and why he needs us…

Should he be invited on a State Visit?  Yes.  Should he be invited to address the Houses of Parliament?  Yes.

Why? Because it would be self-defeating and hypocritical to do otherwise.

The voices calling for the invitation to the American President to come on a state visit to the UK to be rescinded seem unaware of the harm they would cause not only to British/American relations, and therefore the economy, but also potentially to international stability.

The invitation is not merely to one person; it is to the person who represents the UK’s closest ally. The U.S electoral system elected Donald Trump and, like it or not, that is who the British will have to do business with.

Given the personality of the current inhabitant of the White House it is quite possible that the public humiliation of being ‘uninvited’ would result in difficult relations especially on the issue the British need more than anything in the near future – a trade deal.

Is that ‘kowtowing’ to a fascist? No. Firstly the American president is many things, but a fascist is not one of them. Secondly, the British authorities invite all sorts of unsavoury leaders on state visits without infuriating so many people. Singling out this one is selective outrage.

It is to be expected that the usual self-hating westerners will put virtue signalling before grown up diplomacy, but on this occasion, they have been joined by people who are normally more sanguine.

Consider that under President Obama deportations of illegal immigrants from the USA rose more than 20% compared to the Bush years. Consider that he raised the level of drone attacks to almost industrial levels. Consider that he temporarily banned people from a majority Muslim country from entering the USA. If that was not worth showing outrage about – why is now so different?

I suspect it is because Mr Trump comes across as such an unpleasant buffoon and is part of a continuum in which some strands of liberalism are outraged that opposing views have triumphed at the ballot box.  Mr Obama had similar policies but a more plausible manner, easy smile, humour, and likeable personality.

Ah, but back comes the accusation – the new guy’s a fascist!  Hardly. He’s right wing, he’s boorish, he’s a misogynist, but the British Queen has met many of them in her time and somehow survived. She’s even met mass murderers without many in the British public feeling the necessity to sign a petition about it. Under Obama the drone strikes killed thousands of people, often in circumstances which human rights activists say were of dubious legality. There were few voices raised in protest at him gaining access to the Palace.

So, let’s examine the record of this new infant ‘fascist’ presidency. As well as the ineptly handled temporary visa ban (which built on an Obama executive order) the new man has also established new ethics ‘to limit the influence of lobbyists and Washington insiders’.

He met with African American community leaders ‘to honor their contribution’ and signed a ‘proclamation honoring February 2017 as Black History Month’.

He oversaw the swearing in of the Secretary of Transportation – Elaine Chao.

He confirmed he will not be repealing President Obama’s legislation defending LGBT rights in the workplace.

These may have been the more palatable acts in a chaotic mean spirited fortnight, but they were not the acts of a fascist.

Now to international stability. The more we turn our backs on a Trump presidency, the more America will turn its back on the world. Obama began the process with his ‘leading from behind’ and wafer thin ‘red lines’ in Syria, but we are now even deeper into an era in which Russia and China are becoming increasingly aggressive, and in which the democratic world is losing confidence in its own abilities.

This is exactly the wrong time to ensure that the American president, who shows alarming and ill-informed tendencies towards isolationism and protectionism, has his fragile, childish ego so publically humiliated that he will refuse to listen even to America’s friends in the Western world.

The stability of the international order is not written in stone. The last century showed us how bad things can get when it breaks down. We have also seen that when America withdraws, a more malign influence usually attempts to fill the vacuum.

Mr Trump gives the impression that he may acknowledge that Russia has a sphere of influence. He shows no signs of being sophisticated enough to understand that from Moscow’s perspective that sphere does not stop at Eastern Ukraine – it continues north west to the Baltic States, south west to the Balkans, and due west to central Europe.

The domestic ideologues he is surrounding himself with in the White House can be expected to have greater influence on him than his more considered and globally minded appointees in the Pentagon and State Department.

This is not the time to shun a man in need of a range of views, and that is not appeasing him, it is attempting to constrain him.

If Bashar Assad can come to Downing Street and Ceausescu can come to Buckingham Palace – so can the president of the United States of America.

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4 Comments on "Why We Need Trump In Town…"

  1. I have to agree here and comparisons with Trump as a fascist and another Hitler are way over the top and do a dis-service to the millions of people murdered by the Nazis. I am not a fan of Trump and some of his rhetoric on Women, Muslims and Immigrants has been unacceptable but he was elected and we have to deal with him for the next four years at least.

    As Tim says some very unsavoury characters have addressed Parliament, gone to Downing Street and met the Queen. However difficult, it is in our interests to keep him close and attempt to influence him. If we shut him out we lose any prospects of mitigating some of his more bizarre policies. By stopping him from addressing Parliament or seeing the Queen we would only be insulting the office of the Presidency and the American People and ultimately it would be futile and an own goal.

    Is he and his advisors really more likely to listen if we say “You are not welcome”?

  2. I would agree with both Tim and Paul. Trump can indeed be childish but there are people in our country out to beat him at his own game by some margin. We are now living in a time and place where a person can end up in crown court for calling someone a pussy so perhaps this level of outrage is set to become the norm in our society. I think that no matter where Russia sees it’s sphere of influence ending, it is very much limited by it’s military capabilities. While the bear may be able to gobble up an Estonian or Latvian sized bowl of porridge that is about all it could digest without severe attacks of indigestion.

  3. Its the sheer speed that he was offered the state visit that leaves a very bad taste of desperation. Why not wait for a year or two first or at least until we see what like the terms of this much vaunted trade deal will be. Just because we have pandered to more vile visitors in the past does not make it right to do so again, even if he is the president of the USA.

    • Is it the sheer speed, or just the fact you disagree with Trump politically? If I remember correctly, Obama supporters were very “gung-ho”about inviting the President after he won – even arranging a Nobel Peace Prize for him during his first year. despite zero achievements. Not a word then about “sheer speed” or “very bad taste”.
      Trump is the President. For at least four years. The effect of petty and churlish behaviour is to make the UK look absurd, not heroic. A bit like Mr. Speaker Bercow. (Who wants to bet that he wishes now that he’d kept his mouth shut?)

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