The Maneater

Column: Trump’s insulting nature has put us in a tough position — here’s why

Trump’s impulsive words and behaviors toward North Korea only put people in danger.

Maddie Niblett is a freshman journalism major at MU. She is an opinions columnist who writes about politics for The Maneater.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Trump’s done it again: He’s gone and made yet another world leader royally angry. This time, however, the leader at hand is none other than dictator Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s tyrannical nepotist autocrat. In a speech to the U.N. on Sept. 19, El Presidente resorted to name-calling, referring to Kim Jong-un as “Rocket Man,” a reference to an Elton John song. This was a commentary on Kim’s tendency to judge his country’s worth based on the size of its nuclear weaponry and a condescending attack on the childish, impulsive nature of its leader. (Sound familiar?)

This, coupled with Trump’s vow to “totally destroy” North Korea if the need arose, prompted Jong-un to respond with a profoundly alarming statement that his country could test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean, heavily implying the possibility of going those extra couple of miles to hit and utterly decimate U.S. territory. In a significantly less serious manner, Jong-un also referred to Trump as a “dotard,” or a senile old person.

While there is absolutely no question that North Korea and its leader need to be opposed and disbanded, Trump is going about it the entirely wrong way.

North Korea wants to destroy America, and Trump’s rhetoric is only making it worse. By disrespecting this ominous, extremely dangerous country, he is prompting, and in some ways encouraging, these kinds of threatening responses. Trump expects to be able to say inflammatory and threatening things about a country whose ruler is widely known to be unpredictable and controls the entire country’s arsenal of weapons and then make that country lie down on its back in surrender to his demands.

While analysts doubt that the Jong-un regime has the technology to follow through on those bold words, the possibility still remains that it could since so little is known about the inner workings of North Korea. With Trump continuing to unabashedly insult the very group of people that wants to see American ideals ground into dust, that danger rises every day.

Of course, this incident is just another in a long line of diplomatic missteps that The Donald has taken since the start of his time in the Oval Office. Not only did he insult Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto by asking him to stop opposing funding a border wall that Mexico did not even want in the first place, he has publicly insulted members of his own party for failing to perfectly align their views with his own and support a failed attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act back in March.

With as much scrutiny as someone on the top of the political food chain faces, that person should not be impulsive or prone to outbursts that elicit drastic responses from dangerous, militarized nations. When Trump resorts to calling Jong-un “Rocket Man,” he puts us all in danger from the consequences of his words.

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