Justin Trudeau has been consulting with other world leaders before he takes his trip to Washington on Monday. Presumably, when he deals with Trump, he doesn't want to deal with him alone. That's a good idea. But, Andrew Coyne writes, it's not a new idea:
For forty-odd years after World War II, the policy of the free world towards the Soviet Union was one of containment: a strategy of collective resistance, rather than (on the one hand) appeasement or (on the other) open conflict. We now face the sad reality that, for the next four years at least, some version of containment will have to be our policy towards the United States.
It is one of history's great ironies that a policy once championed by the United States will be used against it. But there are good reasons for adopting a policy of containment:
To be sure, the prime minister has the particular task of dealing with a leader who, to speak precisely, presents with a variety of known personality disorders; who knows less about foreign policy, or any policy, than the average doorman or taxi driver; who has no visible moral compass, is unconstrained by any norm of personal, political or presidential conduct, and seems determined to avenge any slight to his monstrous vanity.
To defend our interests, as much as our values, we will have to start setting boundaries early — picking our battles, yes, but firmly and patiently asserting our rights. And if we are to do so effectively, we will need to do so in concert with other countries. The widely varying reaction to the travel ban, with some world leaders, like Germany’s Angela Merkel, speaking out clearly against it, while others, like our own, couched their response in cleverly ambiguous tweets, must not be repeated. Neither was it sensible for Canada, in its first flustered response to Trump’s demands to renegotiate NAFTA, to appear so eager to abandon Mexico to its fate.
We're going to have to stand behind Mexico and our other allies. Trump's strategy is classically authoritarian: Divide and conquer. Watching things fall apart suits his purposes just fine. Trudeau -- and the rest of us -- can't allow that to happen.
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