Former President Harry S. Truman is rumored to have said that “if you need a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Truman, in fact never had a dog, but he befriended countries like Canada and Mexico and countless others. He created bonds with these countries that had lasted right up until the election of Donald Trump as President.
For some unexplained reason our current president has decided that America doesn’t need democratic governments and he would rather pal around with Vladimir Putin and a handful of other dictators who have never done anything to advance democracy in America or in their own countries.
To simplify the discussion let’s talk about America and Canada. The recent attacks on Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau are senseless and defy our long history of working with Canada on numerous issues. The best example is World War II.
Canada entered that war in 1939 according to the American Historical Association, which was before we acted in December 1942. It was one of our strongest battlefield partners in the drive to defeat Germany and Japan.
Though its population is a fraction of the size of the United States’, Canada sent more than 500,000 soldiers to war in Europe. Canadian military bases provided logistical support for the U.S. Air Force. Canadian soldiers fought alongside the Americans in Italy and they joined America when it invaded the beaches of Normandy.
On the seas, Canada provided 400 ships and 100,000 sailors to help America wage war on its enemies. America was desperately in need of help on the Atlantic Ocean to transport soldiers and supplies and without Canada, America would have lost countless numbers of lives and desperately needed trucks, military parts and medical supplies.
U.S. Navy officers have attested to the fact that the war could have been lost without Canada at our side.
Another punching bag for President Trump is Mexico. That neighbor helped in countless ways including preventing German ships and submarines from using its ports. Its industrial and mineral production was an important part of the US effort and its farm workers were welcomed into our country to help produce the food that a fighting neighbor desperately needed for its citizens. More than 500,000 Mexican-Americans fought side-by-side with U.S. and British troops. Both Canada and Mexico suffered great financial strain as a result of their costly war efforts.
Rather than engage in a debate about which country sends more exports to the U.S. or imports more goods from us, it’s worth turning the clock back to World War II to emphasize the history of our bond to these two neighbors. Maybe it’s time for President Trump to get a dog because by the end of his term he won’t have any real friends left.
Jerry Kremer is a former state assemblyman. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher or Anton Media Group.