Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original
We like to fuss about Trump’s fussiness on Twitter. Some people are like me and view it with a sense of bemused fascination. Others feel he is dangerous with his openness, and many people would describe his social media activity as childish and unbecoming of his office.
This week POTUS is in the U.K. on a state visit and true to form he made sure his reputation preceded him. Just before his visit, Trump took to Twitter to complain about London mayor Sadiq Khan.
“@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job of Mayor of London, has been foolishly “nasty” to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me…Kahn [sic] reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job – only half his height. In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now!”
….Kahn reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job – only half his height. In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2019
Of course, the main headline the press is pulling from this particular thread is that Trump called the Mayor of London a “loser”. We’re all supposed to be outraged by this lack of etiquette and his crude comments to a major political figure – as if Trump hasn’t been this same person since the day he announced he’d be running for president.
I can’t fault anyone for being annoyed with Trump’s social media presence, but the president’s critics are so obsessed with hating him that sometimes they miss the forest for the trees. There is a time for frustration, but other times it might behoove us to step back and really examine what he is saying, however crassly.
Trump wasn’t just pulling that ‘loser’ moniker out of thin hair…errr…air.
Mayor Khan fired the first shot, publishing a scathing and equally rude opinion piece in The Guardian about Trump’s visit. In it, Khan criticizes U.K. heads of state for even just welcoming Trump with the typical formal courtesy any foreign head of state receives, calling it “un-British to roll out the red carpet”. He trots out the tired and untrue “very fine people on both sides” trope and follows it up with a litany of insults prompted by a biased news narrative, including the “Muslim ban” fallacy.
Worse than that, Khan describes the President of the United States as a fascist and a maniac saying, “Donald Trump is just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat.” He goes on to compare Trump to emerging European right-wing leaders like Nigel Farage and Marie Le Pen and suggesting they pose the same danger as the fascists of old.
As an American it is hard not to read his piece and feel some measure of outrage. Trump was right to call out Khan on his ridiculous and intolerant whining. His own city is overrun with Islamofascist terrorists and his justice department is prosecuting reporters for covering the terror. If anyone is “intentionally pitting their own citizens against one another” it is Khan. This is the mayor of one of the greatest cities in the world and he is spewing vitriol at and demanding the demonization of people who represent a huge swath of his electorate and his nation. Instead of taking time to sit and talk with any of them – including Trump – he’s chosen to “otherize” the people he accuses of “otherizing” those he claims to represent. It hasn’t even occurred to him that perhaps the headlines don’t reflect the hearts of those who don’t view the current state of London the way he does. Do they not deserve to be fairly heard without the media filters?
And let’s not leave out the very salient point that Trump shot back with. How dare this man point to us and accuse the United States of electing a fascist? While his city surpasses New York City in homicides and struggles to even control the insane rise in the ridiculous-sounding “knife-crime” category people are still streaming over our borders to partake in our particular brand of “fascism”. People are literally dying for the chance to be here. In the U.K. people are literally dying…either at the hands of the state healthcare failure, terrorist bombers or unemployed gangs of “youth” who didn’t get the memo about dropping their garden sheers in one of the myriad of street-corner knife boxes.
This is the country that saved the U.K.’s – and probably the world’s – ass. A bunch of times. We’re still saving it. We still maintain a military presence throughout Europe. That presence provides a safety net for people like Khan so he can spend money that would otherwise be for national defense on the myriad of social programs that continue to sink his city and have made it one of the most unaffordable and unfriendly cities for low-income families in the West. We’re not perfect, but our electoral system is so incredibly successful that we have transitioned the reigns of power over 46 times and never once have we turned to fascism.
We beat back fascism so this man can enjoy the extraordinary luxuries of his office. His description of our President – whatever one thinks of his politics or antics – is insulting to the people who provide so much for his nation with their tax dollars. The American people are not drooling, toothless, unwashed Neanderthals who are too stupid to know what they need. We’ve been at this a long time. Trump didn’t stumble into office. He was freely and fairly elected because we were suffocating under the shiny exterior of the progressive policy disasters that have soaked our city centers. Talk to us about it…but don’t insult us. We’ve sacrificed a lot for our British brethren. For better or worse, Trump represents the American people and that is who is standing in front of Khan or Prince Charles or anyone else in London when he visits – the American people.
Please treat our representatives accordingly, Mr. Mayor. As you point out in your piece, we are not your enemies. We are the best friend your nation has. Like I always say, if you can’t say anything nice about someone then just just say it behind their back like a normal person would do.
Khan may be miffed at Trump’s lack of diplomacy but he is obviously not one to live by example.
London’s mayor is sadly ignorant of the ironies he professes. He compares the President to a “fascist” and says the U.K. will regret treating him with respect one day. He says this while his own city suffers from a rising global jihadi threat that he not only refuses to recognize but willfully bans media from openly and honestly discussing. Who’s the fascist here? Trump complains about CNN but as you can see CNN continues to say and do whatever they want in their reporting. They will, no matter who is the president. That is the glory and the gift of our constitutional republic. We have a free press, Khan has a controlled state media.
As someone who refused to vote for Trump I can’t believe I’m saying this, but his citizens will be lucky to have a leader like Trump once Khan is through diplomacy-ing the great city of London to death. At least he’s up front about what he thinks and what he’s seeing.
We’re not asking for Trump to be loved and adored unquestioningly, but a “thank you for visiting” and a simple handshake might be nice. We Americans don’t bite.
Unless a Nazi is threatening to overrun Europe, and then we bite hard. It’s obviously a thankless job but someone has to do it, Mayor Khan.