Power Politics: Why Donald Trump Keeps Enemies Close, And Allies Scared

Power Politics: Why Donald Trump Keeps Enemies Close, And Allies Scared

It was a betrayal,” Larry Kudlow, the current chief economic adviser for the White House, told CNN addressing G7 comments Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made against President Donald Trump.

“He is not going to permit any show of weakness on the trip to negotiate with North Korea, nor should he,” Kudlow stated. “Kim must not see American weakness. They should have said to him, ‘God speed, you are negotiating with the crazy nuclear tyrant in North Korea, and we are behind you.”

Only they weren’t. Instead, as we approach the second year of the globally divisive Trump presidency, the most powerful man in the world stood alone heading into the historic North Korea summit… and he seemed better for it.

Whether unfair right-wing critics of the president dare to admit it, Kim Jong Un IS a legitimate political leader, and this IS a problem. He currently oversees a slave state where upwards of 25 million prisoners are held in gulag systems, all the while peace was held back from decades because egotism forced them to cling to nuclear weapons. It’s not a debate as to whether he’s a legitimate leader — it’s just the sad reality of the situation — and it was former President Barack Obama who warned his successor that North Korea, America’s “biggest and most dangerous problem”, needed to be dealt with.

On Tuesday, in Singapore, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un struck a deal. They shook hands, walked the halls discussing international peace relations, dining on their lavish meals as they were surrounded by security details, which culminated in a joint statement declaring the US and North Korea will work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, despite no verifiable measures to assure this happens.

It was historic that we got this far — but it required a game of power politics.

Like any partner who plays hard to get, America made an example of Trudeau, the male feminist who was so recently mocked by the media for joking he prefers to use the non-word “people-kind”, so as not to offend those of the gender-fluid/demi-sexual deviant variety base he panders to.

It was the president who unloaded on the “dishonest and weak” Canadian leader, followed by the comments from Kudlow and Peter Navarro, Trump’s trade adviser, who told Fox News there’s “a special place in hell” for those who dare to speak ill of President Donald J. Trump. Proceeding to slap steel and aluminum tariffs on countries like Canada, Mexico and those within the European Union (EU).

Whether the safe posturing proves intentional or not, it seems awfully convenient for the president to play power politics footsie with a strong ally heading into negotiations with a madman he needs to lockdown. Trump believed he can afford shitposting about Trudeau, sending a quick aggressive slap on the wrist to his neighbour from the north, who already don’t see eye to eye, but can the same be said of Kim Jong Un, the “rocket man” who was recently testing WMDs strikingly close to Japanese territory while holding South Korea hostage? After all, why would North Korea dare to be enemies after seeing “friends” like these?

Consider Trump’s recent comments to reporters following the Singapore summit where the personal power posturing turned purely economic:

“When I got out to the plane,” Trump said. “I think that Justin probably didn’t know that Air Force One has about 20 televisions. And I see the television and he’s giving a news conference about how he will not be pushed around by the United States and I say push him around? We just shook hands. It was very friendly . . . No, I have a good relationship with Justin Trudeau. I really did, other than he had a news conference, that he had because he assumed I was in an airplane and I wasn’t watching. He learned. That’s going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada. He learned. You can’t do that. You can’t do that. We have a big trade deficit with Canada . . . It’s either $17 [billion] but could actually be $100 billion. You know they put out a document, I don’t know if you saw it. They didn’t want me to see it, but we found it. Perhaps they were trying to show the power they have. It’s close to [a] $100 billion-a-year loss with Canada. They don’t take our farm products — many of them.”

This is a far different tonality than the “dishonest and weak” tweets we saw just a few days ago, prior to the meeting with a totalitarian in need of an ego check from the egomaniac-in-chief. Trudeau, attempting to save face, had to respond with his own obtuse account of the situation, telling reporters the tariffs were done on “national security grounds”, raising the obvious point that Canada has always had America’s back. It’s odd to see someone not see the red flags of political theatre coming to bite him in the ass, but instead of playing bitch boy, the president could have further trade issues on his hands after what was Tuesday’s victory.

“It’s kind of insulting,” Trudeau told a reporter about the tariffs. “I have made it very clear to the president that it is not something we relish doing, but it is something that we absolutely will do, because Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.”