As the U.K. moves toward breaking from the EU, the special relationship becomes increasingly critical. But Trumpian diplomacy, especially in the age of Twitter, is unlike anything that’s come before.
During his state visit to the United Kingdom this week, the president of the United States was met with angry protesters (some peaceful, some thuggish), insults from the (ineffective) mayor of London, boycotts from Labour-party MPs, and scathing criticism from the mainstream British press.
If the president were anyone other than Donald J. Trump, such hostile behavior from Britain’s political establishment toward our most important ally would be a source of national shame. But the president is Donald J. Trump. And, as some activists thought it powerful to remind us by projecting onto the Tower of London, Trump’s approval rating in the U.K. is at 21 percent where Obama’s was at 72 percent.
These are not, of course, the approval ratings of the American people, a country nearly 40 times the geographical size of the U.K., but never mind that. . . .
Trump, as we know, gives as good as he gets. Before his plane had touched down on British soil, he tweeted that the mayor of London is a “stone-cold loser.” Later, he refused the invitation to meet Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party, explaining that he is a “negative force” (which is true, if inappropriate). After this rejection, Corbyn then volunteered himself as the key speaker at an anti-Trump rally.