Thursday, September 23, 2021

perspective

American democracy faces Trump-Kim test


Singapore summit askS big questions OF US POLITICIANS

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What US President Donald Trump should do in the next two-and-a-half years is simple: He must keep alive the feel-good factor that followed his much-publicised and historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Of course, his opponents will try to make the public forget it, or at least question it, but his job is perhaps easier. As far as he is concerned, Americans and the world must be convinced that the Singapore summit is better than nothing.
CNN, easily not the best friend of Trump, has been back to the negativity when it comes to Trump. Its website’s headline news has recently featured the uproar over his immigration policy. Disappearing in a hurry was the summit, criticised by Trump’s rivals as a stage for a notorious leader to be improperly pampered by the leader of the free world.
 “The White House’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy and resulting separations of undocumented parents and kids is exploding into the most emotive and politically unpredictable test yet of President Donald Trump’s effort to change the character of America,” CNN said. It went on to depict an “outrage” over “traumatic stories of families being torn apart”.
It is needless to say that Trump is a president with heavy political baggage. This is why his meeting with Kim Jong-un made jaws drop all over the world, and applause was cautious at best. The bottom line, however, is that he was the man who brought Kim out into the open, and the sight of the North Korean leader smiling on the global stage is definitely better than him brooding within his secretive walls.
Trump’s main political opponents, the Democrats, have decried the alleged over-generosity Trump afforded North Korea. It makes political sense to discredit the Singapore summit because the meeting has been Trump’s biggest “success” so far. 
While sensible, the Democrats’ move is also risky, because the bottom line is that Trump has done what no other American president managed to do –  bring the leader of a feared regime out into the open.
Whatever happens next, it’s a big test for the already messy American democracy.
The Democrats will tell voters in November’s mid-term elections that the man they made president, in addition to being a “spy of Russia”, made a bad diplomatic move regarding North Korea.Trump, meanwhile, will tell the same voters that he did what the country empowered him to do, and that was the right thing, not just for America, but also for the rest of the world.
It will be a tricky election race. The Trump-Kim summit and its consequences, one way or another, are highly significant when it comes to the course of world events. It is something US politicians and their helpers have to be honest about – which they unfortunately are unlikely to be.
Trump and his opponents will try to discredit each other. That is all right when matters such as different thoughts on fractious tax numbers are concerned, but if attempts to win political power overshadow honesty regarding world peace, it is a very unhealthy situation. 
One thing is for sure in the next American election: If one side tells the truth, the other must be telling a blatant, internationally damaging lie.
That can’t be a good thing for American democracy, which is supposedly the best model for the rest of the world.

Published : June 24, 2018

By : The Nation