Donald Trump is ever the showman, and he put on quite the show in Singapore in a surreal meeting with North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un.
Kim was overheard, via his translator, saying it was like something from “a science fiction movie,” and that was about right. The representative of a gangster state so immiserated and backwards that he couldn’t even fly his own plane to the summit was greeted warmly, nay fulsomely, by the leader of the free world.
We are fully aware of the dictates of realpolitik and the need at times to put aside our values in the service of our interests. But praising this tinpot killer as a promising young man, as Trump did in Singapore, is gross and unnecessary.
The president occasionally sounded cautious notes about what would come of his high-stakes diplomacy with Kim, although in general he couldn’t curb his enthusiasm. For Trump, it’s never enough just to say something is okay. So, Kim is a great negotiator, he’s smart, he’s funny, he loves his people and is very popular back home.