Tag: Rodman

Donald Trump, America, and the World are all Winning

By Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury

This one was for all the ‘resistance’ folks. For all those manic, sobbing, foaming at the mouth ‘Drumpf’ types. For the diversity seekers who balk at the thought of an ex-NBA star leading us hand in hand to the battleground of new ideas. This one was for them. And it was brilliant.

For those at wits end enough to think that this meeting wasn’t the work of madness and genius befitting a standing ovation, I feel pity. Not since Reagan stood at the foot of the Berlin Wall and demanded justice be done have we seen this sincere and tough a performance from a sitting president. Make no bones about it: this will be entombed forever in the book of memories as a moment, no matter how short, of victory for all. No wars. No bombs. No lies. Two enemies standing face to face and smiling. Forging a new partnership built on communication and gauged trust. Winning.

Pardon me if I sip the kool aid.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. We were supposed to be at war with North Korea by now. Remember? Mr. Trump’s infamous Twitter tirade in which he suggested he ‘had a bigger button’ than Kim was evidence enough to convince tired detractors of his true authoritarian intentions. The truth appears to be quite the opposite.

The handshake was firm from both men. The stares were eager. With his arm resting comfortably on Kim’s back, Trump guided our real live ‘arch-nemesis’ into a private room and reached a denuclearization agreement with the country we weren’t supposed to reach agreements with. There isn’t enough dust left in the meme cannon of time to make this one up. America, North Korea, and the world at large are winning.

Trump is an easy target for the drive-by media. He is a man of the old world caught at the crossroads of political corrective thought. The conventional wisdom told us this couldn’t be done. Not but six months ago we were promised disastrous war and institutional chaos by the talking heads and rag pushers at the towers of prescribed thought. And yet, in Singapore on Tuesday morning, there was Mr. Trump attempting to forge new lines of discourse. The smiles and niceties affirmed the tagline: Donald Trump, The United States and the world at large was winning.

It all happened so quick. The media was scrambling. After a short conversation, Trump and Kim signed a historic denuclearization deal. They couldn’t believe what had happened. North Korea wanted to deal and we had the President we needed to pull it off.

For those that hate our President, no hopeful handshake or peace agreement will ever be enough. They will attack Trump for dealing with a “dictator” they deem unworthy of his time while they chew on the entrails of the Obama era deals with Cuba & Iran. Already the creepy cabal was out in force bemoaning the new allegiance only days after Trump was firm in his critique of G7 members. For the news runners that dot the beltway, Trump will never satisfy. For the rest of us, we stood on chairs and drank champagne to the chorus of a thousand flickering photographs.

This is what the art of the deal looks like. This is what winning looks like. Brash, rough, and always pushing the button of your opponent. While Trump’s no-nonsense dealings at the G7 proved a ghastly site to those that call the TV channels home, a clear message had been sent to Kim: Trump meant business. For the intellectual elite who hold the sanctity of decorum like pearls around their lily-white necks, the only explanation for Trump’s twitter tirades was an acute exasperation of mania. For the more open-minded it grew apparent over the past few months that it wasn’t war Trump had in mind but a media event with him and Kim accomplishing the thing no other president had come close to since Carter: peace, in our terms, on the Korean Peninsula.

The American people, for all the mistrials of their military leaders, are a peaceful lot. When you talk to the common person in the streets they will tell you that they hold no hatred for North Korea. They will speak optimistically, as Rodman did, of a future without war where our exchanges are not met by bombs but through love, harmony and words. What Trump and Kim accomplished in their brief encounter on Tuesday is a firm step in that direction.

Against the odds, and with nobody in the media complex giving this trip the sort of fair critique it deserved, Trump looked sharp, spoke in upbeat terms and established a new line of discussion that will hopefully make our world a better place. The people of North Korea have lived under a homicidal tyranny for the better part of 100 years and this could very well be a chance at freedom and capitalism in the years to come. It appears the country is ready to start winning.

It was by no chance that the meeting was held in Singapore. In the 1960’s Singapore was destined to be brushed into the back annals of history. It was their progressive stance on free trade and open cultural boundaries with the West that helped establish them as key players in Asian and global markets. For a North Korean society plagued by a lack of economic and societal choice, this could be the opportunity for quick ascension into the middle class for everyday North Korean families.

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Rodman Was Right

Spencer Neale | @TheNewTreasury

If there ever was a Truman Show moment of my life then it was last night. With tears streaking down his face and a MAGA hat atop his shaved head, former NBA great Dennis Rodman chastised Obama’s ‘no-approach’ policy, called out CNN for misrepresenting his cause of peace & championed Donald Trump while video of the Kim-Trump summit played in the background. Somehow, someway, it really was happening: the Korean wall was falling.

Handshakes, pleasantries and all the icing of another empty cake aside, this was a bitterly fitting occasion for the man who wore a dress to his own wedding; Dennis Rodman. When Rodman first visited North Korea in 2013 his outreach was roundly decried by both the media and the Obama administration as nearsighted & unacceptable. In an interview that read borderline hysterical at times, Rodman laid into his former critics:

Obama didn’t give me the time of day, I said ‘I have something to say from North Korea.’ He just brushed me off… When I went back home I got so many death threats. I couldn’t even go home, I had to hide out for 30 days. I kept my head up high, I knew things could change. Today is a great day for everyone. It’s a great day, I’m so happy.

Rodman’s relationship with the North Korean leader has been maligned and prodded by a pugnacious media. When in 2014 he promised to bring a basketball team to play an exhibition match in the hermit dictatorship, it was the media who described it as a circus and sent in their hounds to detail human rights violations while flashing images of Rodman laughing with Kim courtside. Throughout it all Rodman held fast to the belief that if our leader would simply extend his hand in a show of peace that Kim would be there to reciprocate. Against all odds, Rodman was right.

In the high stakes game of media punditry, it’s become increasingly important to call a spade a spade. So often, pundits and writers alike don’t call it like they see it, they call it how they want to see it. For the intellectual mafia that attempts to distill highly complex narratives into perky soundbites, Rodman & Kim was always a tricky subject.

Their special relationship speaks to a communication and friendship that sits at uncomfortable odds with the well-established line of thought that demands we distance ourselves from certain dictators. It was the same toothless media that cheered on deals with Cuba & Iran during Obama’s governance that sits here today criticizing Trump & Rodman for their audacity in offering an olive branch to the teetering cold state of North Korea. On Cuomo Tonight, CNN anchor Cuomo bit his tongue and wrenched his face as Rodman pleaded for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

This is the bizarre time that we find ourselves living through. The moguls in charge of the official ‘record of truth’ are scrambling to hold onto their dogmas while every morsel of diplomatic knowhow is blown out the window by a former NBA hothead nicknamed ‘The Worm.’ All of the conventional wisdom that the mainstream media purported as abject fact has been scattered to the wind like the entrails of their own dying carcasses and it is glorious to watch. In the era of peak post-truth, Rodman, Trump, & Kim raised the proverbial violins aboard a sinking ship of falsehoods and lies. Peace apparently can be had by the shake of hands and for once in half a century, some common belief in the goodwill of your enemy.

Though the mainstream media will continue their unrelenting assault of North Korea’s human rights violations (as if our own record was spotless), anyone with an exacting glance on the charade will witness the unbelievable success achieved on this historic day. Kim & North Korea have agreed to disarm their nuclear weaponry and Dennis Rodman was a key figure in showing the world how far a basic belief in peace and love can transcend decades of deafening silence.

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