When democracy triumphed
America's liberal pundits are outraged at President Trump for actually doing diplomacy with North Korea.
On the other side, America's conservative pundits are heaping praise on Trump for taking a bold step toward peace.
Both sides are idiots.
Trump had virtually nothing to do with making the summit happen.
The credit for that goes to South Korea.
The leaders of North and South Korea held a surprise meeting Saturday, their second in a month, two days after President Donald Trump abruptly canceled a summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The two "exchanged their opinions" on among other things successfully carrying out a future US-North Korea summit, according to the statement.
Unlike what Mother Jones is telling us, South Koreans overwhelmingly approve of the summit, by 66-to-11. The South Korean people then went on to give the pro-peace ruling party an overwhelming victory in local elections.
So then the credit for the summit belongs to the South Korean government?
No. The credit belongs to the South Korean people.
And I think that obviously Donald Trump said that he, you know, he’s absolutely getting credit , which is true. And also I think another most important point we have to remember is the President Jae-in, who was elected from the, after the powerful democratic movement, called the candlelight movement.
The Candlelight Revolution was one of the biggest victories for democracy in the world in generations. It got little coverage in the U.S. because the American media doesn't care about the rest of the world, but in South Korea, well, nothing like it had ever happened before.
South Korea’s Candlelight Revolution was the culmination of twenty successive Saturday night rallies that brought out over 16 million people from a population of 51 million. By this spring, Park’s support had fallen to 4 percent, and even that number might have been a statistical aberration.
Just imagine if 1 in 3 Americans turned out into the streets to protest government corruption. How would the American press cover something like that?
Naturally the NY Times said it was all about sexism.
Fortunately, people in South Korea care more about corruption in their government than American sexism.
The scandal that became known as “Choi Soon-sil gate” centered on emerging stories about bribes that President Park received in return for favors to businesses, including one that catapulted an heir at Samsung (which constitutes almost 20 percent of the South Korean economy) into a position to succeed the empire’s throne. The media also reported at the beginning of 2017 that the president had collaborated with her chief of staff and culture minister to create “The Blacklist”: a registry of nearly ten thousand filmmakers, writers, artists, and academics deemed “anti-government” who were denied state funding during President Park’s tenure. Facts and gossip collided in the public sphere, placing “Choi Soon-sil gate” into the hands of South Korea’s parliament, courts, university campuses and classrooms, and free press—all loci of fear during the country’s dictatorship era, which ended only thirty years ago. A series of revelations ultimately led to arrests and jail time for Choi, Park, various ministers and associates of the former president, and, most astounding to Koreans, the “Crown Prince of Samsung,” Lee Jae-yong.
Politicians across party lines acknowledged that it was the street protests throughout the country that compelled parliament to make a motion for impeachment. The wide margin in favor of impeachment (234–56) was astonishing, as was the constitutional court’s 8–0 vote to uphold the parliamentary decision.
On the streets of Seoul, “The people are sovereign!” signs signaled that, for the first time in South Korea’s sixty-nine-year history, a broad spectrum of society had the chance to steer the country’s course in a nonviolent, public forum.
The people exercising democracy over their government and holding them accountable? No wonder the American media largely ignored this amazing event.
The outcome of this peaceful democratic revolution was a government more responsive to the wishes of the people, and the people of South Korea wanted peace.
Joint exit polls conducted by South Korea's three major TV networks found Democrat Moon to have 41.4 percent of the vote. Conservative Hong Joon-pyo took 23.3 percent and centrist Ahn Cheol-soo took 21.8.
Moon favors strengthening ties with North Korea, which the Washington Post notes "could open a new and potentially difficult chapter in relations with the United States" as the Trump administration continues its saber-rattling with the hermit kingdom.
Moon is the son of North Korean refugees and previously worked as a human rights lawyer. He has advocated for resuming dialogue with North Korea while maintaining pressure and sanctions, opposing Park, who cut off all ties with the nation.
He has also promised to review the previous administration's decision to host an American Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system, which has engendered criticism from North Koreans, who see it as an antagonistic move by the U.S., and from local residents, who were angered by President Donald Trump's statement that Seoul should pay for the system.
So you can see a clear line between the power and actions of the people in South Korea to the recent summit.
But don't expect the NY Times, Fox News, or Mother Jones to explain it to you.