Sunday, June 2, 2019

It's Not Too Late to Roll Up Britain's Red Carpet

If the Brits had any balls they would immediately cancel Donald Trump’s state visit to the United Kingdom. Yes, I know The Donald and his family entourage are about to board Air Force One to wing across the pond. 

Why would the Queen and outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May allow a blowhard like Trump to violate the norms of diplomacy on their territory? Keep in mind that several times Trump has injected himself into British politics, a diplomatic no-no for any leader of a foreign country. 

Trump backed Brexit. He has criticized May’s stewardship. He has expressed a choice for her successor. He has pressured Britain to abandon Huawei, the Chinese chip maker. He offended royal protocol during his initial trip to England by walking in front of Queen Elizabeth. He dissed Meghan (Markle), the Duchess of Sussex, by calling her “nasty.” Trump is now claiming he never called her nasty, but the quote came from The Sun, a British tabloid owned by his buddy Rupert Murdoch, and has been broadcast on television. 

Why would the British roll out the welcome mat to him? It is almost a certainty he will overstep normal bounds during his time with them, as he did a week ago in Japan when he sided with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un over his host, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on the danger of recent North Korean missile tests. 

Yes, he is in Great Britain as part of the 75th anniversary commemoration of D-Day.  But that does not entitle him to the trappings of a respected visitor. 

As a country the United States believed it was important to stand up to dictators. Under Trump we now believe dictators like Kim and Vladimir Putin are more credible than our own state department and intelligence community. 

Some would argue Britain owes its continued existence to the aid we extended before we entered World War II and the military might we brought to bear against Germany after we engaged in the conflict. True. But it could also be argued that Britain’s valiant fight 1939 through 1941 benefitted America. Moreover, had Britain succumbed, many military analysts believe the United States would not have been able to defeat the Axis Powers.  

For sure Trump would explode if his ego were damaged by a late disinvite. He would lash out verbally and perhaps economically against the British. But somebody has to start demanding that America and its president behave not just in their own best interests but also in those of the Free World. As too many countries slip under the iron fist of autocrats it is imperative that Trumpism not be allowed to fester and plant roots in democratic countries. 

Seventy-five years ago America led the D-Day invasion to save the world for democracy. This year Britain can stand proud once again if it rolls up the red carpet before Donald Trump soils it with his dirty shoes.