United against Trump

Times Colonist - - Comment -

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.

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