This is the week Mr. Trudeau goes to Washington. During his visit, Trudeau says he will steer clear of the subject of Donald Trump. Michael Harris questions the wisdom of that decision:
In the beginning, Trump was just a fascist on a Moped. He disrupted the sidewalk of national politics — a blowhard, a bully, and a bloviating billionaire so full of himself that only the worshipful need apply as supporters. The rest were forcibly removed. Still, most people thought he would have the political life-expectancy of a mayfly.
But having taken out Jeb Bush and a gaggle of other political veterans, he is now astride a Harley roaring down the electoral highway that leads to the White House. Another crypto-fascist, Ted Cruz, is in second place. A shadow is falling across America.
Normally, it's wise for Canadians not to interfere in American elections. But this year, Mr. Cruz is being called a Canadian. So, like it or not, we're in the mix. But more importantly, a number of world leaders have waded into the debate:
- British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Trump’s words were “divisive, unhelpful, and quite simply wrong”. A lot of Britons seem to agree. Six hundred thousand of them have signed a petition to keep Trump out of the United Kingdom — treatment usually reserved for vile hate-mongers, not U.S. presidential candidates.
- London Mayor Boris Johnson described the Trump agenda as “complete and utter nonsense.”
- Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Tatal, who has twice bailed Trump out financially, called him a “disgrace” who should end his candidacy.
- Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu put the kibosh on Trump’s proposed trip to Israel last December. Netanyahu’s office also said “Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims.”
- Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders called Trump’s racist pronouncements “very unhelpful and very discriminatory.”
And you can bet that, after Trudeau's interview on 60 Minutes, he will be asked about Trump. Dodging the question won't help. But a witty response might -- like Pierre Trudeau's response when told that, on the White House tapes, Richard Nixon referred to him as a "son of a bitch" and an "asshole."
The Elder Trudeau's response? "I've been called worse things by better people."