Remember that time former President Barack Obama bowed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia? Well, it looks like he isn’t the only Western leader to do so.
At the G20 summit this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel bowed her head as she shook the hand of Saudi Arabian State Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf (via Daily Mail). Apparently, she believed this show of deference was necessary, but in reality, it was a humiliating moment for herself and the German people.
When President Donald Trump met with the Saudi leader during his Middle Eastern trip in May, he managed to shake the King’s hand without bowing. Of course, the establishment media couldn’t handle this, so they tried to make it seem as if he did. Numerous left-wing media outlets falsely reported that President Trump bowed to the Saudi King at their meeting.
Slate implied that Republicans who criticized President Obama for bowing were hypocrites because they said nothing about the “fact” that President Trump did the same thing. However, their assertions were not true. The Washington Post also chimed in:
“Trump bowed no more or less than other presidents who have worn the collar of Abdulaziz al-Saud, which the kingdom bestows as an honor on foreign dignitaries.Trump did it. Obama did it. Bush did it.”
The photo they used showed President Trump bending down so that the King could put a medal around his neck. It was evident that he was not bowing. While the German Chancellor can conduct herself in any way she sees fit, bowing to royalty is not a great idea, especially for an American president.
At first glance, bowing to the Saudi King or any other member of royalty may not seem like a problem. After all, there is nothing wrong with showing respect to a foreign leader, right? However, this is a more serious issue than it appears.
The United States was founded on the ideals of a republic. As such, we do not recognize social rank or royalty. It is one of the reasons the U.S. decided to rebel against the British Empire. When a president bows to a foreign leader, he is breaking with one of the values upon which our nation was built.
Our president is more than just the chief executive of our government; indeed, he is a symbol of America. His actions represent our nation, whether we like it or not. When a president meets with a leader of a foreign country, the rest of the world is watching. This is why it is important to project strength, not weakness. The president must embody the values of the United States.
Newsmax columnist Daniel Ruddy put it well when he wrote about President Obama’s infamous bow, emphasizing that dealing with leaders of foreign nations is serious business — that the president “represents the American people and our Constitution” and when a “president bows before a foreign leader, the whole country bows with him.”
Former President Obama did it. Chancellor Merkel just did it. President Trump refuses. Let us know what you think about this issue in the poll below!
The president of the United States is seen as the leader of the free world — the most powerful nation on the planet. Bowing to members of perceived royalty does not exhibit the strength that the office of president holds. It is also in opposition to our founding values.
While Chancellor Merkel is not the president of the United States, she is a Western leader. As stated previously, she has the freedom to choose to bow, but this does not portray her or her country as strong. When Angela Merkel bows before a foreign leader, the whole country bows with her. She would do well to keep this mind.