So the President of the United States is (or perhaps is not) is going to meet with the Supreme Leader of North Korea, in North Korea.
If you want the deep dive into the chaotic details of the invitation and acceptance, go to this New York Times story. Let’s just say I’ve seen sixth graders handle their social calendars with more aplomb.
Most experts who have weighed in so far think it’s a terrible idea. For example,
President Trump’s decision to participate in a summit with North Korean despot Kim Jong Un is a dangerous idea. If it works, and Trump actually succeeds in beginning the denuclearization of North Korea, he will be far worthier of the Nobel Peace Prize than Barack Obama ever was. The chances of this are roughly zero, but it’s not impossible. More likely is that this will all end in diplomatic disaster.
Trump’s own expert has this to say:
“This is the president’s vision,” said Peter Navarro, Trump’s ascendant trade adviser. “My function, really, as an economist is to try to provide the underlying analytics that confirm his intuition. And his intuition is always right in these matters” https://t.co/2ftXcsjLBc pic.twitter.com/ifJaowXqLr
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) March 9, 2018
Dr. Tom Nichols (Death of Expertise) countered:
This is exactly *not* the role of an expert adviser, ever. https://t.co/K7x2WyXOL3
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) March 9, 2018
First, our leaders generally do not visit dictatorships who treat their people like dirt. It’s seen as legitimizing their governments.
Second, most of us don’t trust our President to say the right things. We think he will either insult Kim Jong Un and provoke an international reaction, or what is more likely, end up making a bad deal.
I remember the last time a president visited a country many thought he shouldn’t: Nixon in China. (Yes, I remember).
There are similarities. Like Trump, Nixon was trying to create some good news at a time when he was under attack. Many people criticized him for legitimizing a dictatorship. Some thought Nixon was not up to the task. Most, however, even his detractors, knew him to be a seasoned politician, intelligent and well prepared, with a sterling reputation as an anti-Communist.
Trump is no Nixon, but here is a moderate view on that point.
Who knows whether the meeting will take place. Trump has so far flipped three times: yesterday he said he was going, this morning that he was not until North Korea got rid of its missiles (so not going), and this afternoon, back to going.
White House clarifies Sarah Sanders’ statement on N Korea that “president will not agree to the meeting without concrete steps and action."
Not so fast: “The invitation has been extended and accepted, and that stands,” WH official tells WSJ.
— Michael C. Bender (@MichaelCBender) March 9, 2018