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For months, geopolitical headlines focused heavily on the second meeting between the U.S. and North Korea. The first round was the shot heard around the world, primarily because the U.S. never gave legitimacy to the dictatorship. Now, the North’s Kim Jong-un has everything he wanted.

Let me explain. Currently, the Republicans (generally) boast about President Trump and his penchant for deal-making. But perhaps, this latest example of high-stakes negotiations expose that Trump is no better than the average person. His gift, then, is that he was born into great wealth and privilege.

Is that an attribute? Several Republicans and Trump supporters blindly believe so, but reality suggests a completely different narrative. For all the hype surrounding this meeting, talks faltered as discussions about nuclear-weapons related sanctions met extreme resistance.

Naturally, the left-leaning press corps viewed the result as a failure for the Trump administration. But the other reality is that North Korea came away with an unsurprising victory.

To accomplish this, the hermit nation merely followed the flat-earthers’ playbook.

 

North Korea is the Ultimate Troll

Initially, the flat-earth movement started as an alternative quest for astronomical truth. Dismissed offhand as a kooky niche among extreme conspiratorialists, proponents nevertheless raised thought-provoking questions. If anything, they taught us to not take any information for granted.

Certainly, we can all give credit to that sentiment. Similarly, we can offer some understanding with North Korea regarding their not wanting to plug into “the system.” But over the last year or so, the flat earth has become a massive troll. Even more disconcerting, they’re winning at the expense of the mainstream.

Startlingly, well-known outfits such as National Geographic have recently spotlighted flat earth. Their purpose, of course, is to discredit and dismantle this alternative view of the universe. Scientifically, they’re incredibly successful. They’re bringing charts, graphs, and multiple peer-reviewed studies indicating that the earth is spherical.

And none of this makes a difference. In fact, flat-earth opponents are hurting their cause.

That’s because flat-earthers don’t win on the facts, or on rigorous debates. Indeed, they lose on pretty much every intellectual discussion. Their end game is not victory, but credibility. When Nat Geo gives them a mainstream spotlight, they win – no matter how ridiculous they look.

In nearly-identical fashion, North Korea pulled off the ultimate troll: they earned de-facto legitimacy from the U.S., which previously had a stated policy of not negotiating with terrorists.

 

Has the Empire Collapsed?

I’m not really sure how the Trump administration recovers from this latest disgrace. North Korea never had any intention of giving up their nuclear weapons. All this drama proved was that the U.S. could be easily bullied into the negotiating table.

That gives a major green light to our enemies and adversaries. They realize now that as long as they present a viable, credible risk, the U.S. will capitulate. Sadly, this is a far cry from the power and respect our nation carried when two superpowers existed.

Perhaps this is a signal that the American empire has internally collapsed. We’re just waiting for everyone else to catch on.