“It’s rough in a lot of places.” This is America 2018
So, there were global photo ops in front of flag posters in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Yep, that’s a major deal for a young leader. He’s, now, official. A global player. It’s also a major deal for anyone who craves attention more than substance. Don’t be fooled by the photo op. We didn’t witness #TwoDictators, but one verified dictator and a #dictatorwannabe. We awakened to the president of the U.S. gushing over another dictator that he admires. But, the glitz did meet some substantive questions. A reporter asked about the human rights violations of the newly minted world leader. The U.S. president responds, classically, “it’s rough in a lot of places”. Just like there were bad people on both sides in Charlottesville.
“Rough” is relative, though. The United Nations released a report in 2014 on the how rough North Korea is. Here’s a tidbit: “The report unequivocally concluded that the DPRK regime systematically violated human rights including freedom of thought, expression and religion; freedom from discrimination; freedom of movement and residence; and the right to food.
The commission further determined that the State had committed crimes against humanity and manifestly failed to uphold its Responsibility to Protect. These crimes entail “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation”.”
But, the leader has a “great personality”, so, its OK.
So, whats changed? Well, now we have two leaders who:
1.) have personally insulted one another;
2.) threatened one another’s nations (saber rattling that concerned the world);
3.) are grossly unpredictable;
4.) have enormous egos;
5.) have a party & cabinet that just say “yes” to them;
6.) LIE; pathologically;
7.) have allegiances with China & Russia;
8.) have allies who vote against their own interests;
9.) inherited wealth and power from their fathers;
10.) have befriended Dennis Rodman.
When despots, are two of a kind!
Certainly, everyone should wish for world peace, but let’s be clear that truth & integrity are required ingredients. We were once perceived as a world leader. Thanks to this “Singapore Summit”, North Korea has been elevated to our new level — flags linked and hands shook. The world is shaken.
Both of these leaders have committed crimes that don’t get erased from their records because they had a good day. One has a well-documented history of multi-generational, abuse against his country. One has committed murder and a multitude of sins against his own people and family members. One’s country has rejected democracy and has the state as the center, with a state-run system that controls everything — including its media.
The other is accused of violating many laws against the very democracy he is supposed to defend. He has employed cabinet members that are, systematically, making it rough for many Americans. The other nominates unqualified and biased judges to federal benches and works, with his congressional allies, to tilt the Supreme Court to undermine a balanced justice system. The other has also recently “killed” our relationships with global allies. He, and his “yes men” unnecessarily insulted the U.S. global family at the G-7. Then, he runs off and sings praises about a known killer, current human rights violator and global provocateur. And, he continues to support and defend China and Russia — who has attacked our democracy to help get him elected. He’s also attacked free speech, attack journalists and others who question the “state”. His selected media outlets are the beginning of state-run media, propaganda and disinformation. Disinformation is critically important to any Communists Nation. “Last Week, Tonight” show host, John Oliver, explains how disinformation works — and it’s dangerously working. Like NK. Like China. Like Russia. Like Nazi Germany. Are you seeing the pattern yet?
Yep, there are lots of rough places in the world. Many are made rough by leaders who’s personal and political well-being trumps that of the people they are supposed to serve. That includes these United States. We have a leader (and his political defenders) who wants to stop an investigation about his questionable practices and those within his network. If this leader was on the level of those rulers that he admires, there would be no investigation against him. It would be erased. Remember, he wouldn’t have selected Beauregard Jeff Sessions if he had known he wouldn’t make the investigation go away.
15 Minutes of Fame
So, the Hermit King, is getting his moment in the sun. Maybe, he’ll be nominated for a Nobel Prize. He and Trump are on similar levels now. They even have some comparable details about their countries.
- We have people being denied access to resources & overturning healthcare gains;
- We have people receiving poor education.
- We have racial discrimination.
- We have gender discrimination.
- We have people starving.
- We have neglected parts of our country — Puerto Rico; United States Virgin Islands; mainland neighborhoods with minorities and immigrants.
- We have voting rights being denied to citizens.
- We have used deceptive practices to advance certain segments of our population.
- We have a government that is influenced and run by family members of the president.
- We have people being arrested & detained unfairly.
- We have media & politicians using disinformation, propaganda & lies to confuse the citizens.
- We have people being killed by the state.
Rough places dont start out rough; they are created. Dictatorships don’t happen overnight; they are created. They take time and strategy and intent and allies. Egregious atrocities become normalized. Then, they become the rule, not the exception. Birds of a feather…Yay, us.
Let the Games Begin
Remember all that bravado via twitter? It would be immature acts by adults, where it not for their access to nukes. Of course the world was rightfully concerned. But, when face-to-face, 45 heaps praise on Un. Did Un praise 45 once? No doubt, Un still thinks 45 is all of the things he called him before, including a “dotard.” 45 likes using his thumbs to talk smack, but becomes the weak in person. All. The. Time.
But, once the cameras go away, at the #SeductionInSingapore, the real work begins — the work lands on an intentionally truncated U.S. State Department and an emboldened Kim Jung Un. Only time will tell how any of this will turn out. But, let’s not forget that every boxing match starts with lots of trash talk and a handshake. At the end, there is only one winner — draws call for a rematch.