Monday, January 23, 2017

Protecting Canada is Job One

So, Jared Kushner, Ivanka's hubbie and Trump whisperer, has been invited to the Liberal govt's retreat in Calgary.  My quick take:

I have utter contempt for Kushner for a variety of reasons:
  • He has enabled, not blocked Steve Bannon, who is awful on many dimensions but especially relevant here empowering anti-semitism.
  • Kushner has gone along with the legal fiction that his role in the White House does not violate the laws against nepotism.  
  • He seems to have played a significant role in assembling this cabinet of awful.
Anyhow, Kushner is awful.  But the government of Canada has to protect Canadians from the vagaries of the Trump administration.  Canada's prosperity depends on access to the American market, more than any other country.  Its defence depends on cooperation with the US.

So, the Trump folks want to be pandered to, so go ahead. This is a group of folks who want to mix business with government, so let them.  Engage them politely and energetically and focus on the positive stuff. I still believe the best course of action is to work at lower levels where the other side would be normal American government officials, but getting along with Kushner, no matter how tainted he is, is a good idea.

It makes me feel icky, but then again, good international relations often requires working with icky folks.  And, yeah, Kushner is better than Bannon, because, hey, we have to lower our standards when dealing with Trump, right?  So, it would be easy to criticize the government for engaging these awful people, but there is really no choice.

Oh, and if it means selling out Mexico as Trump's hate of NAFTA is entirely focused south, go ahead.  It is not as if standing up for Mexico would stop them anyway.