You've got to know when to bow
President Trump did not bow when greeted by the Saudi king after touching down in Saudi Arabia. That he stood tall and proud was entirely proper, but a probable state visit to the U.K. later this year may present an opportunity to bow to one of the few world leaders who deserve the honor.
It's nice to see the president standing upright as he projects American strength on his first major overseas trip. It's a stark contrast to President Obama, who enjoyed bowing to foreign leaders, literally and figuratively. First it was the Saudi king; then he showed deference to Russia's Putin (remember when Democrats viewed Russia benignly?). He was even supplicant to the emperor of Japan.
Yet when President and Mrs. Obama visited someone who sincerely cares about America, they offered no bows or curtsies. Instead, Queen Elizabeth II got a cheeky gift and, contravening protocol, an improper pat on the back.
Perhaps the one world figure who warrants a bit of a bow is venerable Queen Elizabeth II, who bravely served in uniform during WWII. As Luftwaffe bombs ravaged her cities, then-Princess Elizabeth refused evacuation and suffered the blitz resolutely with her soon-to-be subjects. That, along with her charity work, decades of dignified leadership, and her forbearance of irascible tourists at her home, deserves a bow.
During President Trump's scheduled state visit to the U.K. later this year, he will meet the queen. Apparently, he's looking forward to the royal treatment, including a carriage ride down the splendid Mall that leads to Buckingham Palace.
If he follows royal rules, he won't touch the queen unless she offers her hand. But even the president of our great country can justifiably bow with pride to Her Royal Highness, the head of state for 16 U.N. members. This is a gracious woman, who, according to Gallup, has been on the top 10 most admired woman list an impressive 47 times (as of 2015).
It's perhaps the one bow in the world that cannot be described as supplicant – the one bow that will paradoxically make him taller. A mild bow from the neck, not the waist, will demonstrate the president's magnanimity and inner strength, while respecting the monarch of our greatest ally – a country with whom we still have the most powerful affinity. Period.
An opportunistic France may have been our oldest "ally," but Britain is our best. I can't think of a more diplomatic way to project American strength than by obliging royal sensitivities, reinforcing our special relationship, and showing respect toward a remarkable woman. It will also usurp the protesters who petitioned against his visit.
God bless the USA, and God save the queen.