THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 6 P A R T 3 M A Y 2 0 1 8 331
It is difficult to put our frustration with the various acts and omissions
of the U.S. president into an editorial.
Our difficulty is not a sense that as lawyers in British Columbia
we should leave foreign leaders alone; this one, certainly, has
engaged Canada first, both via positioning in his political office (such as by
accusing Canada of having a trade surplus when, as he recently told
fundraisers in Missouri, “I didn’t even know … I had no idea”1) and via
exports of hotels and merchandise (not necessarily from the United States,
but certainly into Canada) through his eponymous businesses.
The difficulty is in actually filling more than a Tweet’s length with our
objection to any given Trump-inspired event. All of the comebacks to President
Trump seems rather obvious—“don’t be rude”, “don’t be a bully”,
“don’t lie”, etc. are admonitions that embed moral, religious, practical and
sometimes legal subtexts that for most audiences do not require elaboration.
Most recipients of this criticism would, duly chastened, promise to
govern themselves accordingly if they had not already done so.
We have some admiration, albeit coupled with some skepticism and concern
(see item #3 in the list below), for commentators in the United States
who find the words and energy with which to fill entire columns and whole
radio and television segments delivering a message critical of President
Trump that is often too basic to require much elaboration.
The late-night talk show hosts who can give a few barbed remarks about
the latest exploits of President Trump and quickly move on to interview the
latest celebrity as their first guest seem to have an easier (and much higher
paid) gig. And indeed, it is easier on the audience, who is saved by an impersonation
from watching or hearing the president directly.
Perhaps another lesson from these shows is that one should not be
unremittingly negative. One talk show host (Jimmy Fallon) pens “thank
you” notes, to all sorts of recipients, on air every Friday. We take that as a
challenge: if Brooklyn-born Fallon can do this once a week, Canadians can