Fecteau: The Rocket Man & the Dotard – Worried Yet?

Monday, September 25, 2017


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Kim Jong Un

Nuclear weapons are a serious business which is why I am concerned we have President Donald ‘dotard’ Trump and Kim ‘rocket man’ Jong-un in charge of nuclear weapons of such devastating destructive capability. With tension between North Korea and the United States at a boiling point, these two respective leaders have turned to frivolous insults to resolve the problem at hand – nuclear war.

I want to first apologize to the schoolyard bullies: I am sorry they sullied your craft; with any luck you can think of and used more original names than dotard and rocket man – maybe Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim can ask you for some advice? At the United Nations, -- in front of nearly all the world leaders -- President Donald Trump referred to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un as the ‘rocket man’ (not to be confused with Elton John’s delightful song ‘Rocket Man’). Tit-for-tat, Kim Jong-un then referred to Mr. Trump as a dotard (an antiquated word which means senile) in a written statement. This was productive gentlemen – very productive (sarcasm).

Mr. Trump should be the adult in the room – he is our president. I would like a him to treat this threat seriously instead of hurling childish names at an individual that could trigger a nuclear winter – Kim Jong-un.  If Mr. Trump wants to increase sanctions on North Korea (okay), increase the U.S. military presence across Southeast Asia (right on), but what is name calling going to solve? Kim’s regime is a dire threat and while we shouldn’t kowtow to him, let’s stop with this grade school banter.

If the ruler of North Korea, Kim, wants to act like a schoolyard punk, I could simply care less (in fact expect it from that spoiled brat), but that doesn’t mean the leader of the free world should resort to similar tactics. I expect much more from the president of the United States. Mr. Trump is taking the threat of nuclear war as seriously as Mr. Stephen Curry’s invitation (or dis-invitation) to the White House.

Mr. Trump doesn’t seem to be willing to end his temper tantrum anytime soon so maybe North Korea will finally freeze or dismantle its nuclear program with the proper incentives. Yet, no one knows how this will end, but with the rocket man and the dotard, we have plenty to worry about.

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Matt Fecteau ([email protected]) is a Master of Public Administration candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and an Iraq War veteran. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewFecteau


Related Slideshow: RI Democrats React to Trump Withdrawing from Paris Climate Agreement

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Gina Raimondo

RI Governor

I am deeply disappointed that the President has decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. Republicans and Democrats alike recognize that the Paris Agreement is about so much more than climate change. It’s about opportunity, stewardship and America’s standing as a global leader. 

President Trump’s action will not deter Rhode Island from taking necessary steps to address climate change. Our action at the state level will create new jobs and attract new investment in the green economy. 

We’ve set a goal to secure 1,000 MW of clean energy resources and double the number of clean energy jobs by 2020. Ocean State families and businesses are on the front lines fighting climate change. I will continue toward with the General Assembly and partners in other states to protect our environment and advance clean energy alternatives, while creating new opportunities for our workforce in the process. 

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Jim Langevin 

U.S. Congressman

President Trump’s ill-considered decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement puts the future of our entire planet at risk. The withdrawal represents an abandonment of pledges to protect our environment and risks undermining the entire accord, which includes nearly every country on earth. In addition, the President’s action cedes Unites States leadership and means losing a seat at the table to negotiate global agreements in our country's best interest.

The Obama Administration made significant progress toward slowing the rapidly warming climate by negotiating the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce greenhouse emissions on a global scale. Unwinding these commitments represents another assault by President Trump on the health of the public and the planet. His Administration continues to deny climate change despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that shows this is an ongoing human-caused crisis.

Rhode Island is on the front lines of sea level rise, and our citizens will ultimately pay the price for inaction today. Communities like my hometown of Warwick are particularly vulnerable to the storms and floods that come with climate change. Warming seas have chased our traditional catch out of our fisheries and threaten to decimate our beloved Ocean State coastline. Abandoning the Paris deal, the culmination of a multi-year effort by world leaders, is an abdication of our responsibility to leave the world a better place for our children.”

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Sheldon Whitehouse

U.S. Senator

“Donald Trump and his children said just a few years ago that climate change was ‘irrefutable’ and its consequences ‘catastrophic and irreversible.’ They were right. There is no denying the growing threat of rising seas, warming global temperatures, and melting glaciers and ice sheets. 

But we can still avoid the worst if we quickly reduce carbon emissions. That is why ignoring reality and leaving the Paris Agreement could do down as one of the worst foreign policy blunders in our nation’s history, isolating the U.S. further after Trump’s shockingly bad European trip. 

Trump is betraying the country, in the service of Breitbart fake news, the shameless fossil fuel industry, and the Koch brothers’ climate denial operation. It’s Sad. 

America’s biggest corporations and investors urged the President to stick with international efforts to address the climate threat. They and all of us will now have to proceed with a seriousness of purpose commensurate with the threat, knowing of this President’s grave defects. 

If you haven’t joined an environmental group, join one. If your voice needs to be heard, get active. If you are a big corporation with good climate policies that has shied away from engaging politically, it’s time to engage. And if you’re a university that teaches climate science, it’s time to stand up for your scientists. Whoever you are, help end climate denial and take action.”

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Jack Reed

U.S. Senator

“President Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris climate agreement is a blow to the environment that makes us a less secure nation. Our military, which spends every hour of every day thinking about how to protect Americans says climate change is a problem and a real threat multiplier. Indeed, climate change is an established part of the military’s threat and risk assessments.

The United States should continue to be a leader when it comes to protecting the planet; instead, the President is abdicating this responsibility. President Trump is unwisely putting the United States alongside Syria and Nicaragua in declining to be part of the Paris agreement. 

The American people deserve better.” 

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David Cicilline

U.S. Congressman

The President’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is a terrible mistake. It will diminish American leadership in the world, undermine our ability to create good-paying jobs, and contribute to the further degradation of our environment. 

It is very disappointing that we now know, without question, that the President of the United Sates is a climate change denier. His decision today ignores the overwhelming scientific consensus regarding the serious consequences failing to address climate change. 

The only thing President Trump will accomplish by this decision is to set the United States and world back decades in this fight. I have no doubt that future generations are going to wonder what the hell we were thinking today”


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