE THING ALL AGAIN.

Janice says STEVE, I DON'T BELIEVE THAT'S CREDIBLE. NOT LONG AGO HE WAS STANDING IN THE ROSE GARDEN CELEBRATING HIS LATEST APPOINTEE AS AN OUTSTANDING PERSON. HE'S PUT A THIRD OF THE MEMBERS... A THIRD OF THE JUDGES ON THIS COURT. HE CANNOT NOW TURN AROUND AND SAY THESE PEOPLE ARE ILLEGITIMATE AND THEY CHEATED HIM IN THE ELECTION. IT WON'T BE BELIEVABLE.

Steve says WELL, TIMOTHY GARTON ASH, YOU WROTE THIS JUST A FEW DAYS AGO. YOU SAID: "DEMOCRACIES EVERYWHERE MUST PREPARE FOR THE CONTINGENCY OF A CONTESTED RESULT." HOW DO THEY DO THAT?

Timothy says SO, NOT LIKE WE DID IN 2000 WHERE WE WERE ALL OVER THE PLACE AND THE GERMAN PRESIDENT CONGRATULATED GEORGE W. BUSH AND RESTORED THEM. COUNTRIES LIKE CANADA, BRITAIN, AUSTRALIA HAVE A SIMILAR POSITION, WHICH IS KEEP CALM, WATCH CAREFULLY, AND WAIT TO SEE HOW THAT PROCESS JANICE HAS JUST DESCRIBED IS PLAYED OUT, AND I'M ACTUALLY WITH HER, THAT IF IT GOES TO THE SUPREME COURT AND THE SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST HIM, I THINK SENIOR REPUBLICANS AT THAT POINT WILL ALSO SAY TO HIM, "YOU'VE GOT TO GO WITH IT." CAN I MAKE A BROADER POINT, STEVE, WHICH IS, YOU KNOW, WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF A GLOBAL DEMOCRATIC RECESSION. THIS IS THE FIRST YEAR SINCE 2000 THAT THERE ARE LESS DEMOCRACIES IN THE WORLD THAN THERE ARE NON-DEMOCRACIES. NOW, IT'S ALREADY CLEAR THAT THE UNITED STATES IS NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO LEAD THE GREAT RENEWAL, WORLD-WIDE RENEWAL OF DEMOCRACY, BECAUSE THAT WOULD HAVE NEEDED AN UNAMBIGUOUS LANDSLIDE VICTORY FOR BIDEN AND GETTING THE SENATE, OKAY? SO THAT MEANS IT'S ACTUALLY MORE UP TO US, MORE UP TO COUNTRIES LIKE CANADA AND BRITAIN AND THE E.U. AND AUSTRALIA AND SO ON, (a) TO DO THE DOMESTIC RENEWAL OF LIBERALISM BROADLY CONCEIVED, TO WIN BACK THOSE VOTERS WHO HAVE GONE TO THE POPULIST NATIONALISTS, BUT ALSO TO LEAD, SO TO SPEAK, THE INTERNATIONAL RENEWAL OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY, BECAUSE I'M AFRAID, FROM WHAT WE USED TO CALL THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD, WE'RE NOT GOING TO GET THAT LEADERSHIP IN THE NEXT FOUR YEARS, EVEN IF IT'S PRESIDENT BIDEN.

Steve says WELL, THAT'S A FAIR POINT, SEVA. BACK IN THE DAY WE ALWAYS USED TO THINK THAT WE COUNTED ON THE AMERICANS TO LEAD... TO BE THAT SHINING CITY ON A HILL AND LEAD THE WORLD TOWARDS MORE DEMOCRACY. THAT CERTAINLY HASN'T BEEN THE CASE THE LAST FOUR YEARS AND MAY NOT BE FOR THE NEXT FOUR EITHER. TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU THINK THE REST OF THE DEMOCRATIC WORLD CAN LEAD THAT EFFORT IN THE ABSENCE OF A STRONG AMERICA?

The caption changes to "The fate of democracy."

Seva says WELL, LET ME BACK UP HISTORICALLY. IF YOU LOOK AT THE SPREAD OF DEMOCRACY OVER THE PAST CENTURY, WE SEE THESE WAVES OF DEMOCRATIC TRANSFORMATIONS THAT HAPPEN AFTER GLOBAL DISRUPTIONS, THEY HAPPENED AFTER WORLD WAR I, AFTER WORLD WAR II, AFTER THE SOVIET COLLAPSE, AFTER ALL THESE SHOCKS WE RECEIVED DEMOCRATIC WAVES THAT SWEEP ENTIRE REGIONS. BUT IN ALL THREE OF THOSE CRISES, THE U.S. EMERGED AS THE WINNER. IT SHOWED IT COULD SURVIVE AND TRIUMPH IN A CRISIS. THAT HAS NOT BEEN THE CASE IN THIS CRISIS, AS WE'VE ALREADY MENTIONED. THE U.S. HAS NOT SHOWN ITSELF AS A MODEL WORTHY OF EMULATION. I THINK THAT'S AMERICA'S MOST IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO GLOBAL DEMOCRACY. NOT ITS STEPS TO DEMOCRACY PROMOTION, WHICH HAVE BEEN CLUMSY AND HYPOCRITICAL, BUT AS A MODEL WORTHY OF EMULATION AND A SIDE WORTH JOINING TO. AND A LOT OF THAT APPEAL, AND WITH THAT APPEAL DEMOCRACY IS TARNISHED REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENS IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS. IT'S NOT LIKE CHINA OR RUSSIA HAVE COME UP WITH BETTER ANSWERS SO FAR, AND THE U.S. CERTAINLY DOES NOT HAVE A MONOPOLY ON WHAT DEMOCRACY REPRESENTS, BUT TO THE EXTENT THAT FEWER PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT THE U.S. AND SAYING, I'D LIKE TO LIVE THERE, I'D LIKE TO STUDY THERE, AND IF I CAN'T DO THAT, I'D LIKE TO LIVE LIKE THAT, TO THE EXTENT THAT FEWER PEOPLE ARE SAYING THIS, THEN THE LESS THE APPEAL FOR DEMOCRACY AROUND THE WORLD, REGARDLESS OF WHAT OTHER DEMOCRATIC STATES DO.

Steve says WELL, LET ME PICK UP ON THAT. WE'VE GOT ABOUT FIVE MINUTES TO GO HERE. I JUST WANT TO PLUCK A FEW DIFFERENT REGIONS OUT OF THE WORLD AND HAVE YOU COMMENT ON THEM. BESSMA, I'LL START WITH YOU WITH THE MIDDLE EAST. IS IT REASONABLE FOR PEOPLE TO INFER, YOU KNOW, DONALD TRUMP HAS SIGNED SOME PRETTY GOOD PEACE TREATIES, OR AT LEAST THEY'VE HAPPENED ON HIS WATCH, LET'S PUT IT THAT WAY, BETWEEN A FEW ARAB COUNTRIES AND THE STATE OF ISRAEL RIGHT NOW. SHOULD WE INFER THAT IF HE'S NO LONGER THERE AND BIDEN TAKES OVER, THAT THAT PROCESS SLOWS DOWN?

Bessma says I THINK THOSE DEALS ARE REALLY ARMS DEALS, YOU KNOW, CODED WITH THIS NORMALIZATION DEAL. THEY ARE JUST AN OPPORTUNITY TO SELL MORE ARMS TO THE ARAB GULF STATES. NOW, WOULD THAT BE I THINK STOPPED UNDER A BIDEN PRESIDENCY? I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE MORE COMPLICATED FOR SURE AND THAT WOULD REALLY DEPEND ON THE MAKEUP OF BOTH CONGRESS AND THE HOUSE, AND CERTAINLY I THINK A LOT OF THE DEMOCRATIC MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ARE GOING TO BE FAR MORE CRITICAL OF THOSE ARMS SALES WE'VE ALREADY SEEN, AND SOME OF THAT COMES FROM WHAT THEY BELIEVE IS ALSO TAKING AWAY THE COMPETITIVE QUALITATIVE EDGE THAT ISRAEL WOULD LOSE FROM HAVING THOSE ARMS DEALS GO THROUGH, AND ALSO TO THE REAL CONCERN THAT SOME OF THOSE ARMS DEALS MAY IN FACT ALSO EMBOLDEN THEM TO CARRY ON WITH SOME OF THE FOREIGN POLICY DISASTERS, LIKE YEMEN, FOR EXAMPLE. SO I THINK THERE IS GOING TO BE A RE-THINKING OF THOSE FOR SURE IF A BIDEN PRESIDENCY COMES THROUGH.

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Steve says TIMOTHY, LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THE COUNTRY YOU'RE IN RIGHT NOW. "HE'S A GOOD GUY," TRUMP SAID, OF PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON LAST YEAR, HE'S A FRIEND OF MINE. TRUMP HAS BACKED BREXIT AND A FREE TRADE DEAL WITH THE UNITED STATES. DO WE THINK BO JO IS PULLING HARD FOR A TRUMP VICTORY HERE?

The caption changes to "America's global role."

Timothy says "WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT," I'M TEMPTED TO SAY. LOOK, TRUMP LIKES BREXIT AND DOESN'T LIKE THE E.U. BIDEN DISLIKES BREXIT AND LIKES THE E.U. SO YOU HAVE TO TAKE BRITAIN AND EUROPE TOGETHER. SHORT TERM, TRUMP WOULD OBVIOUSLY BE BETTER FOR BREXIT IN THE SENSE OF GETTING A TRADE DEAL. BUT IN THE LONGER TERM, IT'S CLEARLY IN THE BRITISH AND EUROPEAN INTERESTS TO HAVE A BIDEN PRESIDENCY. IT'S GOING TO BE BETTER FOR THEM BOTH IN THE LONGER TERM. NOW, WITH BIDEN, WE'RE NOT GOING TO GET THE SHINING CITY ON A HILL BACK IN THE UNITED STATES, BUT HE WILL GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY IN THE E.U., IN BRITAIN, AND WORKING WITH COUNTRIES LIKE CANADA, AUSTRALIA, AND OTHER DEMOCRACIES AROUND THE WORLD, TO DO MORE OF THE HEAVY LIFTING. SO IT'S UP TO US NOW TO BE THE SHINING CITIES ON THE HILL, OR MAYBE ON THE PRAIRIE.

Steve says MAYBE ON THE PRAIRIE. SEVA, LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT A COUNTRY YOU KNOW ALL TOO WELL: RUSSIA. WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY ARE CURRENTLY MAKING OF THE STATE OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY AND THE ELECTORAL RESULT SO FAR?

Seva says WELL, WHEN TRUMP WON, YOU MIGHT RECALL, RUSSIA OFFICIALS WERE ECSTATIC. THEY WERE OPENING BOTTLES OF CHAMPAGNE IN THE RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT. EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO BE SO DIFFERENT. BUT THE FACT IS, FOR ALL THE NICE THINGS TRUMP HAS TO SAY ABOUT PUTIN, RELATIONS HAVE NOT IMPROVED. WE'VE SEEN MULTIPLE ROUNDS OF SANCTIONS. WE'VE SEEN A U.S. SECURITY STRATEGY THAT CALLS FOR COMPETITION BETWEEN RUSSIA AND CHINA, 1.5 BILLION DOLLARS OF MILITARY SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE FROM THE U.S. SO, YOU KNOW, THERE WAS A POLL DONE OF RUSSIAN CITIZENS A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO BY A RELIABLE RUSSIAN POLLING COMPANY, AND THE OVERWHELMING WINNER WITH 65 percent WAS "THIS DOES NOT MATTER." THEY JUST DON'T SEEM TO CARE WHO WILL WIN THE ELECTION, AND THEY'RE PROBABLY RIGHT. RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA WILL PROBABLY REMAIN BAD IN EITHER SCENARIO. WITH BIDEN, RUSSIA HAS A WHOLE OTHER SET OF ISSUES, LIKE TALK OF HUMAN RIGHTS, ET CETERA, THAT PUTIN WOULD PREFER NOT TO DEAL WITH. BUT IN FACT I THINK RELATIONS WILL BE BAD NO MATTER WHAT. NOW OVERALL IT'S CLEARLY BETTER FOR U.S. FOREIGN POLICY TO BE A REJECTION OF TRUMP'S FOREIGN POLICY WHICH HAS BEEN VERY UNPREDICTABLE. BUT THE FOREIGN POLICY CONSENSUS OF OBAMA AND BUSH BEFORE HIM, WHICH IS WHAT BIDEN REPRESENTS, IS NOT SOME PANACEA, IT IS NOT SOME GOLDEN AGE WHERE AMERICA DID EVERYTHING RIGHT AND RUSSIA'S AMBIVALENCE IS INDICATIVE OF THAT, SO-CALLED TRADITIONAL U.S. FOREIGN POLICY DOESN'T HAVE A GREAT RECORD OF HUMAN RIGHTS OR INTERNATIONAL LAW. SO REASSERTING AMERICA'S RIGHT TO SIT AT THE HEAD OF THE TABLE, WHICH IS A RETURN TO TRADITIONAL FOREIGN POLICY MEANS, IS NOT EXACTLY SOMETHING JUST TO CELEBRATE.

Steve says JANICE, TAKE US TO CHINA. DO YOU THINK THE CHINESE LEADERSHIP IS REALLY PULLING HARD FOR BIDEN TO WIN?

The caption changes to "Relations with China."
Then, it changes again to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Janice says WELL, THEY CLEARLY WERE, THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT IT THAT THEY WERE. YOU KNOW, THERE ARE LOTS OF CAPITALS AROUND THE WORLD... BEIJING AS ONE [INDISCERNIBLE], MOSCOW, AS SEVA SAID. THERE'S A GROUP, FRANKLY, OF AUTHORITARIAN LEADERS WHO ARE IN SYMPATHY WITH TRUMP'S INSTINCT FOR AUTHORITARIANISM. IF I COULD COME BACK TO TIMOTHY'S IMPORTANT POINT ABOUT LIBERALISM BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T TALKED ABOUT THAT. WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT DEMOCRACY. WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT A WORLD ORDER THAT IS GOING NOW AND IT'S PROBABLY GONE. BUT LIBERALISM IS SEPARATE FROM THAT. YOU CAN BE A DEMOCRACY BUT NOT A LIBERAL DEMOCRACY. AND I THINK REALLY WHAT TIMOTHY WAS ARGUING, THAT LIBERAL MANDATE HAS GONE FROM THE UNITED STATES AND IT'S NOT LIKELY TO COME BACK. AND AS MANY HAVE SAID, FOUR YEARS IS AN ACCIDENT. WE CAN BREATHE DEEPLY. EIGHT YEARS IS TOO LONG. SO THERE IS A LIBERAL AGENDA NOW, WHICH IS PROBABLY NOT A FOREIGN POLICY AGENDA IN ALL HONESTY, BECAUSE WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO PREACH TO THE WORLD. BUT IT IS AN AGENDA OF ETERNAL RENEWAL OF LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PRACTICES IN EUROPE AND CANADA AND IN OTHER LIKE-MINDED STATES. BECAUSE IF WE DON'T DO IT, IT'S JUST NOT GOING TO GET DONE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Eric Bombicino, @ebombicino."

Steve says SHELDON, CAN I HAVE A FOUR-SHOT SO I CAN SAY GOOD-BYE TO FOUR VERY SMART PEOPLE WHO HELPED US WITH A REALLY SOLID SHOW TONIGHT, JANICE STEIN AND SEVA GUNITSKY FROM U OF T, BESSMA MOMANI FROM CIGI, TIMOTHY GARTON ASH FROM OXFORD ON THE TOP SHELF. GREAT TO HAVE YOU ON TVO TONIGHT. MANY THANKS.

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All the guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: What the U.S. Election Means for the World