A crass error

The Guardian editorial board is not excited about Trump’s state visit.

Two and a half years after Theresa May rushed to become the first world leader to meet the newly inaugurated President Trump in Washington, she has chosen to make a state visit that should not be taking place the final act of her premiership. While the prime minister’s poor political judgment and obstinacy have been hallmarks of her three years in office, the spectacle of the next three days will make a particularly awful ending. Mr Trump is only the third US president ever to be honoured with a state visit, the others being George W Bush and Barack Obama. Inviting him in the first place was a crass error. Following through in the midst of the UK’s current political crisis is an act of gross irresponsibility.

That’s because, though such visits are symbolic occasions, there is more at stake here than pomp and circumstance. Mr Trump is a demagogue who represents a threat to peace, democracy and the climate of our planet. As elected leader of the UK’s closest ally, he can’t be ignored. But making him, his wife and four adult children the honoured guests of the Queen risks legitimising his destructive policies, his cronyism and his leanings towards autocracy.

Also his bullying, his rank misogyny, his bragging about assaulting women, his racism, his xenophobia, his ignorance, his malice, his incompetence, his endless lying, his greed, his vanity, his narcissism, his self-dealing, his callousness…

I could go on this way for a long time. Anyone could. He has a long long list of bad qualities and not one good one. He’s historically grotesque in every way, so yeah, bad idea to give him the royal treatment. Seriously bad idea.

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