While this article, by Nick Cohen, nicely lays out the horror of having a belligerent, pasty moron in charge of a nuclear arsenal, it wasn’t as helpful as Bruce Cuming’s summary of why North Korea is as defiant of “international will” as it is.
Whenever we are asked to blindly see a people as an enemy or a threat, our first response should be to try to understand who they are and what motivates them. The power of dehumanising propoganda is insidious, (the article is behind a paywall but isn’t worth reading in full: the headline and first paragraph say it all) and takes a particular effort to resist. Cuming’s article humanises North Korean cultural memory beautifully and economically.
Last week, I was moved by the sanity of this quora post, which addresses the same issue with clarity and empathy.
Of course, the reverse is true. We have, also, to continue to try to understand Trump, unpalatable as that is. Cohen’s article pretty much sums up the cul-de-sac that he’s driven himself into and speculates that he is acting out of some sense of the humiliation he is heaping upon himself with the abject failure of his presidency. He has never really had any skills apart from shouting other voices down, and they seem to be learning to ignore him, and go round him. Meanwhile, the American courts go through their slow, grinding ritual, and the day we see the back of this nightmare appears to be getting closer.
However, as the greatest failure in American presidential history, he might still leave a longer-lasting, and more potent legacy than any recent leader. True, his real support is from the very rich, but he has empowered the poor white stupid, who buy the moronic lie that their economic interests are different to other poor people and that they are somehow better than everyone else.
Over the weekend, they were flexing their flabby, steroid-queen muscles and one of their number casually murdered a woman. In response, Trump told them he understood. Trump is a walking poster-boy for the terrors of impotence: he will cling to whatever influence he can grasp, and he knows that when all the rats have left the ship, the stupid white thugs who collaborate in their own impoverishment will still be there for him, believing in his genius as ardently as they believe in their own blameless victimhood.