President Donald Trump, who has made harsh comments toward North Korea in the past months, extended the olive branch to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in a recent tweet.
“Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen,” Trump said in a tweet released Saturday evening.
While Trump used humor to make his point, he makes it clear that friendship is his first priority with the North Koreans. Trump’s message is in line with libertarian icon and former Republican congressman Ron Paul’s message on how to conduct foreign policy.
“A foreign policy of non-intervention designed only to protect our sovereignty with an eagerness to trade with all nations willing to be friends is the traditional American foreign policy and would give us the guaranteed hope of peace, the greatest hope of peace and prosperity,” Paul said during a Congressional speech in 2000.
While Trump’s ‘carrot and the stick’ approach is far from Paul’s foreign policy of peace and prosperity, Trump’s willingness to consider friendship as an option to resolve conflicts throughout the world is a step forward from the policies of his predecessors. Bush rushed into wars with Iraq and Afghanistan while Obama rushed into a war with Libya, and attempted to do the same in Syria. Because of Trump’s reversal of Obama’s Syrian policy, the Assad regime has been strengthened, and ISIS is all but vanquished. These are positive developments for non-interventionists.
“It is said that we non-interventionists are somehow ‘isolationists’ because we don’t want to interfere in the affairs of foreign nations,” Paul said. “But the real isolationists are those who demand that we isolate certain peoples overseas because we disagree with the policies of their leaders. The best way to avoid war, to promote American values, and to spread real freedom and liberty is to engage in trade and contacts with the rest of the world as broadly as possible.”
If Trump can continue what he has done in Syria while creating friendship and avoiding conflict with hostile nations like North Korea and Iran, he could turn out to be the most non-interventionist president America has had in many generations.