World leaders should give Trump the cold shoulder

Bloomberg reports: Prime Minister Theresa May said she thought Donald Trump was “wrong” to attack London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the wake of Saturday’s terror attack in London.

After avoiding several attempts by reporters to get her to condemn the U.S. president for openly criticizing Khan in a series of tweets hours after the attack at London Bridge that killed seven people and left dozens injured, May was asked what it would take for her to criticize Trump. She reiterated her disappointment over his decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, before being eventually forced to defend the capital’s mayor.


“Sadiq Khan is doing a good job,” she told a press conference in central London, when asked if Trump was wrong to attack the mayor’s call for calm in the wake of the attacks. “It’s wrong to say anything else.”


May has been attacked by both the opposition Labour Party and the media for her reluctance to publicly criticize Trump. As well as mocking Khan, Trump sought to turn the London attacks to domestic political advantage by renewing his call to ban travel from some Muslim-majority countries. May’s criticism Monday follows her openly complaining last month about U.S. security agencies leaking details of the Manchester Arena suicide bombing, which British police said hurt their investigation.

While she used her disapproval of Trump pulling out of the Paris accord to illustrate that she was “not afraid to say when President Trump gets things wrong,” her name was notably absent from a joint statement last week by her European counterparts condemning the withdrawal. [Continue reading…]

An editorial in The Guardian says: Unlike other world leaders, Mrs May has made an art of avoiding public confrontation with the US president. But – in the words of her initial response to the London Bridge attack – enough is enough. She should make clear to Mr Trump how offensive and unhelpful his extraordinary intervention was, and rescind the invitation that has been extended to him for a state visit later this year. [Continue reading…]

Political leaders who persist in exercising diplomatic restraint when commenting on Trump’s behavior, are, through their timidity, becoming his enablers, reinforcing his sense that he can get away with anything.

At some point it’s going to take something much stronger than a mild rebuff to demonstrate to Trump that his words have consequences.

So far he has been treated like an obstreperous brat who has to be tolerated out of respect for his office and in spite of his inexcusable behavior.

The treatment Trump deserves, however, is the cold shoulder.

Every head of state who represents a democracy should refuse direct communication with Trump.

During his first months in office, he has amply demonstrated that he has neither the capacity nor the willingness to engage in foreign affairs in a manner that befits his position.

This isn’t just a matter of decorum; it speaks to his basic competence.

Freezing out Trump doesn’t require any form of public diplomacy. It simply means that if or when the White House places a call to a foreign leader, said leader simply declines to make themselves available. “The Prime Minister is out right now. Would President Trump like to leave a message?”

Trump is the one who has chosen a path of isolation. Let him have it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Facebooktwittermail

Comments

  1. Cassandra says:

    As we are dealing with a ‘man’ whose overriding life endeavour, concern, and ambition is to have his name constantly in everybody’s mouth the world over, it seems to me there is one simple way to deal with such a narcissist: a total media and social media silence on his name. He should only be referred to as ‘the present occupier of the office of US president’ (‘the inept incumbent’ if one prefers).
    Such a media silence would undoubtedly make him angry, and the consequences of his anger are unknowable, thus present a high risk considering the powers of the office he occupies. Still, it is the best way I see of taking away from him the satisfaction of having achieved his ambition, as well as communicating our contempt for his actions and his being.
    We might not manage to teach an old dog new tricks, but we don’t need to feed him what he wants.

  2. Even as you write, we learn (Guardian, June 6) that “Boris Johnson has said he sees no reason to rescind the invitation to Donald Trump for a state visit, despite the US president’s attacks on the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, after Saturday’s terror attack.”

    The dismal fact is that Trump’s carnival of defamation will likely stagger from success to success, thriving on the “savage servility” of his fellows and underlings, until it fails catastrophically.