Rocket Man and Rhetoric
In previous years, addresses made to the United Nations (UN) by the president of the United States were fairly ordinary. These addresses were opportunities for the acting president to show his eloquent rhetoric. President Trump, however, happens to be the antithesis of rhetorical eloquence.
Known for his inflammatory “rhetoric,” Trump addressed the UN on September 19. Many saw this as an opportunity for Trump to exhibit “presidential” behavior, but some did not realize that presidential behavior is something he is incapable of displaying. Using eloquent words like “loser” when referring to terrorists, Trump made it so that even toddlers could understand his speech. But the controversy didn’t stop at his stupidity; it grew exponentially when he threatened “to totally destroy North Korea” if the United States was forced to defend itself. This sort of rhetoric is simply unwarranted.
President Trump took it even further by referring to the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, as “Rocket Man.” Nicknames tend to be inappropriate at events of such importance, especially when considering the sensitivity with which Kim Jong-un deals with criticism. Trump then went on to add: “Let’s see how they do.” Instead of reassuring the nation, he concluded in the most nonchalant way, as if he didn’t just threaten to destroy another country. Trump’s lack of concern for his comments shows that he does not have any awareness of the possible repercussions.
Not surprisingly, North Korea did not take Trump’s threat lightly. North Korea’s response to Trump’s speech was to argue that the U.S. had effectively declared war on North Korea through the speech. The foreign minister of North Korea stated on September 25 that North Korea now has “the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country” (The New York Times). Words have consequences, especially when they come from the mouth of the president. President Trump has proven once more why he might just be the most incompetent president we’ve ever had. He cares for nothing and he listens to no one. With every week that goes by, we are forced to debate a new controversy. The question is, will it ever end?
Society has now become normalized to a president that is the opposite of normal. We see his actions as expected and typical. Donald Trump is taking away the legitimacy of the presidency. His presidency is making the American people lose hope in the power of the executive branch. Instead of trying to control the hostility with North Korea, Trump did as he pleased and took us one step closer to war. Trump’s speech represents his inability to be presidential; all he had to do was stand on that podium and read a pre-written speech, but he couldn’t even do that. At this point it should not matter what party you support, Trump isn’t good for anyone. If anything, he is ruining the institutions upon which our government was built. If Trump continues this erratic behavior, there might not be any swamp left to drain.
Contact Fabrizio Herrera