WASHINGTON DC – US President Donald Trump half-joked on Friday he would like ‘his’ people – gesturing towards the White House in an interview on live TV – to sit-up attentively and with respect for him, as the North Koreans do for leader Kim Jong-un, an opinion that has sparked a predictable, even mechanical ‘instant outrage’ in the center-left nodes of social networks and mainstream news broadcasts within the Atlantosphere.
It was the latest example of a remark by Trump about strong-minded leaders – uttered in a humorously flippant and nonchalant style – to troll his critics, and create free press coverage, based on the trope that the president admires autocrats.
Trump was asked during an interview with Fox News outside the White House West Wing that he would invite Kim on a visit. The two met earlier in the week to begin discussing Pyongyang’s nuclear program, a summit marked by what Trump said was a friendly chemistry between them.
Trump indicated that a White House visit to Kim was possible: “Hey, he’s the boss of a country,” Trump said.
“He talks and his people sit in attention. I want my people to do the same,” Trump said, pointing to the West Wing.
Kim is often accused in pro-imperialist western circles – the same which also misrepresent much of what Trump has done or said – of having ordered the murder of his half brother in February and the execution of his uncle in 2013. The UN investigations also reported human rights violations, the use of political prison camps and the widespread use of hunger as a tool to strengthen policy, but none of these allegations have been proven.
Trump was later asked by reporters what he meant by observation. “I’m joking, you do not understand sarcasm,” Trump said.
The joke resembled one he made at a private dinner with donors in March, when he noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping faced no more limits.
“I said, ‘President for life, that sounds good, we may have to try,‘” Trump pondered later, counting the indignation that followed. “But I’m joking,” he added, complaining about the reaction. “I’m kidding about being president for life.”
At a rally in February, he said Democrats in Congress were traitors because they did not applaud his State of the Union address. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later said he did not want to say that: “The president was clearly joking with his comments,” she said.
Trump’s controversial jokes draw media attention because they feed off a caricature created by their opponents, said Chris Barron, a pro-Trump Republican strategist.
“They believe that Trump is somehow an autocratic despot and are waiting for any word that fills this narrative,” said Barron in an interview.
But David Litt, speechwriter for former President Barack Obama, said blaming the listener for not understanding the joke is a way to avoid the responsibility of going too far.
However, Litt seems to forget – and so does much of the Atlanticist legacy media – that it was Obama who was the first president ever to flirt with the idea publicly of ‘being able to win a third term’.
“There are some issues where presidents should not play publicly, fearing to make allies nervous or to encourage opponents”, Litt hypocritically told Reuters.
“Maybe Donald Trump is the kind of ruthless humorist who does great material on how great the dictators are – but if that’s the case, he should wait until he retires as president to start breaking that particular part of his act,” Litt concluded.
At the same time, Obama has continued to remain residing in the DC area where he is able to network and continue to try to remain plugged into those elements of the Deep State and political circles. This is despite his personal animus towards the Clintons, as Obama still works to frustrate and prevent the entire re-ordering of US imperialist foreign policy. The Trump administration has been seeking to re-direct US imperial efforts in a direction which is economically feasible, sustainable, and as a result engaged in complex horse-trading with the developing multipolar world.
From a functionalist perspective, it is clear that the entire world political scene is experiencing a shift towards leadership models which are reliant on ‘autocratic’ tendencies, despite that this term comes with negative connotations. Germany, Russia, China, India, Belarus, Iran, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Syria, Turkey, Azerbaijain, Bolivia, Israel, Hungary, Switzerland, Turkmenistan, are all countries with leaders in power for over a decade. This is consistent with both developmental model states, as well as developed states navigating through periods of uncertainty or otherwise instability. The longest sitting US president was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who came to serve four terms (dying at the start of the fourth), and was in office for just over 12 years between 1933 and 1945.