|Trumpkim - origin unknown|
I know I’d promised, gentle reader, to avoid matters political (national and international), but right now there’s a very large elephant (actually two elephants) in the room.
Given that our PM has said that we are “joined at the hip” with the US, we are involved in the current standoff whether we like it or not.
Turnbull’s statement brings back memories of Holt’s “all the way with LBJ”, and shortly after it was made, along with thousands of other young Australians I found myself beating around the bush in South Vietnam whilst a number of young men from another dispensation tried very hard to kill me.
You will understand then, gentle reader, why I don’t greet the PM’s words with any enthusiasm.
But back to the title of this post.
It’s fascinating to compare the two individuals at the epicentre of the current dispute.
In the first place, they both inherited unbridled wealth and power through no merit of their own.
In Trump’s case, from his father, and likewise for Kim Jong-un. The Kim dynasty is in many ways similar to a royal family. Australians know all about that.
The Trump dynasty began with his paternal grandfather, Friedrich Drumpf who emigrated to the United States in 1885 at the age of 16. He amassed a fortune operating boom-town restaurants and boarding houses in the Seattle area and the Klondike region of Canada, during the gold rush.
Trump inherited the family company and all its wealth (the Trump Organization) in 1971. It fell into his lap.
Kim Jong-un assumed power in North Korea in December 2011 upon the death of his father Kim Jong-il. Both the Trump dynasty and the Kim dynasty are characterised by serial “marriages”, although in different generations. Kim Jong-il had four, Trump three, so the Korean wins that one….
Trump has five children by three marriages, and has eight grandchildren. His first two marriages ended in widely publicized divorces.
Nether Trump nor Kim Jong-un saw military service. Trump was at college during much of the war in Vietnam and was deferred five times, and Kim Jong-un was educated in Switzerland, a long way from conflict both in time and place. This probably helps to explain why both demonstrate a proclivity for bellicose rhetoric. This has always come easily to politicians who have not experienced the reality of operational service.
Then there is their physical appearance. Both are chubby, and have unusual hairstyles. Both look as if they need to be aware of issues such as diabetes and hypertension. Kim Jong-un is much younger, so his viability into the future is probably stronger.
But most of, their public behaviour (excuse me whilst I quote my PM) really joins them at the hip.
Both have cultivated the cult of personality to the utmost. Trump has used the media, going to the extreme of setting himself up as a soap star. Kim Jong-un has used the media he controls in North Korea equally as effectively. It’s easy to note the eerie similarity between a Trump rally and a Kim Jong-un parade.
The main difference is the standard of choreography. Kim Jong-un comes out on top here.
Both claim to lead democracies. Kim Jong-un’s state is called the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”, so it must be so. We keep hearing, after all how Hitler was a left winger because the word “socialist” appears in the term NAZI.
Trump was elected by 27% of eligible voters (subtracting those who voted for Clinton – 2.8 million more, and those who did not vote at all). Put another way, 74% of eligible American voters did not support him. That is not “democracy”.
So there it is. We can only cross our fingers in the hope that those surrounding this pair of lunatics can restrain them so that the Korean peninsula (and probably Japan) don’t become piles of radioactive ash.
And we are “joined at the hip” to one of them. Aren’t we lucky?