Monday, February 13, 2017

Kowtowing Is Not

When Justin Trudeau walks into his meeting with President Trump, Michael Harris writes, he should remember who he's dealing with. The Donald is a known quantity:

Trudeau should remember that Trump recently used his POTUS account on Twitter to denounce … a department store. What’s next, an air strike? It happened right after Nordstrom dropped the fashion line of his daughter, Ivanka.

Perhaps our PM should note that Trump’s bit of nasty nepotism on Twitter came just 21 minutes after the President was slated to receive his daily intelligence briefing. The world may be about to go up, but you have to keep your priorities straight, right? Syria is one thing, but Ivanka’s bling line?

For those who think that calling Trump crazy is disrespectful, uncalled for, and beneath contempt, it is actually simple reporting. Sen. Al Franken (D — Minn), for example, has already openly questioned Trump’s mental health on national television. The Senator from Minnesota observed that Trump “lies a lot” and “that is not the norm for a president or a normal human being.” Franken also said that a few Republicans have personally expressed their worries about the president’s “mental competency” to him.

Franken is not the only one. Democratic House Representative Ruben Gallego says he is worried that Trump is “mentally unstable.” His colleague in the House of Representatives, Ted Lieu, says that the massive protests against Trump are merely America’s “white blood cells of democracy attacking unconstitutional actions. When the central figure in our world is creating an entire world of unreality, how are we supposed to respond?”

Harris suggests that Trudeau deal forthrightly with the Great Orange Id:

Stand up for women’s rights against this masher who has defunded Planned Parenthood. Tell Donald Trump that his immigration policy is right up there with Japanese internment camps, burning crosses and pointy hats. Remind him that torture is for monsters, not people in charge of modern democracies. Put in a good word for the brave Indigenous peoples demanding justice at Standing Rock. Tell Trump that meeting peaceful and constitutional dissent with military force is the stuff of dictators. And whatever you do, don’t let this Prince of the Plutocracy, who may be playing with a full wallet but not necessarily a full deck, think you’re willing to amend NAFTA in such a way that corporations will be unleashed under the full moon of their greed.

Dealing with crazies is part of Trudeau's job description. Kowtowing to them is not.

Image: New York Magazine


Steve said...

Kowtow morning noon and night, we are sleeping with a crazy elephant

Lorne said...

In all honesty, Owen, i have not decided in my own mind what the best way to deal with Trump is. While appeasement is definitely out of the question, unnecessary provocation also seems counter-productive, since the Orange Ogre seems to have little capacity for change. It is inevitable that Trudeau will eventually have to be forthright in his reaction to Trump's dangerous divisiveness and racism, but I'm not sure his initial meeting with him is either the time or the place.

Owen Gray said...

This elephant is a rogue elephant, Steve.

Owen Gray said...

I understand your hesitation, Lorne. Trudeau seems to believe that he and Trump can disagree respectfully. Given who Trump is, that remains to be seen.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

Denouncing department store chains for refusing to continue carrying his daughter's brand of clothing ...
What ass-about-face priorities we have here in western cultures.
Ephemeralism, hedonism and histrionicism in it's worst forms.
This is what's "leading" the U.S.? There definitely has to be some secret sect who are actually the ones in control of national (or world) affairs. Our alleged "leaders" are way too childish for me to believe they are actually the ones in charge.

Owen Gray said...

Such people need useful idiots to advance their agenda, Tal. Trump fits the bill.