Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Brits Should Block Trump's Visit

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

The British people are holding parliamentary elections today, and the results will determine not only which party, the Conservatives (Tories) or Labour (Liberals), controls Parliament, but which of the party leaders will serve as the Prime Minister of Great Britain.  The current prime minister, Theresa May, assumed the office last July when the former prime minister, David Cameron, resigned after his country voted in a plebiscite to leave the European Union.

Prime Minister May, the leader of the Conservative Party, felt so confident in the world's seemingly conservative tilt and her own abilities to lead, that a couple of months ago she called for a special parliamentary election to strengthen her party and solidify her own position as the country's political leader.  That election is today, and much to May's dismay, her once strong political lead seems to be slipping and she could wind up with even less support in parliament - or out of power altogether.

A couple of things have worked to undermine Theresa's May's political strength.  First, Great Britain has suffered two serious terrorist attacks in the past three weeks, attacks in which dozens of Brits were killed or maimed while going about their daily lives.  Added to that is the fact that the British public is just now beginning to learn that their national police force suffered significant cuts under May during her previous tenure as Home Secretary.

Another thing that is impacting Theresa May's popularity at home is her overt admiration of Donald Trump.  Not long after Trump's inauguration last January, May issued an invitation to him for a "state visit" to Great Britain, a move that was singularly unpopular with a large segment of the British public.   Over a million people signed a petition to Parliament asking that the invitation be rescinded - and at one point more than a thousand people per minute were adding their signatures to the on-line document.

Then, of course, Trump put in his two-cents worth and started telling the Brits what he wanted in the way pomp and circumstance during his visit.  First on Trump's list of demands was a ride in Queen Elizabeth's royal, six-horse-drawn, golden carriage.  He expects to tie-up traffic across London as he is carted, Cinderella-style, through town and dropped off at Buckingham Palace with Her Majesty sitting dutifully at his side.  If his body weight did not pose a hazard to the horses, the weight of his arrogance surely would.  The Queen deserves better.

This week Trump further enraged many Brits when he cut loose with a Twitter attack on the Muslim mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.  Trump, while deliberately taking a quote from the mayor out of context, implied that Khan was downplaying the severity of the terrorist acts that had befallen his city and his country.   To Mayor Khan's credit, he declined to roll in the Twitter cesspool that Trump was digging.

Mayor Khan is now proposing that Donald Trump have his invitation for a state visit to Great Britain rescinded.  The Brits already have active terrorism to contend with - and Donald Trump would be an unnecessary addition to their security burden and a major distraction to the dialogue that they need to be having on how best to navigate the troubled waters of life in a pluralistic society.

And besides, would it be fitting - or safe - for the Queen of England, a petite 91-year-old woman, to be constrained in a rolling cage with Donald John Trump?  The mind boggles!

Even if Theresa May pulls out a win in today's parliamentary elections, she should take a long, hard listen to what her public is saying - and the British people, by and large, are not as enamored of Donald Trump as she is.  If he wants to be seen as a monarch, let him do it from his golden penthouse atop Trump Tower - and not in the middle of a completely unnecessary London traffic jam.

America is stuck with Donald Trump, at least for the time being, but the good people of Great Britain still have choices.  One of those choices is being made today.

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