Tuesday, June 12, 2018

An American Apology

Below apology for the behaviour of Trump shows us that most Americans do not agree with their president's behaviour. This man comes late for his meetings, leaves early, is being wined, dined and entertained by Cirque du Soleil and then insults his host, our Prime Minister - and all Canadians - after leaving. Without going back too much in history, he does not seem to remember that it was Canadians who gave 6000 Americans shelter when their planes were diverted on 9/11, that it was Canadian Hydro to help them restore power during several ice storms, hurricanes and Canadian fire crews help them fight their large forest fires in California.

Dear Canada, you deserve better from
President Trump. 
Here's an apology from me.
Ross K. Baker, Opinion columnistPublished 3:15 a.m. ET June 11, 2018 | Updated 6:18 p.m. ET June 11, 2018

I'm sorry, Canada. I have no explanation for Donald Trump's rudeness at the G7 summit. There could be no better ally or neighbor than you.

(Photo: Evan Vucci, AP)

Dear Canada, I know that it’s presumptuous of me to apologize to you for the crude and unmannerly behavior of our president, but even as a private citizen I feel that you deserve better than to have your prime minister treated harshly and disrespectfully. The minimum of simple courtesy, not just diplomatic protocol, entitles him to be addressed respectfully by his title and not by the condescending use of his first name.

But that’s just one bit of human decency that the president forgot to have his valet pack for him when he left for Quebec. He also neglected to include a briefing book on the sturdy bonds of history that have marked us among the nations of the world as the best of neighbors.

Our president who purports to revere the military has forgotten that we and the Canadians have been comrades in arms since World War I. Maybe it slipped his mind —or perhaps he never learned — about the blood of Americans and Canadians mixing on the stony beaches at Dieppe in 1942 or our joint sacrifices on D-Day in Normandybeaches and across Northern Europe in 1944 and 1945.

Americans fought and died together in Korea, and after the attacks on the United States in September 2001, Canadians didn’t even need to be asked to be part of the NATO effort against the fanatics who had murdered our people. A friend like you deserves better from a president of the United States, and a dispute over tariffs just isn’t an important enough matter to call forth his disrespect.

But it is more than our military partnership over the years that brings us together. We also share the joys and beauty of our respective countries. Canadians are our guests at Old Orchard Beach in Maine in the summer and in Florida in winter. Americans visit Banff and Whistler. They go hunting in the woods of northern Ontario and sail in Nova Scotia. We are bound together both in sacrifice and joy. We have made Canadians into baseball fans and they have given us hockey including a Stanley Cup for a team in our own capital city.

We enjoy a peaceful border with you, and along the frontier the American and Canadian towns are indistinguishable and in many places our currencies are interchangeable. We poke gentle fun at you for being “Canadian nice” but any U.S citizen who has visited your country knows the underlying reality of that stereotype. You are the best neighbors an American can have.

There is no satisfactory explanation for our president’s rudeness. He was a bad guest: he arrived late and left early and never said thanks. Worse than that, he petulantly refused to sign the joint communique and pouted because Russia hadn’t been included and suggested that the reason for Moscow’s absence was because of some vague minor incident rather than its armed invasion of an adjacent country. How sad it would be if President Trump’s understanding of neighborliness was patterned after Vladimir Putin’s.

I hope that our friends in Canada will overlook this singular act of rudeness and disrespect to their leader. Canadians, being who they are, probably will. I also hope that Americans will continue to recognize the rare privilege we enjoy in having Canada as our neighbor.

For our part, my wife and I are looking forward to visiting Quebec with our grandchildren in August and if the occasion arises, we will offer some words of apology although, knowing the Canadians, they’ll probably just politely dismiss it as a minor incident.

I am less charitable. Our president behaved badly and although atonement does not come easily to him, it is owed to our good friends north of the border.

Most sincerely,

A grateful American citizen.

Ross K. Baker is a distinguished professor of political science at Rutgers University and a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors. Follow him on Twitter: @Rosbake1


  1. My apologies also to our true friends and allies who have stood by us for many years.However,our Dictator is busy forging new alliances with his new friends and fellow dictators from Russia,China,North Korea and the Philippines .

  2. AS another American, I wholly agree

  3. Trump's behavior is/was inexcusable for treating our neighbor and friend in such a deplorable manner.


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