The Liberal Party of The Philippines and their comrades in Philippine mainstream media have become a running obstructionist joke. This vicious mob who want war with China but not against crime, money for their pet projects but no reform to outdated tax and employment laws, free speech for those who shout the loudest lies and silence for those who speak the most timeless truths would be hilarious if they did not still possess certain high offices of state including the Vice Presidency (an office “won” by controversial means to put it mildly).
To the yellows of The Philippines, when President Duterte makes jokes about women he’s bad – but when he jokingly kisses a woman he’s also bad. When Duterte wants to buy weapons form China and Russia to fight terrorism and crime he is bad but when he wants to trade with China rather than fight a losing war (with what weapons?) he is also bad. When Duterte stands against political corruption he is “a dictator”, yet this “dictator” just dealt with crude protesters during a national holiday by demanding they be treated peacefully.
While it would be difficult to become more crude yet unoriginal and more self-assured yet less informed that the Liberal Party of The Philippines, today, America’s liberal political class and mainstream media may well have upped the stakes.
The DPRK’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un met with US President Donald Trump in a summit that by the very virtue of its existence is a success. Beyond this, it appeared that both leaders made important strides towards ending the Korean war and opening up new multilateral avenues of peace, prosperity and diplomatic good will.
It is of course entirely correct to question how far the peace process will go. What is beyond the pale however is the snide, obstructionist hatred that many in the US liberal media have offered in the face of what can only be described as a day when the world has breathed a collective sigh of relief.
It is not just Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump who have shared a productive day which began with a handshake and ended with a smile. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has responded with the utmost optimism to the summit, as has Japanese Prime Minister Abe, the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Russian government and the European Union.
The near near universal praise won by both Kim and Trump though has been received in an entirely different way by the liberal western mainstream media. From those saying Trump prefers business with “dictators” to non-dictators, to the Washington Post proclaiming that Trump “lost” the summit and then to claim that China had won (a point fully debunked in Eurasia Future by Andrew Korybko), the long faces throughout both online, print and televised liberal mainstream media was palpable.
It would be easy to simply say that the kind of self-evident win-win achieved by the summit was over the heads of a liberal mainstream media trained to only recognise zero-sum competitions as those which are capable of producing a victory, but in reality, history shows that something else has happened.
In the early 1970s, Richard Nixon was hated by the mainstream media of the time and there were of course many reasons to dislike Nixon from his war crimes in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos to his interference to his meddling in the affairs of sovereign nations including the democratic process in Chile. But when Nixon visited Beijing to meet with Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong most American journalists saw it as a positive move for peace and reconciliation. The same is true of Nixon’s singing of the SALT I agreement with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
By the late 1980s, many in the mainstream media still tried to resist the phenomenon of Ronald Reagan even though the charming actor won over many Americans who in the 1970s were put off by Richard Nixon’s gruff and overly businesslike exterior (even prior to Watergate). But when Reagan developed what appeared to be a positive relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, most mainstream media journalists went easy on Reagan. As recently as 2015, most mainstream media outlets in the US praised Barack Obama’s efforts in agreeing to the JCPOA – the Iran nuclear deal.
But in 2018, while there are many reasons for an anti-liberal (such as myself) and liberal alike to dislike Trump, his move for peace with Kim Jong-un could only be negative if the peace talks breakdown or become exploitative. As I outlined earlier, I believe that far from breaking down, the ultimate conclusion of the peace talks will be a win-win success, while geopolitical expert Andrew Korybko has written from a slightly different perspective about why he too thinks it will be a success.
Thus, the sheer partisanship of the American liberal media in trying to put a negative spin on something so very positive from so many angles, including the most cynical ones that are regularly explored throughout all corners of the media, stinks of the same kind of obstructionism that anyone familiar with Philippine politics will know all too well. Personally, I was flabbergasted by the amount of vitriol spewed by liberal media on a day that was all about peace, something that ought to be a universally valued concept.
Yes, it seems that when it comes to being humourless, graceless, extreme for all the wrong reasons, hungry for war rather than peace and unwilling to take a realistic approach to anything, including when a political opponent does something universally positive, Filipino liberals now have fierce competition from the United States. Whether Duterte making historic peace deals with China or Trump appearing to do with same with Kim Jong-un of the DPRK, it seems liberal media spokesmen and women are allergic to peace in all its various guises.
Perhaps due to the global interest in the Kim-Trump summit, on this day that peace for Korea was born, it may also be the day that liberal media begins to die.