President Trump had an historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a first step toward getting him to denuclearize his country. After how close we were to major war only several months ago (remember that Pyongyang had successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead and was considering a plan to fire missiles at Guam) one would think that this would be looked at as a positive diplomatic attempt to end an evil regime peacefully.
One would think all sensible people would be supportive of Trump’s efforts, even Democrats and the news media. One would think, but one would be wrong. It didn’t take long for the Trump haters to lockstep behind any negativity they could spin to discredit what the president is trying to do: “Why is he smiling and shaking hands with such a despicable dictator?” “Trump gave away the store.” “This is a one-sided win for North Korea.” “The agreement is too vague.” “Trump has done nothing new here.”
Democrat Chuck Schumer said by meeting with Kim, Trump has given “a brutal and repressive dictatorship the international legitimacy it has long craved.” He also said that the agreement is “worrisome, very worrisome.” Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that Trump gave Kim concessions in return for “vague promises” without a “clear and comprehensive pathway to denuclearization and non-proliferation.” For Trump haters it’s all negativity, all the time.
Liberal Fox News host Shepard Smith tore into President Trump over the North Korea summit, saying the president gave Kim Jong Un everything he wanted, without getting anything in return. “He wanted the photos, the seat at the table, he wanted the legitimacy that came with the event, the handshake with America’s president,” Smith said. “Kim Jong Un got it all, for actually doing nothing.” Thanks, Shep. You’re a sweetheart.
Last year when Trump spoke tough, saying, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States, they will be met with fire and fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before” the haters condemned him for being too provocative and a warmonger. Now that Trump is engaged in intense diplomatic relations with Kim, shaking his hand, sitting across a table from him discussing peace and prosperity for the entire region in a respectful manner, they call him weak, stupid and say he’s embracing an enemy. He can’t win.
There is literally nothing President Trump could ever do (short of resigning) that would please the Trump haters. It reminds me of a quote, used by many over the years, but definitely applicable to the Trump haters: “Haters will see you walk on water and say it’s because you can’t swim.” So True.
The fact is, this one-day meeting was a tremendously important step in the right direction. Victor Cha, writing an opinion piece in The New York Times said, “Mr. Trump’s diplomacy, however unconventional, has pierced the isolation bubble of the North Korean leadership, which no previous president could do.” The United States has set the agenda for next steps, noted Cha.
Of course there will be follow-up meetings by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other foreign affair experts and President Trump has set this fall as the first deadline for some deliverable and verifiable dismantling and removing of the nukes. The process is on. It’s early, but so far so good.
“The Singapore summit represents the start of a diplomatic process that takes us away from the brink of war,” writes Cha. “North Korea will not be testing any more missiles or nuclear bombs while the diplomacy continues, and the talks led by Mr. Pompeo will hopefully make progress toward stopping the world’s worst runaway nuclear program. For the first time since 1953, the door has been opened to peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
Sure, we’ve got a long way to go, but at least we’ve got the car on the road and it’s facing in the right direction. Nobody knows what the future will hold, what these new talks will bring, but keeping a hopeful attitude is a far cry better than wallowing in hate and negativity.
As for me, I’ll celebrate with a Singapore Sling. Hold the cherry.
Greg Crosby is a writer and cartoonist and former executive at the Walt Disney Company.