The dictator-magnet

Dear President Trump,

You and Kim Jong Un have been doing some serious fawning over each other lately, touting your terrific relationship and how it’s bound to lead to wonderful things (or the more syllabically manageable “very good things” that you offered). Here are a couple of highlights I pulled out of the WP yesterday:

Kim about you: “Our great relationship will provide the magical power with which to overcome hardships and obstacles in the tasks that needs to be done from now on.”

You about him: “We’ve developed a very good relationship and we understand each other very well. I do believe he understands me, and I think I maybe understand him, and sometimes that can lead to very good things.”

Last week I gave you one of the main definitions of the word magical (“beautiful or delightful in such a way as to seem removed from everyday life”), but I think that Kim may be referring to the one I didn’t share, which is “relating to, using, or resembling magic” where magic is defined as “the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.” It is of course possible that the quote attributed to Kim is a poor translation and he was referring to interpersonal chemistry or something like that, but it’s also quite plausible that Kim wants his people, and likely some of the more gullible here in the US, to think that his relationship with you is imbued with supernatural forces that are inexplicable to mere mortals (us plebeians). If so, and if this is the dominant narrative, then he gets quite the boost since he’s been able to use inexplicable magic to bring the beast that is the US, to heel. Pretty heady stuff.

I’d like to dismiss it as so much bullshit, but your statement about him is a tell that Kim is playing you and that you do not have the upper hand in this relationship. You seem to be vaguely aware of this, but are too caught up in racking up “firsts” to realize how badly you are being had and how horribly you are throwing the North Korean people and our values under the bus (actually, whether you realize the latter or not, I don’t think you care at all about human rights violations so this isn’t a factor in your game’s rules).

You noted that while you think you maybe understand him (kind of, sort of), you know he understands you. I’m guessing you think he understands you because you think you’ve been presidentially firm and clear about what you want out of this whole thing (as in the scoldy parent who asks their child the rhetorical: “Have I made myself clear?”). But really, Kim (and pretty much everyone else) understands how to manipulate and flatter you, how to tell you what you want to hear, how to distract you, and how to use you. And this is scary as all get out.

This relationship does not have “magical powers” and this is not a “good relationship.” It is also obviously not the only scary-ass relationship you have with dictators – you are like a dictator-magnet. They flock to you because they smell your abject desperation, they observe your weakness for fawning, and they know you are dumb as a post. They throw some red carpet and literal shiny objects in front of you and exchange a conspiratorial grin or wink with you and they f*cking have you in their hip pockets. And this is the stuff of nightmares.

If the House doesn’t start impeachment proceedings soon and/or the GOP doesn’t pull its head out of its ass soon and/or the Supreme Court doesn’t get a spine soon, it doesn’t matter how compelling and wonderful a Democratic primary winner we have – you are going to cruise into a second term because the strong men of the world will work their behind the scenes magic and make sure of it (with no small boost from people right there in your camp, to include your very own Patrick Mauldin, along with the domestic bank rolls that profit from gutless leadership). They all want a weak, manipulable, dumb-ass in the Oval Office and if things continue on the trajectory they are on, they will get their wish and will still have at least two wishes left.

May we be safe from vainglorious dumb asses.
May we be willing to push our elected officials to stay on you.
May we not kid ourselves into thinking we’re heading towards healthy, free 2020 elections.
May we yet and still be peace and kindness.

Tracy Simpson

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