Sticks and Stones Can Break My Bones But...

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Sticks and Stones Can Break My Bones But...

With these two buffoons on the public stage, the public is being tested like never before. So sad.

 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sticker

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have recently traded insults with the whole world watching. (Photo: Elvert Barnes/Flickr/cc)

False words are not only evil in themselves
But they infect the soul with evil.
—Plato, Phaedo

I should have known, and am embarrassed by my initial reaction. My reaction was triggered by the headline on the front page of the New York Times on September 23, 2017. It said: "Dictator's Reply Turns Personal." I immediately assumed it was referring to, among other things, DJT's speech at the U.N. General Assembly, in which he called North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un "rocket boy," and said Mr. Kim was "on a suicide mission for himself." On Twitter he said Mr. Kim is "obviously a madman" and "will be tested like never before." As I said, I should have known. The "dictator" to whom the NYT was referring was Kim Jong-un.

It was, of course, DJT who introduced the concept of "personal" into the verbal exchanges between the two men during the week in which DJT addressed the U.N. General Assembly. Mr. Kim's rejoinder was considerably more poetic than the DJT insults, and if we were confronted with the possibility of a formal declaration of a war of words between the United States, let by DJT, and North Korea, led by Kim Jong-un, there is little question who the winner would be.

In a lengthy commentary entitled "Statement of Chairman of State Affairs Commission of DPRK," that was said to come from "Respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un," Mr. Kim explained what he had expected from DJT's remarks. "Shaping the general idea of what he would say, I expected he would make stereo-typed prepared remarks a little different from what he used to utter in his office on the spur of the moment, as he had to speak on the world’s biggest official diplomatic state." Instead, said Mr. Kim, DJT "made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors" adding, perhaps for color, "A frightened dog barks louder."


Naomi Klein Block


Continuing his commentary on DJT's speech before the U.N. General Assembly, Mr. Kim seemed to be anticipating DJT's address in Alabama that was given by DJT in the evening of September 23, the same day Mr. Kim's remarks were published. Perhaps as a word of caution, Mr. Kim said that DJT should "exercise prudence in selecting words and...be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world." That thought was given voice only hours before Mr. Trump gave free rein to all, to call those of whose actions one disapproves, "sons of bitches." Parents who, until that moment, had thought that particular pejorative should be reserved for the locker room, were surprised, if not appalled, that it would be used by the president of the United States when "making a speech in front of the world." Parents were not the only ones who were appalled.

The foregoing were not the only sensible thoughts that emanated from a man known to be a mad man who, as DJT said in a tweet, has "starved and killed his own people" including, but not limited to, his uncle, his half-brother and assorted other family members. Mr. Kim also said that DJT's remarks "remind me of such words as 'political layman' and 'political heretic' which were in vogue in reference to Trump during his presidential election campaign....After taking office, Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme commander of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician." Although those words aptly describe Mr. Kim, they undeniably apply to DJT.

The high point of Mr. Kim's comments, from a literary standpoint, came when Mr. Kim introduced the word "dotard" into the conversation. Its appearance in his prepared remarks sent many U.S. citizens rushing to their dictionaries to learn its meaning, and it is almost certain that, thanks to Mr. Kim, "dotard" will find a presence on the verbal stage that it has not enjoyed for many years. Mr. Kim first used it saying: "Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say." Later Mr. Kim again used the word saying: "I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue....I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire." Probably knowing that he was losing the war of words in which he was engaged, DJT responded to Mr. Kim's statement saying: "Kim Jong Un of North Korea who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!"

With these two buffoons on the public stage, the public is being tested like never before. So sad.

Christopher Brauchli

Christopher Brauchli

Christopher Brauchli is a columnist and lawyer known nationally for his work. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Colorado School of Law where he served on the Board of Editors of the Rocky Mountain Law Review. He can be emailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu. For political commentary see his web page at http://humanraceandothersports.com

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