By: Emmett Baumgarten, Columnist
On Tuesday, Sept. 19th, Donald Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly, stumbling about as he attempted to conjure up words of warning for the infamous leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. Finally, he settled on: “Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime.” I have no doubt that he thought it was an exceptional pejorative, but it was ultimately indicative of his inability to lead the United States through such a delicate situation. Trump’s speech showed that he relies far too heavily upon intimidation tactics and is incapable of more intricate and effective diplomacy.
In contrast, Kim Jong Un released a much more articulate and calculative statement,
wherein he directly criticized Trump—a scarce thing from the cautious and reclusive Kim Jong Un—for his “unethical will to ‘totally destroy’ a sovereign state.” Kim Jong Un continued his speech, successfully painting Trump as a puerile ruler too intent to show off his large arsenal to bother with diplomacy. Un himself is not known for his restraint when it comes to ballistic tests and threats, making it all the more troubling that he so effectively makes Trump look the fool.
That said, in no way do I support Kim Jong Un, nor do I take pleasure in his besting of
President Trump, despite my views that Trump is not at all qualified for his position. The truth, though, is that it is embarrassing for the leader of our country to be engaged in such a cockfight with Kim Jong Un. Trump has been so easily baited into this battle of threats that I must wonder whether he aspires to be a dictator himself—yet another position he is unqualified to fill. While he has somehow drawn a crowd of unwavering supporters, he lacks the tact to build a long withstanding regime.
Furthermore, it is shameful that the most presidential response was not given by Trump, but by former President Barack Obama. It is in no manner shameful that former President Obama gave a presidential-sounding speech, for he is, in all respects, someone this country is, and should be, proud of. It is shameful, however, that a man who has done more for this country in eight years than Trump could do in a lifetime as president, should feel obligated to deliver a speech because Trump’s was so lackluster. Of course, Trump did not surge in popularity because he sounded presidential—quite the opposite—, but there is a difference between “telling it like it is” and sounding like a belligerent idiot.
If we are to have any chance of a peaceful resolution to these North Korean affairs,
Trump needs to reign in his instinctive militarism and carefully respond as tactfully as he manage. I have only the faintest amount of belief that he has a chance of accomplishing diplomatically sensitive issues. Until then, Kim Jong Un remains a dangerous threat not only because he potentially possesses hydrogen bombs, but also because he is capable of outwitting Donald Trump. Should Trump bull-headedly continue to threaten North Korea like a child who demands to have things his way, something unfortunate is bound to happen.