The Meeting as Equals … ?! A Surreal yet Grand Comedown for American Leadership

As I write this BLOG today …

The Donald Trump – Kim Jong Un meeting is being heralded as a world changer by some sections of media, in an attempt to erase the recent turbulent and dysfunctional role of USA in the recent G-7 summit. There have been staunch supporters who have been loudly and intensely proclaiming the Nobel Peace Prize for Trump, paying scant attention to their own  resistance to Obama initiating talks with North Korea in the past.

Kim Jong Un himself uses the metaphor of a science fiction movies for the first round of talks … except that he did not complete the sentence for he did not utter the word – ‘dystopian’…

Kim walks away back to North Korea, regardless of how the Talks fare, demonstrating his power – he got the most powerful country head traveling half way across the world to equalize with him … this act itself immortalizes Kim’s power over North Korea, more than his predecessors … Would there ever be a movement to oust him? I guess this question would be endlessly postponed for the time being!

The dynamics and the positioning of this meet comes as a huge disappointment to me as far as American Leadership in global politics and economics goes:


a) The Small Man out to save the World …

Donald Trump is burning bridges with American friends and neighbors, perhaps because he feels smaller, impotent, stupid, and paranoid when he engages with their leaders. If one were to look at the contrasting images between Macron, Trudeau, and Trump – it is almost that in his eyes, or from his lens – these are younger, more intelligent, fitter, more virile and sexier than him … the accusation of ‘backstabbing’ is laughable… for it is the old decadent narcissistic man in power who might want to unconsciously,  ‘backstab’ but does not seem to have any potency to be penetrative here…

He has been demonstrating misogyny for years, and his relatedness with Angela Merkel – a strong woman in her own right, has never moved beyond cold judgments. “There are too many German Cars in USA…”, he tells Macron – and what does this statement really imply. Is there an incompetent attempt to raise French-German competitiveness? Is there a welcome for the French automobile giants? Or is it an utterance of a sad old delusional yet dangerous bully…

Thus rejected by the G-7, not just for political and economical stances, but perhaps as a wretched and incompetent human being, Trump runs away from very significant issues on Climate and environment to EQUALIZE with a small country thug that was rattling its nuclear sabers…

Today the talk between North Korea and USA is assuming a grand status while the real significant issues of trade, environment, and democracy get sabotaged … It is a surreal dystopian world that we live in!


b) Why do DICTATORS attract some of the Americans in power?

The other strand that i would like to pursue is  – “Why is the most powerful democracy, attracted towards partnering and building alliances with Autocratic Dictators with questionable human rights, all over the world?”

Even in my times, there was Saddam Hussain of Iraq, Musharraf of Pakistan, Mobutu of Democratic Republic of Congo,  Habre of Chad, the entire Saudi Arabian monarchy … the list goes on ad infinitum. Trump now wishes to add Putin, Duterte, Kim and several others to these names… He also speaks of becoming a lifetime president like his Chinese counterpart.

Earlier, behind these unholy stances and alliances, one would hear pragmatic arguments about nurturing and exploiting global resources, oil, checking Russian communism, fighting the Chinese Imperialism … but these arguments pale in the recent years …

It is almost as if the USA’s powerful elite on behalf of a superpower, for all their cherished democratic ideals for the nation within, are unable to work with their own dark shadowy selfs … where they secretly admire the notion of a strong leadership akin to dictatorial power.

Is it aspirational or is it seductive but Trump and some of his predecessors seem to have a schizophrenic belief in democracy and in Human Rights. American credibility in protecting Democratic ideals and capitalism has been weak all along, but Trump makes it laughable.

There is a significant cost that USA pays in the entire process – they lose face and perhaps their position within the G7, and Kim and many other aspirational dictators would feel legitimized.


c) Why am I ranting?

I am no expert on global politics and economics, I am not even an American citizen (thankfully!) and i ask myself, as opposed to what i normally choose to write on, why am I ranting in this blog?

I guess I am in touch with my own resourcelessness, as i see many people like Trump –  insensitive, greedy, weak, opportunistic, and bullies in my ecology – celebrating a a certain quality of ‘being a powerful man’ that is oppressive and destructive.

In India, I am in touch with people who celebrate Modi, not for his economic ideals, but because like Trump, he comes across to them as a strong hero willing to clean out the swamp of Indian polity, and make India GREAT again!

And in this process, we are willing to close our eyes to all the oppression and bullying that he and others evoke – for you see, we wish to make India great again…

I feel like Somerset in Se7en when he quotes Hemingway – “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for… I agree with the second part”

There is a certain battle that we all need to fight – but our struggle and our battle has to be on a different pitch – otherwise it just becomes a slugfest!

The first fight is with our Inner Selves – our dark sides that yearn for a power that makes us inhuman and impotent… in the name of ‘ends’ and ‘goals’ and fantasies’ is blind to the sheer thrill and savagery this omnipotence brings in… If we don’t fight this inner war – the Other becomes stronger!