Tag Archives: Justin Trudeau

Trudeau flap a symptom of left-leaning sensitivity

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Manitoba — I have given some additional thought to a story that has threatened to swallow Canada whole. It involves Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s posing in blackface a couple decades ago.

He has apologized. He sounds sincere to me. He has owned what he did, calling it wrong, insensitive and offensive.

However, the story won’t go away. Trudeau is running for re-election.

My take on it has crystallized a bit since I wrote an earlier blog post on this matter. I am beginning now to believe — as one of my dearest friends has posited already on social media — that Trudeau has become a victim of an oversensitive reaction of the liberal/progressive wing of the broad political spectrum.

Yes, we are now more sensitive to how blackface is perceived. It is wrong. Trudeau made a serious mistake when he went to a costume party slathered in black makeup, posing as “Aladdin.”

I do believe, though, that a sincere apology ought to be enough. He has vowed to say he is sorry to political leaders of color in Canada. Trudeau is a chastened young man.

The international reaction from some quarters has been fierce, too. Surprisingly — and to be honest, I am pleased to report this — a muted reaction has come from the White House where Donald “Pu*** Grabber in Chief” has said only that he is “surprised” by Trudeau’s predicament. He has made — so far — no substantial comment on the specifics of what Trudeau has admitted to doing. That’s fine, Mr. President. Do not even go there.

I hope this matter can be put away. Prime Minister Trudeau has sought to make amends. He turned a campaign rally into a town hall event in Saskatoon the other evening, fielding questions from constituents about the matter. I believe that’s an act of political courage.

I’m done with this story. On to the next thing … whatever it is.

Hunt for Trump supporter comes up empty

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Manitoba — I am waving the white flag, throwing in the towel, calling a halt.

My search for a Donald Trump supporter appears to have come up short, as in I cannot find anyone.

We’re spending our final night in this beautiful country full of beautiful people. We head back to the United States of America in the morning, where I am quite sure I could find a Trump supporter as we make our way toward The House.

My search has revealed zero fruit. Damn!

We have made no secret of our place of residence. We have told countless Canadians that we live near Dallas, Texas. No one has come forward with a statement of support of our president.

I will be candid in admitting I haven’t spent a lot of time searching for those folks.

Our journey through Canada, which began as we crossed the border at Bellingham, Wash., and will end when we cross just south of Winnipeg has been magnificent. We’ve crossed the Canadian Cascades and the Rockies. We have traveled across rolling plains and vast expanses of flat prairie. We have met some wonderful fellow travelers, most of whom call Canada home.

I have heard a smattering of complaints and jokes about Donald Trump. Nothing in support has been forthcoming.

Well, that’s to be expected. Canadians have their hands full with their prime minister, Justin Trudeau, fending off questions about the blackface scandal that threatens to derail his re-election chances. I might have more to say on that later.

For now, I am anxious to be back home. We’ll head for The House and get back to our domesticated lives.

This country’s Trump supporters will have to remain undiscovered.

Are some offenses beyond forgiving?

REGINA, Saskatchewan — The word in Canada is that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blew it when he appeared in what has been called “brownface” back when he was a much younger man.

You’ve seen the pictures. He is posing with others while wearing what looks like some sort of Arabic costume. He is slathered in dark skin makeup. He’s got a big ol’ grin on his face. The picture just surfaced, but it has taken Canada by storm.

This story is giving me fits as I watch it unfold.

Trudeau, who is facing a tough re-election fight, has offered a full-throated apology. There was none of that “if I offended anyone” non-apology crap you hear from politicians on occasion. The man said he is sorry. He is ashamed of himself. He is ashamed of his conduct. He said he meant no racist intent when he did it.

Has the public accepted the apology? Hardly. I have watched the news and heard from Canadians — particularly those of color — say, in effect, that what Trudeau did in the 1980s is unforgivable. No apology is good enough. No expression of contrition is sufficient.

Is it fair to condemn someone for appearing at a party dressed in such a manner? Is it fair to hold a 47-year-old accountable for his actions as a much younger individual? I truly am torn by this.

Is this different than a similar scandal involving Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who had a picture taken of himself in black face standing alongside someone wearing what looks like a Ku Klux Klan outfit? Yes. It is. Moreover, Northam’s apology did not seem to go quite as far in its sincerity that Trudeau’s has gone.

You may spare me any epithets you might hurl at me for being sympathetic to a racist politician. I do not believe Prime Minister Trudeau fits that bill. I do believe the young man made a serious mistake that has seen the light of day.

He also has delivered what sounds to my ears like a sincere apology.

The issue now lies in the hands of Canada’s voters.

Good luck, neighbors. I’m glad I do not have to make that decision. We’ve got our own political weirdness.

Looking for what I believe is a rarity: Canadian supporter of Trump

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia — I am on a mission.

Somewhere out there in the vast nation that borders the United States of America are likely to be folks who believe Donald J. Trump is the greatest thing to American politics since pockets on shirts.

I want to find at least one of them.

My intention is to look for Canadians who will answer this simple question: Do you think the president of the United States is doing a good job for his country and for yours?

That’s a reasonably neutral query. When I announced my plans to seek out Canadians’ opinion on a man I detest, I sought to make it clear that I didn’t intend to skewer the questions in search of particular answers. I do intend to remain faithful to that pledge.

And if I find a Trumpster among our Canadian hosts I intend to ask them for specifics about why they think he’s such a darn noble statesman.

They might be hard to find. I keep hearing anecdotal stuff about the president’s low opinion ratings in Canada, where — to be candid — Canadians aren’t too keen on their prime minister, Justin Trudeau, either.

Maybe they’re all a bunch of soreheads. Eh?

I’ll do my best. Wish me luck.

Heading north in search of ‘international’ view of POTUS

Very soon, we’re going to pack up our RV and head north. We’ll cross into Canada near Vancouver, British Columbia, and begin a trek across that equally vast country.

Along the way I intend to ask lots of questions of our continental neighbors. I want to find out what they think of Donald John Trump and whether his vow to “put America first” and to “make America great again” is playing well with rank-and-file Canadians.

Our initial plan was to travel the length of Canada west to east. Then we thought differently. We have decided to do the western half first; we’ll visit the eastern half at a later date.

There’s been a lot of chatter in the U.S. media about U.S.-Canada relations. Some of it has suggested that the nations, two of the world’s closest allies, have grown apart in the Age of Trump. The president has disparaged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on occasion; Trudeau has returned a volley or two himself, although I must say the young PM’s retorts have been much more dignified and restrained.

Trump has slapped tariffs on Canadian goods shipped into this country. He has sought to craft a new trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he has called a “total disaster … probably the worst deal” in human history.

Does the “put America first” mantra go down well with our neighbors, with whom we share the largest unprotected border on Earth? Just how do Canadians feel about the way Trump has talked to and about Trudeau? The Canadians also are a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which aims to protect Europe against aggressors. What is their take on Trump’s belief that NATO nations need to spend more on their own defense or else possibly losing American participation altogether?

My much better half and I will get the chance to visit our neighbors up close for several weeks as we travel through the western provinces. We’ll likely get as far as Winnipeg, Manitoba, before turning south and headin’ for the house.

I look forward to sharing what we learn along the way.

Build that wall … up north!

Leave it to Fox News’s Shepard Smith to add a peculiar twist to the burgeoning war of words between Donald J. Trump and Justin Trudeau.

The news anchor wondered out loud whether we need to build a wall along our northern border with Canada, to complement the wall Trump wants to build along our southern border with Mexico.

Trump left the G-7 summit in Quebec after leveling threats against our major trading partners. He and the Canadian prime minister got into a particularly angry exchange, with Trump accusing Trudeau of double-crossing him after he left the summit.

Trudeau responded with threats of retaliation against the United States over the tariffs Trump has leveled against Canadian steel and aluminum. A Trump economic adviser, Peter Navarro, said there is a “special place in hell” for anyone who stabs the president “in the back.”

As the Daily Beast reported: “Our biggest trading partner in all the world, our best friend from way back in World War II and every time in between, Canada” Smith added, laughing for a moment before dropping this suggestion: “Maybe we need a Northern wall.”

Do you get my drift here?

Trump announced his presidential campaign by declaring that Mexico is “sending rapists, murderers and drug dealers” into our country. He said he would wall off the country from Mexico and make the Mexican government pay for it.

Is there another such threat awaiting the Canadians now if Trump and Trudeau keep exchanging heated insults across the world’s longest unsecured border?

It keeps getting ‘better’ post-G-7 meeting

Wow! That’s about all that is left to say about Donald J. Trump’s showmanship at the G-7 summit in Quebec, Canada.

He bolted the meeting early to fly aboard Air Force One for Singapore. The rest of the G-7 nations issue a joint communique, only to have the president of the United States instruct his staff to keep his signature off the document.

He then accuses Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of uttering “falsehoods,” and of being “meek and mild” during the summit.

Here we go, ladies and gents. The nations that share the world’s longest unsecured common border are on the verge of a full-scale trade war. Trump went to the G-7 with a “bigly” chip on his shoulder. He offered stern warnings to our trading partners, threatening them with even more tariffs.

He put this out via Twitter: PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, “US Tariffs were kind of insulting” and he “will not be pushed around.” Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!

Trump accused Trudeau of changing his tune after the president left the G-7 summit for his expected meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Trudeau’s office responded, saying that the prime minister spoke consistently in public and in private with the president.

Alliances? Friendships? Who needs ’em?

So help me, we are being represented abroad by a buffoon in chief.

G-7 meeting ends with anger, outrage

That went well, don’t you think?

Don’t answer that. You know how it went. Donald Trump showed up at the G-7 meeting of economic powerhouse nations in Quebec and proceeded to p** off our nation’s most ardent allies and trading partners.

Then he jetted off to Singapore in advance of his summit with North Korean goofball/dictator Kim Jong Un.

What do you suppose the president is thinking by launching into his tirades against our allies? No need to answer that one, either. I don’t believe the “thinks” anything. He fires from the hip. He relies on “instinct” and “attitude.”

My favorite part of his departure was when he said if our trading partners don’t do what he wants — which is give in to our demands for high tariffs — then he’s going to punish them by refusing to do business with them.

Yep. The president of the nation that possesses the world’s strongest economy is threatening extreme economic punishment on our friends, the nations with which we are allied.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau now is threatening direct retaliation for the tariffs Trump has imposed on steel and aluminum produced in Canada.

I feel all warm and fuzzy. Don’t you?

Oh, and then he tells them that Russia — the nation that swallowed up Crimea and went to war with Ukraine, all before meddling in our 2016 election — deserves a place at the table. He wants the G-7 to become the G-8 again.

This is how you “make America great again,” how you engender “respect” among the rest of the industrialized world?

I do not believe it’s working, Mr. President.

Americans, Canadians: comrades in arms

I stumbled across an article that, given the current state of trade tensions between the United States and Canada, piqued my interest more than it would have normally.

Moreover, the article speaks quite cogently to a point that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made about how Canadians and Americans have died on battlefields together while fighting a common enemy; thus, the “national security threat” accusation leveled by Donald J. Trump seems all the more preposterous.

The article appears in “Vietnam,” a magazine I’ve been reading for the past few years. It’s titled “Oh, Canadians,” is written by Canadian historian Bob Gordon and it tells the story of how Canadians came to the United States to join the fight against the communists during the Vietnam War. Yes, it recalls how thousands of Americans fled to Canada to avoid being inducted into the armed forces during that terrible time of division, but it speaks as well to the sacrifice that many Canadians made because they wanted to get into the fight.

One of them, U.S. Army Sgt. Peter Lemon, in 1970 earned the Medal of Honor for his heroic service in defense of the United States of America.

The Canadian government remained officially neutral during the war. Many of its citizens were not nearly so reticent. They felt called to duty to aid their comrades in arms across the common border the nations share.

They have erected a memorial in Windsor, Ontario — The North Wall — to honor the Canadians who were killed or who are missing in action from the Vietnam War.

I mention this article today because of the stupidity of the notion expressed by Donald Trump that Canada represents a threat to our national security over their trade practices. He has imposed stiff tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, a decision that has alarmed and outraged not just our Canadian allies, but also our trading partners in Europe and Mexico.

Justin Trudeau finds that assertion “insulting” to the memory of those who have paid the ultimate price in defense of the United States of America.

Those who died in Vietnam on behalf of their American neighbors are among those to whom Prime Minister Trudeau is referring.

God bless them all.

Bring the Russians back to the table?

Let me try to keep this straight.

Donald Trump wants Russia returned to the economic group comprising the world’s leading economic powers. The Russians were kicked out of what was known as the G-8 because it annexed Crimea and launched military action against Ukraine; they have done not a damn thing to remove themselves from that conflict.

Meanwhile, the president chastises our actual allies and trading partners because they object to the punishing tariffs he has imposed on steel and aluminum they export to the United States.

What am I failing to grasp?

Trump’s pique against Canada is particularly galling. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau objects to Trump’s description of Canada as a “national security risk,” pointing out how Canadians died alongside Americans on the beaches in Normandy during World War II and how the nations have been the closest of allies for many decades.

Trump says Trudeau is being “indignant.”

Good grief!

Now he wants the Russians back in.

According to The Hill: “Whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run,” Trump said. “And in the G-7, which used be the G-8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.” 

Oh, and then we have the Russian meddling in our 2016 presidential election. Right there is a legitimate, tangible, identifiable, demonstrable risk to our national security.

So help me, the man elected as president of the United States himself is a frightening risk to our national security and sovereignty.