THE escalating tensions developing between the United States of America and North Korea are to say the least, very frightening.
That the world is essentially being held at ransom because of the differing philosophies of Presidents Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un gives more credence to 19th-century British politician Lord Acton’s credo statement: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
In Trump’s case, the world seems to be merely a controversial tweet away from what many have determined to be imminent nuclear disaster. That he makes far-reaching decisions at the drop of a hat without even consulting his aides is not only reckless but the kind of trait no world leader should possess.
In Kim’s case, he seems even more emboldened to dictate especially to the United States that having a leader willing to catapult warheads at will to state his case shows who has real power. Even with Trump’s response of economic sanctions to Kim’s continued testing of nuclear warheads in close proximity to known U.S. allies, Kim seems to justify any intentions of following through with his plan.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned that North Korea would be “grossly overmatched” should Pyongyang wage a tangible war against the U.S. and its allies. However, Tillerson has since given Americans the assurance that Pyongyang does not pose an imminent threat. Meanwhile, Trump himself has warned of the “fire and fury” the U.S. would unleash if Pyongyang makes an untoward move.
In a climate when the effects of climate change, economic empowerment and peace should be high on the agendas of world leaders, citizens are being held at the behest of politicians who seem to lean towards a show of force as opposed to meaningful dialogue.
Lord Acton’s premise about power is relatable today as it has been throughout centuries – that absolute power does tend to corrupt, especially when those wielding it seem to care more about their egos than their citizens.