Careful! Shaking Hands With Tyrants Can Be A Problem

Written by Michael Cummings on May 18, 2018

Would you shake hands with a tyrant? A real tyrant, not the word used by the left to describe Donald Trump.

We live in stupid times where words have increasingly less meaning, so I’ll rephrase: Would you shake hands or make any type of agreement with someone you know steals most of the foreign aid sent to his country intended for the poor, puts dissidents in hard labor camps, shoots anyone attempting to flee the country and imprisons those who get thrown back, tortures his people (real torture, not waterboarding), orders the assassination of multiple family members including a half-brother in Macau who was poisoned with VX gas by two female assassins, starves millions of his people, and threatens the national security of the United States and her allies?

President Trump has done good things so far in his presidency, especially on foreign policy. Ensuring our military gets funding, decimating ISIS, and moving our embassy to Jerusalem show we have man of action in the Oval Office. Good for him, and good for our country.

Despite recent news that the pudgy monster might cancel the alleged talks – which were, curiously, to take place on the same day Reagan and Gorbachev spoke in Berlin before the famous “tear down this wall” speech (June 12) — what happens if the meeting proceeds? What will Kim falsely pledge, and what will the United States give in return, knowing he has no intention of honoring his promises?

We know what Kim wants: A de-nuclearization of the entire Korean peninsula, full triad, including missile defense systems like the THAAD. Unless China allows us to park missiles across the North Korean border in Liaoning Province (virtually no chance of that, and it’s not as good a position as South Korea), we should never agree to such a dangerous scenario – especially in light of our position of power in this negotiation.

Which begs the question: Why are we treating Kim like he’s Angela Merkel, and the subjects we’re talking about have the same weight as deciding where to put a military base? Why are we giving up our sizeable advantage? Never give without getting.

This doesn’t mean we don’t talk to Kim at all, but in negotiations like these you don’t match power for power. You don’t send the leader of the free world to legitimize and get photos with one of the more evil human beings to walk the planet. You definitely don’t boost his world image by shaking hands with the beast, as South Korean President Moon Jae-in did.

Oh, you torture your own citizens? Well, as long as your curb your nuclear ambitions, that’s okay. Let’s get a photo op.

North Korean citizens consider Kim a deity. They believe he invented the hamburger, to the extent that they know what one is (much less have tried one). They’re highly racist of anyone without the name of Kim or Lee, much more so against a round eye from the West. In general, the North Korean population is highly indoctrinated. So this is a rough situation from multiple angles that could escalate if mishandled, especially if we actually remove the Kim dynasty. But it’s also a big opportunity to swap a deposed tyrant for someone who, worst case, may act like the Shaw of Iran – who wasn’t a saint but not a monster.

Our message should be, from someone other than Trump: You’re done as a leader. You’re going to step down. These are the rules. You have no say in the matter. No, we won’t shake your hand.

Image: By Blue House (Republic of Korea), KOGL,

Michael Cummings
Michael A. Cummings has a Bachelors in Business Management from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, and a Masters in Rhetoric & Composition from Northern Arizona University. He has worked as a department store Loss Prevention Officer, bank auditor, textbook store manager, Chinese food delivery man, and technology salesman. Cummings wrote position pieces for the 2010 Trevor Drown for US Senate (AR) and 2012 Joe Coors for Congress (CO) campaigns.