Reagan column: Trumping the North Korea naysayers
President Trump will never win.
Not with the liberal media, anyway.
First they were all over his case for not wanting to meet with North Korea’s dear leader, Kim Jong Un.
Then they ripped him for his tough-talking tweets describing the “fire and fury” America would rain down on North Korea if Kim ever fired a nuclear missile at us.
Then they were so blind with Trump Hate they couldn’t see the humor when the president dubbed the dictator Kim “Rocket Man.”
And now, with planning meetings for a Trump-Kim summit apparently in the works in Sweden, the liberal media and their favorite foreign policy experts and professional second-guessers are terrified that Trump will sit down with Kim.
It’ll be a while before we find out if President Trump will succeed in reducing North Korea’s misbehavior where previous administrations have only failed.
His “Tweet Diplomacy” is part of a different kind of negotiating strategy that breaks the rules and puts America’s interests first, not last.
His “Nuclear Button” tweet of Jan. 2 was one of his best - and one of his funniest:
“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
Trump’s straight talk about the nature of the North Korean regime reminded me of my father’s famous “Evil Empire” Speech in 1983.
Most of his staff, everyone in the media and most foreign policy experts of the time went nuts when my father chose - on his own and without telling anyone in advance - to say the Soviet empire was immoral and built on evil.
Everyone on the planet not working for the KGB or the New York Times editorial page knew what Ronald Reagan said was true.
But saying Soviet totalitarianism was evil was not something a president of the U.S. was ever supposed to say out loud.
In the 1970s and 1980s Americans were being told by the media and the Washington political establishment we had to coexist with the USSR forever, not try to defeat it militarily or economically.
It was not politically correct to say America was morally superior to the USSR. But my father knew the truth and was not afraid to say so.
A few years later the same thing happened in Iceland when he walked away from the nuclear weapons talks with Mikhail Gorbachev.
The media went nuts. They called him a loser. They said he was risking a global nuclear war. They said he was too tough on that nice young liberal man running Russia.
We all know how that Cold War story ended - the Berlin Wall came down and the USSR’s empire crumbled into pieces and went out of the evil business.
As I’ve noted many times, my father’s basic foreign policy strategy was never complicated – “We win, they lose.”
While I disagree with Trump on many things, he’s basically taking the same America-first approach, whether it’s on tariffs and trade or in his dealing with Kim.
So now it looks like Rocket Man is coming to the table.
It never would have happened if President Trump had not taken the tough stand he took and said the outrageous things he said.
As I watch the North Korea cards play out and listen to the naysayers, I see the same characters and hear the same arguments I heard in the 1980s.
What the naysayers and foreign policy pros really need to do first is applaud the fact that at long last there is going to be a face-to-face meeting with Kim to discuss nuclear weapons.
That’s what’s most important.
Once the Kim-Trump summit is over, the naysayers can comment or complain all they want about the results.
For now they should shut up and clap.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.