Congratulations, President Trump

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Congratulations, President Trump

The author is the deputy head of the economic policy team of the JoongAng Ilbo.

Congratulations, President Trump.

It would be too late to congratulate him after the U.S. presidential election three weeks later. As most opinion polls show Donald Trump behind Democratic candidate Joe Biden, the White House must be anxious. But that means now is the best time to approach Trump. Don’t forget the U.S. presidential election is based on electoral college votes.

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of “Everybody Lies,” an analysis of the 2016 presidential election, recently tweeted a graph showing data that new membership to the far-right white supremacist group Proud Boys surged by 100 percent after Trump’s television debate on Sept. 29. Right after Trump told the group to “stand by” at the debate, his supporters “verified their loyalty” by joining the group. People lie, but data don’t.

So we should say it now. Approach Trump and tell him to get along with Korea for the next four years. It’s not because I wish for his re-election. Diplomacy is the art of possibility, and the prime value to calculate it is not pride but rather, national interest. Approach Biden and tell him the same thing, too.

President Trump doesn’t want to hear about declaring the end of the war. The Korean Ambassador to the United States started an unnecessary controversy by saying, “Korea chose the United States 70 years ago, and it doesn’t mean Korea must choose the United States for the next 70 years.” He did the opposite of what Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae did in 2016. When everyone predicted Trump’s defeat, he bought “insurance” with Trump and approached Jared Kushner using all his intelligence network. It is too much to expect this sophisticated diplomacy from the Korean Embassy in the United States. They should at least model themselves after BTS’s remark on forever remembering the history of struggle the two countries experienced together.

The opposition party did poorly as well. On Professor Lee Yill-byung, husband of foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha, travelling to the United States to purchase a yacht, People Power Party lawmaker Han Ki-ho ridiculed that living with Kang itself deserves praise, and that it’s a shameful thing to say. Trump’s first daughter Ivanka travels around the world and attends meetings on women’s rights. Don’t be so naïve to assume that the United States doesn’t know about Han’s remark. There is a division that translates most major articles on foreign policy and Korea-U.S. relations into English.

It’s not too late. There are three weeks to go. What’s important is not the two years of the administration but 20 or 200 years of the country.
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