Just who is the bad guy here?
What would Charlie Chaplin do? Would he make a movie? Would he, perhaps, title it “Rocket Man”?
Chaplin, who died in 1977, is one of the icons of the entertainment industry. In addition to his talent and money-making skill, he is admired by many in Hollywood for his courage in making the 1940 film, “The Great Dictator.”
In the film, Chaplin played a character called Adenoid Hynkel, parodying Adolf Hitler. Chaplin intended the movie as a satire on Hitler, Benito Mussolini and their murderous movements.
Chaplin wrote in his autobiography that he probably would not have made fun of the dictators had he understood the full horror of The Holocaust. Still, many in the entertainment and news media industries praise him for calling down ridicule on Hitler and Mussolini.
Fast forward to 2017. Some of the very same people who put Chaplin on a pedestal profess outrage that President Donald Trump would dare refer to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un as “Rocket Man.” Why, some of them have said, it’s just not right to belittle a man who is the leader of a sovereign nation.
Really? Hitler and Mussolini were the leaders of sovereign nations, too. Is “Adenoid Hynkel” somehow more respectful than “Rocket Man”? Apparently so in modern America.
Trump has been slammed for vowing to “totally destroy” North Korea. But read the full sentence Trump delivered at the United Nations: “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”
By the way, Rocket Man has threatened many times to destroy the United States. And in case you missed that section of the history books, his grandfather, with help from China, killed 36,518 Americans during the Korean War — along with about 1.2 million other people.
Here in West Virginia, we have what apparently is the unacceptable attitude that if someone tries to do mortal harm to our families, we’ll respond in kind.
Threaten us, and the only difference between our warning and that issued by Trump will be in the colorfulness of our language.
It’s all very puzzling. On one side, we have a vicious dictator with nuclear weapons, missiles, and a family record of slaughtering his own people and others.
On the other side we have a president who makes it clear we won’t put up with that sort of behavior.
And he’s the bad guy?
— Myer can be reached by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.