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Reagan was also annoyed with a Canadian PM named Trudeau

Justin Trudeau is not the first Canadian Prime Minister by that last name to annoy a US president. It was no secret t...

Posted: Jun 11, 2018 12:55 PM
Updated: Jun 11, 2018 12:55 PM

Justin Trudeau is not the first Canadian Prime Minister by that last name to annoy a US president. It was no secret that Ronald Reagan had a sometimes strained relationship with Pierre Trudeau, Justin's father.

Reagan was initially leery of the left-leaning Trudeau, but wrote in his diary that, at their first meeting in March, 1981, "I discovered I liked him."

Subsequent meetings, of which there were many, did not always go well, with things getting quite testy at the 1983 Williamsburg Economic Summit when Trudeau and French President Fran-ois Mitterrand joined forces to oppose a joint statement that supported deploying a class of nuclear weapons while holding out hope that they could be eliminated as the result of negotiations with the Soviet Union.

Perhaps the lowest point in the Reagan-Trudeau relationship came at the 1984 London Economic Summit. While there were the predictable policy differences, what bothered Reagan most about Trudeau was his condescending and lecturing style. At one summit session, Trudeau was so rude to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the official host of the summit, that an appalled Reagan approached her afterward and said: "Margaret, he had no right to speak to you like that," to which Mrs. Thatcher calmly replied: "Women know when men are being childish."

Ronald Reagan had the common sense and respect for diplomatic norms not to air his displeasure in public. He wrote about his feelings in his private diary, but even those words were devoid of any malice or petty personal insults.

Some misguided Trump supporters have applauded his and his aides' critical comments about the present Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, but as William Shakespeare said, "Discretion is the better part of valor." In other words -- as everyone's parents have told them -- "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything."

A war of words, or policies, with Canada is unseemly at best and dangerous at worst. For goodness' sake, it's Canada! Is there anyone who really views Canada as a "national security threat" to us? Canada has been a loyal and reliable ally of ours for decades. Their soldiers have fought and died alongside ours.

Canada has a special place in the heart of Americans, especially our kids. Canada is the first other country many visit. Even if it's just crossing over to Niagara Falls, hundreds of thousands will always fondly remember the novelty of being "out of the country" and collecting Canadian stamps and money as souvenirs.

We share a border with Canada. It is more than our neighbor; it is part of our community. The United States is not an independent island. We, Canada, Mexico and many other nations make up this continent called North America, and it makes no sense to publicly speak ill of the Canadian Prime Minister -- and certainly not in such mean-spirited terms.

It was no accident that Reagan's first and second foreign trips as president were to Canada. Good relations with Canada were important to him. Canada was also the last foreign nation Reagan visited as president. He felt it was an appropriate bookend to begin and end his foreign travels as president by visiting our neighbor to the north.

Interestingly, while the senior Trudeau might not have always been Reagan's cup of tea, a succeeding Canadian Prime Minister -- Brian Mulroney -- and Reagan hit it off so well that they became close friends. When they were together it was obvious that they respected and liked each other very much. Simply put, they clicked, so much so that Reagan chose Mulroney to deliver a eulogy at his funeral.

President Trump may very well have a valid point about inequities in our trade relationship with Canada, and he is right to want to fix those. But publicly bad-mouthing the Prime Minister of Canada will not get us there. Rather, it will create an even wider schism between the United States and our long-standing allies, which does not serve our interests well at all.

As he seeks in Singapore to make the world safer, President Trump would do well to remember that as exciting, shiny and historic a new relationship with North Korea may be, old, reliable and proven friends like Canada should never be taken for granted.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 145636

Reported Deaths: 3745
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto973199
Hinds9668197
Harrison6898109
Jackson6178119
Rankin5319100
Lee487695
Madison4666106
Forrest371386
Jones346788
Lauderdale3355144
Lafayette317549
Washington3122107
Lamar283449
Oktibbeha240861
Bolivar240184
Lowndes229763
Neshoba2177115
Panola215849
Marshall209650
Leflore201490
Pontotoc196128
Monroe191477
Sunflower190555
Lincoln186865
Warren172657
Tate165451
Union163925
Pike160658
Copiah159540
Yazoo152039
Scott150729
Coahoma148743
Itawamba148234
Pearl River146567
Alcorn146327
Simpson145153
Prentiss141230
Adams137949
Grenada137745
Leake131943
Holmes126561
Tippah123030
George122324
Covington119737
Winston119124
Wayne116223
Hancock115939
Marion111646
Attala109833
Tishomingo106542
Chickasaw104132
Newton103629
Tallahatchie96327
Clarke88853
Clay87127
Jasper81222
Walthall75328
Stone73114
Calhoun72913
Montgomery72125
Carroll70614
Lawrence70314
Yalobusha70027
Noxubee69717
Smith69616
Perry65426
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57616
Jefferson Davis55017
Humphreys52918
Amite51814
Benton48717
Quitman4816
Webster42114
Kemper41918
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34211
Franklin3265
Choctaw3117
Sharkey30717
Issaquena1124
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 239318

Reported Deaths: 3532
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31391491
Mobile19562361
Tuscaloosa12813154
Madison12741146
Montgomery12198235
Shelby1000577
Baldwin847398
Lee764466
Morgan634348
Calhoun6112115
Marshall607954
Etowah606565
Houston517038
DeKalb474736
Cullman428038
Limestone413744
St. Clair409055
Elmore400762
Lauderdale393653
Walker3588108
Talladega343453
Jackson307624
Colbert301941
Blount285539
Autauga268641
Franklin247833
Coffee239715
Dale230354
Dallas224531
Russell22053
Chilton219638
Covington216833
Escambia197431
Chambers173749
Tallapoosa173391
Pike157514
Clarke156319
Marion136535
Winston129923
Lawrence124836
Geneva12028
Pickens119418
Marengo119124
Barbour117010
Bibb116217
Butler114441
Randolph100921
Cherokee100824
Hale94531
Clay90223
Washington90219
Fayette87316
Henry8496
Lowndes79129
Monroe78111
Cleburne75714
Macon72321
Crenshaw70730
Bullock69119
Conecuh68314
Perry6756
Lamar6508
Wilcox63118
Sumter57122
Choctaw41913
Greene41418
Coosa3374
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