BY REV. SUSAN SMITH
In spite of the blistering reaction of Trump supporters against the statement of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that his country “will not be pushed around,” I, for one, am glad he stood up to this president.
Trudeau’s strength and courage – although it was not devoid of political purposes – was a breath of fresh air, a stark difference from the United States Congress, which has been impotent and weak.
That weakness of the Legislative Branch of our government has been disconcerting and troubling. All of us learned that our Constitution intentionally created three branches of government to protect this government from becoming an autocracy. Because autocratic leaders are oppressive and reckless because of their unbridled power, the so-called “checks and balances” system was a source of comfort for many in this country.
This president has been frighteningly focused on creating a cabinet of yes-men and women, people who are more interested in being loyal to him than in protecting this country. He has shown total disregard for the rule of law (such as it is), for the Constitution, and for the mores of American political society. The Republican House of Representatives has gone along with him, abandoning what we have grown to understand as Republican principles. Even if we didn’t agree with them, we at least knew what we were opposing.
The “word” from some long-standing Republicans is that there is no longer a Republican party but there is, rather, “the party of Trump.”
The president and his sycophants have gradually pulled away from our allies. They have antagonized people and nations that we may well need as the president continues to destabilize the country and the world as we all know it. He is cozying up with a demagogue named Kim Jong Un, presumably because he wants to receive a Nobel Peace Prize. So much is at stake but the president and his cronies seem not to care.
From the moment he entered the political landscape, he has shown us who he is. Republicans and Conservatives have allowed him to call names, to insult everyone from women to a decorated war hero, and have looked the other way as reports of his sexual indiscretions have been uncovered.
Few Republicans have said anything, and world leaders, for the most part, have grumbled about him but have said little publicly.
The trade war that this president has ignited promises to be problematic for many people; we really do not know what the long-term cost will be, but it was refreshing to see young Trudeau, in spite of what it might cost him politically, stand up to the American bully and say in essence that the American president is not a god to be immortalized, but is, rather, a human being to be challenged.
It was also refreshing to see Trudeau stand up for the people in his country who will undoubtedly suffer because of this looming trade war.
What is amazing is that the president got angry because he was challenged. He is used to people jumping at his command; nobody dares cross him, it seems, because they are afraid of the consequences. Not Trudeau.
Democracies do die; it took Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, Chavez in Venezuela, Vargas in Brazil, Fujimori in Peru to take down their countries’ democracies. Americans are living with their heads in the sand if they (we) do not wake up and realize that our democracy is in trouble. This president has no regard or respect for democracy; he is more interested in the antics and way of governing of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a decided enemy not only of the United States but of the West in general, it seems. The president is selling our country down the river, and we Americans are letting him. Those who could challenge him for the most part have remained way too silent. Many of the Republicans challenging him have decided not to run for reelection because they know his populist base, combined with the name-calling and lies of the president, will chew them up and spit them out.
That’s why Justin Trudeau’s statement is so refreshing. The president’s supporters say that Trudeau stabbed him in the back, completely ignoring how the president has disrespected and continues to disrespect world leaders who have been our allies and friends.
Trudeau did no such thing. He simply stood up to a bully and said, “nah.”
And that declaration was refreshing in this political atmosphere which is as toxic as many of us can remember ever being the case here.
Rev. Susan K Smith is available for lectures, workshops and preaching. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her page at www.crazyfaithministries.org.© Susan K Smith