Musings —01.27.2017 09:08 AM—
There is an enormous danger associated with this strategy. By remaining mum, Mr. Trudeau and his global counterparts are normalizing this man’s behaviour. Mr. Trump is a classic bully, and bullies thrive on the silence of their victims. No one should ever be afraid to stand up to this man, to denounce actions that deserve to be denounced.
Certainly no one should ever be disparaged for doing so.
Most will recall the now-infamous tape recording that emerged during the presidential campaign of Mr. Trump making horribly deplorable statements about women. Asked at the time to comment, B.C. Premier Christy Clark properly characterized his remarks as “absolutely disgraceful.”
Earlier this week, Ms. Clark was ridiculed by a commentator on The Tyee, a left-of-centre online news magazine, for having earlier made her views public. According to the author, in criticizing Mr. Trump, the Premier had needlessly risked the jobs of thousands of people in her province whose companies do business with the United States. Imagine: being excoriated for decrying behaviour that is by any measure is execrable. Isn’t that what we want our political leaders to do?
It seems absolutely bizarre to be chastising Ms. Clark because Donald Trump is now President. But it speaks to the broad uneasiness that has descended on the world in the wake of his victory. People are afraid, including our politicians. Few seem to have the backbone to stand up to him.
Look how easy it was for Mr. Trump to say he wanted to renegotiate NAFTA. It seemed to take all of three seconds for Canada to say okay, and throw Mexico under the bus in the process. This is the kind of influence the U.S. President wields. He knows it and isn’t afraid to use it. Mr. Trump is also aware his fellow leaders are going to act in their nation’s own self-interests. And if that means not doing anything to provoke a notoriously thin-skinned president, so be it.