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3 main takeaways from the historic North Korea-South Korea summit
Hint: There’s a lot of pressure on President Trump now.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a historic summit on Friday, potentially setting aside decades of animosity and paving the way for a peace deal that would have been unimaginable even a few months ago.
The two leaders discussed possibly ending North Korea’s ability to launch nuclear-tipped missiles at the US and its allies. They chatted about formally ending the Korean War, which technically continues, by the end of the year. And they ended their nearly nine hours together with a joint statement, putting all those aspirations down on paper.
But that’s not all. They created remarkable scenes, like Kim walking over the border into South Korea. It was the first time a North Korean leader had entered South Korea since the Korean War in the early 1950s. The two leaders even walked side by side on a long red carpet as they inspected an honor guard, later escaping for a private 30-minute chat on a footbridge.
The images, and the meeting, were indeed remarkable — but three main takeaways stand out beyond the pomp and circumstance.
The White Rebellion
Simply put, Trump is one of the last gasps of American white supremacy and patriarchy. He is one of its Great White Hopes.
The distillation of his campaign message was not only to halt the rapid pace of change, but also to reverse it, to undo the Obama-izing of America and restore it to whiteness. It was also to uncouple America from globalizing influences and specifically elevate American whiteness.
To support Donald Trump was to be pro-America’s past and anti-America’s future. The whole thing was suffused with race.
I understand the extreme apprehension to accuse individuals of racism because it implies a conscious and directed racial animus that is a person’s prevailing ethos. But that extremity is only one expression of racism. There are other forms, ones that fall well short of the caricature.
The Deep Roots of Trump’s War on the Press
Long before cries of ‘fake news,’ there was Brent Bozell and his Media Research Center.
It remains something of a myth that Vietnam and Watergate shattered Americans’ innocence and launched an era of institutional mistrust. As of 1986, Gallup was finding that 65 percent of Americans still felt a “great deal” or “fair amount” of confidence in the press. The next year, inside a rickety townhouse in Alexandria, Virginia, the Media Research Center—or MRC—was born. Its mission was simple: Highlight examples of alleged bias from the nation’s major news organizations and hold them accountable. Bozell, born into right-wing royalty—the nephew of National Review founder William F. Buckley, and son of Brent Bozell Jr., Barry Goldwater’s speechwriter and the ghost-writer of his book, Conscience of a Conservative—had not yet distinguished himself in the conservative movement. That would soon change. Over the ensuing decades, with the assistance of tens of millions of dollars from prominent Republican donors, the MRC moved to the front lines of America’s culture wars, relentlessly assailing what it viewed as a godless, condescending, out-of-touch national media—and systematically chipping away at its credibility in the minds of voters. The results were manifest: 30 years after that 1986 survey, as Trump steamrolled his way into the White House, Gallup released new numbers showing confidence in the press at all-time low of 32 percent. Among Republicans, it was just 14 percent.
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