United against Trump
Canadian politicians are showing rare unanimity in standing up to U.S. President Donald Trump. When Trump unleashed an unjustified Twitter storm against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, federal and provincial politicians of all stripes showed that they can put the national interest ahead of partisan bickering. The country needs that solidarity as it faces down a president who seems more interested in punishing his nation’s friends than its enemies.
Trump and his cronies called Trudeau dishonest, amateur and a betrayer after the Group of Seven meeting, when the prime minister restated Canada’s clear opposition to Trump’s nonsensical tariffs on steel and aluminum. In fit of pique, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the G7’s joint communiqué, blaming Trudeau for his about-face.
It was Trump’s own performance that merited the terms dishonest, amateur and betrayer. The American president might delight in breaking all the rules of traditional diplomacy and common decency, but in doing so he chips away at the trust that holds together an increasingly complex international order.
It is likely that this Trumpian tempest will blow over, and become just another in a long history of spats between presidents and prime ministers. Our close relationship with the U.S. has weathered other disagreements; it will likely survive this one.
However, that doesn’t mean we should roll over whenever the bully snaps at us. Trudeau and his government are defending Canada’s interests, and they need the backing of all of Canada’s political parties.