The historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un this past month in Singapore signaled a significant shift toward peace. This stood in stark contrast to the situation in April 2017 when I wondered whether the rapidly deescalating situation would lead to violence. I proposed a path to peace. With former NBA star Dennis Rodman as perhaps the only mutual friend of Trump and Kim, the latter acquaintance made through Basketball Diplomacy, Rodman stood in a unique position to bring the two leaders together. His efforts, in one way or another, made the Singapore summit a reality. Where their predecessors failed, Trump and Kim realized the potential for peace through the portal Rodman opened.
Having left office 32 years ago, former President Jimmy Carter recently surpassed Herbert Hoover for the longest post-presidency. Like Hoover, a fellow victim of circumstance, Carter’s presidency was cut short by events largely beyond his control. This ushered in the Reagan era, in which Carter’s problems seemingly disappeared, partly a result of policy, but largely a result of luck. Since then, the Right’s canonization of Reagan’s Peace Through Strength strategy served as foil to Carter’s pie-in-the-sky idealism. But today, as Carter celebrates his 89th birthday, the Right may see its new found embracement of civil libertarianism and peace, as more closely aligned with Carter separated from the false perception, than the reality of Reagan.