It’s time to Break It Down!
The times they are a changing. When Barack Obama was initially a candidate for president, he responded to a question by saying he would talk to world leaders, including our enemies, not just our friends. That former listing included the dictator-leader of North Korea. At the time the collective energy of the GOP was assembled into a giant swift and consolidated rebuke of Mr. Obama.
From Fox News to Republican Congressmen to the man and woman in the street, conservatives wallowed apoplectically, in what could have been called, “The Audacity of Nope.” No way, no how was that an acceptable posture. Fast-forward to last week, and you have what a mea culpa without an actual apology looks like. The GOP, complete with a gaggle of Fox News personalities cheerleading, staged an extended virtual standing ovation for Trump’s Tuesday, June 12th Singapore agreement with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. An agreement I might add, that has little detail, and even less certainty of pending follow through and execution.
But there is more. While this so-called deal, upon which the potential denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula hinges was unfolding, it did so in the backdrop of Trump beating up on French President Emmanuel Macron, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, leaders of two of the United States’ historic and traditional allies.
In an interview with Sean Hannity on the same day as the so-called Summit, Trump characterized Kim complimentarily, calling him a “strong guy,” and saying he is a “great negotiator.” He also said of him, “he’s got a very good personality, he’s very funny, very smart, and he’s a very strategic kind of a guy.”
Meanwhile, in his recent contentious bouts with Macron and Trudeau, he tweeted:
“Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow.”
He also added, “Prime Minister Trudeau is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the U.S. and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things…but he doesn’t bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300% on dairy — hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture.”
(Never mind that Canada is the top market for U.S. agricultural exports.)
This topsy-turvy, upside-down world on its axis narrative is consistent with Trump’s persona and one of his long-standing patterns. He has favorably compared Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad to the President of his own country (Barack Obama). He referred to Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein as “effective.” And of course, perhaps most famously, he personally spearheaded the “Birther” Movement, falsely alleging that President Barack Obama, the 44thPresident of the United States, was not born in the United States.
In a statement last Friday, Trump may have removed all that remained of “the Emperor’s Clothes.” Speaking, in a Fox News interview, about the North Korean “strongman,’ Kim Jong Un, he said:
“Hey, he’s the head of a country. And I mean he is the strong head. Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
I could say more, but why bother. In his own words, Trump has not only underscored his adulation of dictators and foreign adversaries, he has, for all practical purposes, removed all doubt by sharing his motivation for doing so. “Panning Allies and Our Own Leaders While Praising Dictators: The Art of the Trump!”
I’m done; holla back!
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