I had been hoping to resist ever again writing about Donald Trump, the disgraced man who dreamed of becoming King of the United States of America; a man so immersed in his gold-plated illusions that he couldn’t believe “the people” had rejected him at the ballot box in 2020.
He exalted when a riotous mob attempted to take over the seat of government in Washington DC on Jan. 6th, 2021 and is now facing possible trial on charges related to that event.
Unfortunately, while we wait for the ponderous wheels of justice to turn, we suffer more inane comments from a man who still has a chance of running for the presidency in two years. Observers of U.S. politics say Republican Party support for Trump still runs strong while his supporters shrug off his continuing outrageous verbosity.
His most recent successful smash and grab for headlines came in an interview with the Washington Examiner in which he told interviewer David Drucker that, while he was “surprised” when Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, he thought “it was a tough way to negotiate, but a smart way to negotiate.”
They were not his first words of praise for Putin. During his short time as president, Trump openly admired his Russian counterpart, especially Putin’s move to be elected “for life.” Trump would have loved a second term at the top and might have used it to lobby his Congressional supporters in the House of Representatives and the Senate for a more lasting grip on the U.S. presidency.
On the far side of the vast Atlantic Ocean, the English people aren’t quite sure what to do about Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (Note: I write English, not British, which would include Scotland, Wales and a chunk of Ireland where the home folk might appreciate the distinction.)
The PM, hair carefully coiffed astray, was recently described as “not famed for being a man of conscience, but (with) a solid grasp of optics.” In an opinion piece, Maya Foa, director of the human rights charity Reprieve, focused on Johnson’s meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss oil exports and imports.
She said: “He surely knows that shaking hands with an autocrat who has just overseen a mass killing will harm Britain’s moral standing on the global stage, at a time when this could not be more important.”
Britain is seeking ways to buffer its loss of oil supply from Russia because of the latest round of trade embargoes protesting Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Saudi Arabia could solve Johnson’s supply problem, but the article points out his timing was bad. Just days before his visit, Saudi Arabia executed 81 men. The European Saudi Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR) claims there have been more than 900 executions since 2015. Should an English PM want to shake hands with such a business partner?
And, what’s happening in my own town and province while the lingering pandemic continues to threaten in faraway places? Well, on Saint Patrick’s Day, enough COVID-19 restrictions were lifted to make green beer almost – I repeat “ALMOST!” – attractive. We are told to rejoice and enjoy the “new normal.”
At the same time, the UK, France and Germany are reporting a new, “disturbing wave” of infections and have alerted North America to that fact. I understand Premier John Horgan’s problem and the pressures he must have been feeling from a tired public and business community.
I hope his “new normal” is the lasting kind.