By: Samantha Mintz-Agnello
Across the globe, people take note of President Donald Trump’s irrational, angry, and misplaced tweets. Whether he is ranting about Hillary Clinton, boasting about himself, or posting videos playing golf, Trump’s twitter account is constantly keeping people on their toes. Trump’s unpredictability on the social media platform creates instability abroad: his “what will he blurt out next?” quality could escalate international conflict.
For example, Trump’s most recent twitter antics target North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. On November 11, 2017, while in Vietnam, he wrote, “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!” Not only is this name-calling ridiculously petty, but it paints the United States in a bad light. The sporadic behavior of our leadership makes the United States appear out-of-control and shows that our government does not have real solutions to conflict. It reflects poorly on our citizens that we elected this man to be our commander in chief. Instead of maintaining composure and using diplomatic techniques to ease the tension with North Korea, Trump makes fun of the country’s leader. This highlight’s our president’s lack of political experience and understanding of international affairs.
Because of the spontaneity and ruthlessness of Trump’s tweets, the United States is not taken seriously in the international arena. North Korea’s state media agency KNCA, for instance, see Trump as so unstable that there is no ability to foresee when he “will start a nuclear war”. Could Kim Jong-un use Trump’s erratic behavior as an excuse to fire a preemptive strike on the US? Not only is Donald Trump turning the United States into a laughing stock of the United Nations, but he may also be bringing us to the brink of nuclear war.
Political tension and military brinkmanship is not unfamiliar territory for North Korean-American relations; however, Trump’s presidency has exacerbated this existing conflict because he has created a personal feud between the countries’ leaders. Trump’s most recent tweets exemplify this—his insults attack Kim Jong-un’s physical appearance, which is not only incredibly unprofessional but goes far beyond classic diplomatic conflict. Furthermore, North Korea’s experimentation with nuclear bombs and weapons has spiked ever since Trump took office, and Kim Jong-un could use the instability of Trump’s presidency to justify escalation.
The backlash against Trump’s twitter presence demonstrates how his unfiltered outspokenness is dangerous for the US. It is only a matter of time before he takes his inflammatory language too far and says something that pushes someone, like Kim Jong-un, a world leader with nuclear weapons, over the edge. Whether our president realizes it or not, his position of power makes his words matter just as much, if not more, than his actions. Words can motivate nations to pull out of trade agreements or start wars.
Changes need to be made in the way Trump speaks to people, in his antagonistic attitude towards other world leaders, and in his irresponsible social media presence. A distinction must be made between honesty and completely lacking a filter. Trump has made a mockery of American politics and government, and other nations have noticed. If the United States wants to be taken seriously, attacking another world leader because of trivialities like their height and weight cannot be tolerated. Kim Jong-un is notoriously violent and has no problem using military force, so it is not in our best interest as a nation to pick petty fights with him. Either Trump accepts that his words have an impact, or we are in for a rude awakening as a country.