As the crisis of a nuclear North Korea continues to escalate, we need a Joker in Chief to project relaxed strength with great wit and humor.
North Korea claims it is continuing to refine its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability. And the world’s newest nuclear power has threatened to send Washington “a Christmas gift” if stalled nuclear talks don’t resume.
A spokesman for the country’s Defense Science Academy says last week’s rocket tests:
…will be applied to further bolster up the reliable strategic nuclear deterrent of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
South Korea has confirmed the rocket test.
North Korea’s growing nuclear capability is the most serious crisis of Donald Trump’s administration. Set aside all the sensational tabloid journalism that passes for serious news reports and commentary in the mainstream media. It’s time for real talk.
Since 2006, North Korea has successfully tested increasingly more powerful nuclear warheads. But until more recently, U.S. cities were not in range of its delivery systems.
The successful July 2017 test of the Hwasong-14 put Alaska, Hawaii, and even the West Coast of the Lower 48 in range of Kim Jong Un’s nuclear bombs.
The threat became terrifyingly real to Hawaii’s residents after the false missile alert in January 2018. At the current rate of development, North Korea will undoubtedly have the entire United States within nuclear arms’ reach.
The emergence of North Korea as a nuclear power is now a stark reality that must be reckoned with sensitively and intelligently. Those aren’t words most would use to describe Donald Trump.
But when the nuclear cards are down and things get as real and dangerous as they could possibly get in Atomic Era human civilization, Trump has proven himself to be exactly those things.
First he projected no-nonsense strength to instill fear and dread of nuclear retaliation. Trump made sure Kim Jong Un thinks twice about initiating a nuclear exchange:
North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.
But unlike the stuffy, programmatic Democratic candidates who can only strike one tune on any issue, the spirited Donald backed up his stern warnings with some light-hearted and very funny jokes.
In January 2018, Donald Trump bragged on Twitter that his nuclear button is bigger, and more powerful than Kim Jong Un’s, and that it actually works! That was after months of teasing Kim Jong Un with the nickname “Little Rocket Man.”
Kim adopted Trump’s playful frame and called him a “dotard” (an old, senile person), which English-speakers found charmingly quaint. The POTUS retaliated with short jokes and fat jokes.
With this one-two punch of strength and humor, Donald Trump exemplified Teddy Roosevelt’s foreign policy of “Talk softly and carry a big stick.” Ronald Reagan also exhibited this level of relaxed strength toward the Soviets.
Trump effectively deescalated literal nuclear tensions with crude schoolyard jokes. He turned a possible war with nuclear bombs into a Twitter flame war.
He used the kind of spit-balling insults blue collar workers use to bond with each other to welcome the latest nuclear power into the club, taking Kim Jong Un under his wing.
His partisan enemies can’t stand that Trump is capable of this kind of magic. Who do you want in the Oval Office as the North Korean nuclear crisis heats ups? This acrimonious, shrieking, self-righteous, sanctimonious, and weak field of Democratic candidates?
Or the Joker in Chief?
He’s one of the best trump cards America has ever played.
Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:41 PM UTC