Today at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, President Trump took center stage with his first speech at the podium to world leaders.
It did not go well. (Video below.)
After a tumultuous year and a half in which Vladimir Putin’s regime successfully undermined confidence in U.S. elections by filling American internet channels with deceptive pro-Trump propaganda and hacking elections systems in at least 39 states, Russia received exactly zero mentions in Trump’s remarks.
Instead, Trump focused almost exclusively on saber rattling against North Korea, threatening war in the most juvenile of terms.
In addition to repeating his new nickname for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, “rocket man” (what better way to smack down a global threat than giving him a cool nickname from one of the greatest songs of all time?), Trump seemed to have no sense of the deadly irony in his statements.
In one breath, Trump blasted the hermit kingdom for threatening the world “with unthinkable loss of human life,” and in the next, said he was willing to “totally destroy North Korea.”
He called the regime “reckless,” described it as one that “imperils the world with nuclear conflict,” and said none of us has “an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles.” All of this is true — not only about Kim’s regime but Trump’s as well.
The real problem is neither that Trump speaks in misplaced schoolyard insults nor his lack of self-awareness that prevents him from appreciating his own irony. The danger is that his simplistic world view is backing Kim into a corner in which there is no clear alternative to war. With no explicit demands, Trump is marching us ever closer to the very war he claims to be trying to prevent.
If ever there was a time when experience was an important job qualification for President of the United States, this is one of those times. The Electoral College made a different choice, and now it falls to Congress to correct the error — if they can muster the courage in time.
Pres. Trump’s warning to North Korea : “Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready.” pic.twitter.com/c1xpfk7Gzz
— Axios (@axios) September 19, 2017
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com