The Corner

Politics & Policy

Tough or Reckless?

It appears that part of the Trump appeal is “toughness.” But what if that becomes recklessness? On CBS yesterday, the reality show star was asked what he would do about North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s drive for intercontinental ballistic missiles. (North Korea already has nuclear weapons.) “I would get China to make that guy disappear, in one form or another, very quickly,” Trump replied. “Do you mean assassinate him?” asked the interviewer. “No, well, you know, I’ve heard of worse things frankly. This guy’s a bad dude.”

Kim Jong-un just may be crazy. We can’t really know. But we do know he has nukes. Is it a great idea for a candidate for president to speculate publicly about assassination? And how, exactly, would Mr. Trump get China to take out Kim? With the leverage he will have after slapping a 40 or 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports? (A move, by the way, that would harm Americans who would pay higher prices.)  

Trump struts and swaggers, but if you take one minute to analyze his boasts, they fall apart. He has said that we should “take the oil” from Middle East countries. First, isn’t that a crime called stealing? Second, how? He has said he opposes U.S. military involvement in the Middle East (when he isn’t issuing empty threats to destroy ISIS), so how would he get the oil from countries that own it? Seems you’d have to conquer and hold territory to pump the oil out of the ground and prevent the locals from stopping you, right?   

This is all surreal.

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