First, candidate Trump carried on a long-distance bromance with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, calling him “a strong leader” and saying it was a “great honor” to have Putin compliment him.
Now Trump has expressed admiration for an even loonier goon: North Korea’s boy tyrant Kim Jong Un. Speaking at a rally in Ottumwa, IA, Trump veritably gushed about the leadership qualities of Kim.
“If you look at North Korea, this guy, he’s like a maniac, OK?” Trump said at a rally in Ottumwa, Iowa, on Saturday.
“And you’ve got to give him credit: How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals and all of a sudden, you know, it’s pretty amazing when you think of it. How does he do that?” he added.
“Even though it is a culture, and it’s a culture thing, he goes in, he takes over, he’s the boss. It’s incredible.”
After North Korea’s government said it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb earlier this week, Trump called the authoritarian leader a “madman playing around with nukes” and a “total nut job.”
But he also insinuated that Kim had some admirable qualities.
“I mean, it’s amazing that a young guy would go over and take over,” Trump said Thursday on Fox News’ “On the Record.” “You know, you would have thought that these tough generals would have said no way this is gonna happen when the father died.
“So he’s gotta have something going for him, because he kept control, which is amazing for a young person to do,” he added.
You would hope that Trump is simply ignorant of how the “amazing” Kim was able to get and keep control. There have been numerous purges of high officials — even family members — and gruesome executions.
As for Putin, PJ Media contributor Kim Zigfeld has compiled a long list of suspected assassinations of Putin critics and enemies.
These men aren’t simply awful or bad actors. They are evil. Trump’s problem is that he is unable to place their actions in a moral context. If he could, he wouldn’t be using adjectives like “amazing” to describe a stone-cold killer like Kim.
For whatever reason, Donald Trump has failed a crucial test of leadership: the ability to project a coherent moral dimension to his campaign. He reserves his outrage for Muslims, Mexicans and his political enemies. Meanwhile, evildoers like Gaddafi, Kim, and Putin receive praise.
There is absolutely nothing to admire in Kim or Putin. They are the enemies of civilized behavior and should be held in utter contempt. That Trump doesn’t place their actions in a moral context should be worrying to anyone who cares about U.S. leadership.