Last week, the White House confirmed that the Trump regime held secret meetings with Donald Trump’s North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-Un. Sometime over the Easter holiday, CIA Director and Trump’s latest right-hand Mike Pompeo travelled to North Korea to engage with some unknown form of talks with the North Koreans.
Pompeo joins an elite club of Americans to embark on publicity missions to provide Kim Jong-Un with a regular dose of pop culture relevance. The Trump regime’s attempts to align U.S. and North Korean objectives began with former N.B.A. bad-boy Dennis Rodman and ended with…Mike Pompeo. Like the rest of the world, we are still trying to make the connection.
The announcement of Pompeo’s surprise visit to North Korea caused ripples throughout Washington, D.C. and what remains of the diplomatic corps. Pompeo’s presence in North Korea is problematic in some respects because of a looming confirmation hearing on his nomination to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. As a candidate, Pompeo has failed to garner the support of the foreign relations committee and his confirmation is on shaky ground.
Beyond the politics of the Trump regime’s continued attempts to consolidate and militarize government powerbases in Washington, Pompeo’s unorthodox trip to North Korea is problematic because it essentially violated long-established protocol and policy.
Americans of all political persuasions grumble about excessive rules and hyper-legislation that has consumed federal, state, and local authorities. None-the-less, our political system is based on a set of fundamental rules that distribute political power in a way that protects the populous from abuse. Additionally, our republic was founded from three branches to further protect the people from aggressive monarchs, oligarchs, and 70-year-old, orange-haired tyrants.
When Trump and his cronies bend the rules to arrange secret or off-the-record ‘diplomatic’ tête-a-têtes with dictators and without a functioning State Department, it should raise red flags around Washington. The republic functions because of rules that have been in place since before Trump’s rise to power. Violating the rules — no matter what the cause or accomplishment — sets a dangerous precedent for future abuses.
While America’s complaints about too many rules may have value, there are methods for rescinding rules, rewriting laws, and changing policy. Ask a question in Washington, D.C. and chances are there is a procedure for obtaining the answer. The purpose of our government, modeled on democratic tenets, is to avoid policies and rule violations that allow action without oversight. As a demonstrated abuser of women, the infirm, poor, and immigrants, Donald Trump’s encroachments on rules are another abuse that carries far-ranging consequences for every American — not just the minorities he chooses to focus his personal attentions on.
We exist in 2018, in a stable republic, in a world without global conflicts, because of the rules that govern diplomatic interactions, government appointments, and matters of state and international importance. With each rule violation perpetrated by Trump, Pompeo, or any of the regime’s other blind loyalists, the United States inches a step closer to a weaker republic, unable to maintain its presence as a global leader.
Donald Trump is reducing Washington’s government, not by draining the swamp, but by breaking the rules, traditions, and protections that guarantee our freedoms, position, and safety. Pompeo’s trip to North Korea is yet another consolidation of power that eliminates the balance of power that keeps the executive in check.
Washington is more than a dried up swamp under Trump’s rule — it is being reduced to a black hole that threatens to swallow America. Trump is a singularity, growing hungrier for power, and dragging our nation closer to an event horizon from which there will be no escape.