Americans have always lived in a fantasy world. Hollywood eventually provided films that gave these fantasies a verisimilitude that only celluloid productions can do. The first great fantasy was probably Birth of a Nation, but The Wizard of Oz in gorgeous technicolor took it a step further, making us not only believe in witches and flying monkeys but in a world where all you have to do is throw water on evil and it will just melt away.
Our foreign policy is something that could have easily been contrived in Hollywood. We see ourselves as the shining beacon of the free world and while it might take a world war to purge evil, everyone will be thankful to us in the end, just like the wicked witch's foot soldiers were when they saw the tyrant melt away.
His Trumpness is trying this out on Kim Jong-Un, but it isn't working as smoothly as he would like. He's now thrown a second pail of water on Little Kim, and the young tyrant has the audacity to laugh in his face. North Korea isn't going away that easily, as Gen. Mattis ruminated in an candid moment, but the defense secretary still seems to think that all these bellicose words being tossed around represents some kind of "diplomacy."
Of course, one can argue that all this highly-charged rhetoric is for domestic consumption, feeding into the narrow view most Americans have of the world, but this is exactly the type of rhetoric that got us into a war with Iraq and Afghanistan before that and Vietnam before that and Korea before that. Americans expect their leaders to match their rhetoric with action otherwise they get voted out in the next general elections. LBJ didn't want to be seen as the president who lost Asia.
That's why our lady senator from South Carolina is once again backing up the call to war. Dear Lindsey knows how effective it is as a campaign tool and he needs something to bolster his drooping ratings in the Palmetto State. Hard to believe Lindsey actually served in the military. Granted it was the National Guard. Probably helped him pay off college. He never had to fight in a war, so he has no idea what it is like, unlike his colleague, John McCain, who is less anxious for a call to arms, especially knowing that the nuclear option is very much on the table here.
Like the witch's foot soldiers in The Wizard of Oz, we believe North Koreans are just waiting to be liberated from the evil reign of the Kim dynasty that dates back to 1948. A couple documentaries have appeared on Netflix that are well worth watching: Under the Sun and The Propaganda Game. There are others as well. Here's a short list. It might behoove the president to watch these docs rather than rely on movies like The Interview or Team America, which seems to be what he is basing his "knowledge" of North Korea on.
Granted, it is easier to accept fantasy images. One-quarter of Americans believe the Bible to be the literal word of God. In fact, one pastor has even talked to God and said that the big guy upstairs has given the president "full control" to take out Kim Jong-Un. Hard to trump that!
For many Americans, God is a living breathing entity that in one form or another shapes their lives. They pray to him for guidance and in many cases literally believe that their lives are in his immense hands. Trump could only wish he had hands so big. So, our president does the next best thing he invokes God, whether he actually believes in him or not.
Such feverish imaginations are the lifeblood of Hollywood, and with the help of CGI they can make Biblical events look very real. Many Americans would sooner accept the story of Noah's Ark than they would global warming flooding the earth, even though this too was made into a movie.
What makes this particularly amusing is that Kim's father was a big fan of Hollywood, and Little Kim grew up with the images played over and over in his head. There is nothing new Trump can throw at the boy tyrant because he has literally seen it all. Kim Jong-Un has probably watched The Wizard of Oz countless times and imagines throwing water on Trump. So basically, we are seeing Dorothy and the Wicked Witch go at each other on the world stage. Take your pick as to who's who.
Americans sit back and watch the spectacle as they would reality television, which of course Trump excelled in before assuming the title of "leader of the free world." He pretty much runs the White House as he did The Apprentice, feeding into a low brow audience's insatiable appetite for tawdry melodrama.
Yet, it appears he has met his match in Little Kim. The boy tyrant thrives off the caricatures made of him, using them to great effect. But, we can accept that because it feeds into our image of an evil leader.
Trump's bad boy persona is a little harder to swallow, as deep down most Americans expect their leader to rise above such low-life persons and be the voice of quiet authority -- the so-called Big Stick ideology that characterized the Roosevelt administration and became the model for subsequent administrations. Instead, we now have the Big Dick ideology characterized by Donald Trump and sadly a significant portion of the country appears to be just fine with that.