On top of that, yes the President did call North Korea’s dictator “rocketman” and threatened to destroy them. A White House contact told me the President intended to wake up the United Nations to the threat North Korea poses on the world stage by using harsh language. I think it probably worked. He recognizes the United States has a leading role on the world stage to play, but is only going to focus on those issues where he sees a clear threat to our interests and those of our allies. Foreign policy elitists will treat the President’s statements about North Korea and “rocketman” with the same disdain they showed Reagan for his “evil Empire” remarks. But I suspect both Presidents will have the last laugh.
More impressively, the President confronted Venezuela directly with use of the awesome line about socialism working as designed, garnering some chuckles and laughter from the delegates. Some Obama advisors took issue with the President for saying he was not going to impose a form of government or way of life on other nations, but the President was actually pretty consistent. He made clear he would not impose our values on other nations, but if those nations were harming our national interests, he would act. Venezuela is destabilizing an entire region and causing a humanitarian crisis. The President’s sentiments are perfectly consistent.
With President Trump we are not going to get the soaring rhetoric of Barack Obama or the happy smile and sentiment of George W. Bush. We are not going to get Reagan or Clinton. What we are going to get is a blunt instrument who understands he can occasionally use his bluntness to make real change. Today at the United Nations, President Trump bluntly told the UN that the US is going back to a foreign policy of a bygone era — one where we act with allies or alone for our real, not our idealized, national interest.
I appreciate that bluntness. I just don’t know how long it will last. But hopefully it will last long enough for the complete scuttling of the Iranian deal and the Paris accord.