Relax, Donald Trump’s threats about North Korea are meaningless - Macleans.ca
 

Relax, Donald Trump’s threats about North Korea are meaningless

Scott Gilmore: The question around Trump’s North Korea statement is not ‘Will he do it?’, but rather ‘Why is he talking out of his arse?’


 

The President of the United States just threatened North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen”. Given that this followed right on the heels of the troubling report the country has successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead that could fit on its new intercontinental missiles, you would think this might be the time to panic.

After all, this is a man who reportedly once asked an advisor, three times in the same meeting, “If we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them?” Bellicose would not be the first adjective most people would use to describe the 45th president, but it would be in the top 10. As would “mercurial” and “unstable”. Time to head to the bunker?

If any recent president were to threaten another country with a nuclear strike, then, yes, this would be a terrifying moment in history. But, for President Trump, this is just a Tuesday.

In a CNN poll released today, 60 per cent of Americans don’t trust Donald Trump and see him as dishonest. That is surprisingly low, when you consider how almost nothing he promises comes to pass. He came barreling into office promising to kill Obamacare, wall off Mexico, make them pay for it, tear up NAFTA, bomb Iran, end Common Core, build a safe zone in Syria, reinstate waterboarding, cancel all funding to sanctuary cities and take no vacation while doing it. Six months later, he has accomplished none of this, and in some cases doesn’t even seem to be trying.

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Nothing this man says can be trusted. And we haven’t even talked about his day-to-day lies. The Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale is sacrificing his sanity for the common good, and attempting to fact check almost every statement from the president, an exhausting and thankless public service that should earn him an Order of Canada. Dale’s tally is astounding. After 200 days in office, he has recorded over 500 lies. But that doesn’t even count the lies he repeats more than once. So, for example, in his recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump dusted off a few old nose-pullers and mixed in some fresh falsehoods to reach a score of 26 lies in one sitting.

U.S. President Donald Trump announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

U.S. President Donald Trump announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

When Trump threatens a country the question is not “Will he do it?”, but rather “Why is he talking out of his arse?” I predict that in future memoirs of this president, a great deal of academic energy will be spent trying to figure out why this man lied so much, often about things that are both meaningless and easily fact-checked. To pick a random example from the last week, why did the president lie about getting a call from the head of the Boy Scouts, telling him that his was the “greatest speech ever made”?

I have a couple of theories. First, I don’t think we can overestimate how insecure he is as a man. It is telling that most of his lies bend the truth towards a grander picture of the president. He wants us to believe he is wealthier than he is; that he has bigger hands than he does; that his crowds are the largest; his speeches the greatest; his people the best. In all sincerity, I often wonder what happened to him as a child to create someone so desperate for approval.

READ MORE: We do not have a word to describe the Trump White House

The second thing we should consider is his lack of information. I suspect that many of his promises were sincere. He wanted to build a wall. He planned to immediately repeal Obamacare. Then he discovers the basic facts make these things impossible. “Nobody knew health care was so complicated,” he said. Nobody—except anybody who had an even basic understanding of the issue.

In the case of this latest threat, to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea, both of these factors are at play. Trump wants us to think he is tougher and more menacing than he is. He spent years mocking Obama, claiming the world was laughing at his “weakness”, and is anxious to be seen as a strong president in contrast. But, it is quite likely Trump has not had a normal briefing on Korea and isn’t aware that every military option to deal with their nuclear program has a very high likelihood of failure, according to the Pentagon itself. And would possibly result in the capital of South Korea, Seoul (sitting almost right on the North Korean border), being shelled into dust.

I know the threat of nuclear war is something we should never dismiss. But an outrageous statement like this should send people into the streets, not the bomb shelters. The man is unfit to be president. A fact he is finding increasingly hard to obscure.

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Relax, Donald Trump’s threats about North Korea are meaningless

  1. So is Kim Jong-un.

  2. Funny you should mention CNN polls. The latest poll out on CNN showed that 80% of respondents did not trust CNN or the news/slant that they represented and thought that they (CNN) were dishonest. This is a situation when we really should shoot the messenger(CNN). I’d rather establish my own opinions, thanks.

  3. I think you have him confused with Obama!!

  4. Scott, you seem to have it all figured out, I am surprised that you are not in the West Wing or at least in the JT cabinet. CNN is not exactly a reliable unbiased source of anything much less a poll on a Republican. Trump has had some difficulties because Democrats and swamp dwellers are only able to say no, yes is not in their vocabulary. If Trump were not blocked by all the special interest groupies at every move he would have been able to accomplish a lot more by now. Remember partner, if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. I think you might be the latter.

    • Larry, if I’m not mistaken, Trump campaigned on a promise to drain the swamp. And he was going to be successful because he’s the type of guy who brings people together and gets things done (all things said during his campaign). My takeaway from your comment is that he has failed. I think maybe the problem exists in your glass house

  5. These wusses are gonna freak out when he gets re-elected.
    Nothing like accepting defeat gracefully.

  6. Trump tells little lies.

    Obama, the Bushes, the Clintons, the US Deep State….they tell/told big lies.

    Not doing anything about North Korea for a generation under the latter hasn’t worked.

  7. There are checks and balances on Presidents. They can’t just wake up and hit the button if they feel like it.. and Since the last President didn’t do anything in regards to NK or Iran… we may now have nuclear capable enemies.. What checks and balances are on the North Korean Leader? A leader that has no regard for his own people let alone the west.. He shouldn’t have been allowed to become capable of launching nukes to begin with..

  8. <1% of Canadians trust Scott Gilmore. Whatever happened to the vanity tour/'new conservative movement'?

  9. It would be quite useful to study the Chinese Communist Party’s philosophies. Then, you should discover that Kim and Xi are actually working together against the U.S. towards a united Korean peninsula.

    If you open your eyes, China, then, as with Mongolia, Tibet, and the so-called China Sea, Korea will become just another province. In fact, the suggestion of a coup d’état in Korea could be Beijing’s plan.

    • All very good comments.
      The author fails to see the big picture through his haze of Trump hatred.
      Trump is not the problem here, the mini despot dictator of North Korea is.
      For a true reflection of “… talking out of his arse”, the author need only look in the mirror.
      Time to pink slip this guy MacLean’s.

  10. Well done. Might be the clearest and most useful summary of that deranged child who currently the White House.

  11. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which there is a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of understanding of others’ feelings. People affected by it often spend a lot of time thinking about achieving power or success, or about their appearance. They often take advantage of the people around them. The behavior typically begins by early adulthood, and occurs across a variety of situations. Treatments have not been well studied. Therapy is often difficult as people with the disorder frequently do not consider themselves to have a problem.[

    • You have just perfectly described Prime Minister Justin Trudeau… unfortunately.

      • And Obama!!

        • Wait for it — Hillary’s performance at the Benghazi hearings.

          Hillary’s performance is a case-study in malignant narcissism with all the attendant paranoia and disturbing inability to consider other (now dead) human beings at the center of the inquiry.