Donald Trump tweets asinine things on a daily basis, usually multiple times a day, but this one that he threw out there while in Vietnam may take the cake. The level of dishonesty and childishness in it is almost impressive, even for Trump.
Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
For the record, Kim Jong-un called Trump a “lunatic old man.” And the thing that bothers him about that is not the lunatic part, it’s the old part. The man is 70 years old. That’s old (hell, I’m 50 and I’m old). But what about the rest of it? What could it possibly mean when he says he’s tried “so hard to be his friend”? What could friends even mean in such a context? And what has he done to try so hard to be his friend? By doing what, exactly? By tweeting stupid things about him? By threatening to nuke the country? By moving a carrier group off the coast? By making the sanctions tougher? Do those things make it more likely that they’re going to start taking Turkish baths together?
And I’m not saying that it’s wrong to put sanctions on North Korea, or to show a strong military deterrent. But those things aren’t consistent with claiming to be trying to be Kim’s friend. Nor should we be trying to be his friend. We should be trying for a cold, sober detente with them that prevents him from getting nuclear weapons. Friendship is completely irrelevant.
Best response I’ve seen so far to this tweet, from several different people: If this tweet were any more childish, Roy Moore would try to date it. Teddy Roosevelt famously said that the key to foreign policy was to speak softly, but carry a big stick. Trump prefers the “I know you are, but what am I” approach.