A coin for the now-cancelled U.S.-North Korea summit. (Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Columnist

Oh no! Not the summit!

Why, Kim Jong Un, why would you do this?

I had already purchased my commemorative coin, but now what it commemorates is… nothing.

Leader Kim, you have ruined the world’s best hope.

Donald Trump had high hopes for the summit. It would have been perfect. We were going to emerge from that summit with not just peace in our time, but peace for all time. Donald Trump is, as he has repeatedly stated, a masterful diplomat — like a Jared Kushner but with decades of experience. There is a reason he left making peace in the Middle East to his young protégé; he wanted a challenge. He alone could have done it, and he would have done it effortlessly.

Some said that the hopes for this summit were too high. Some were wrong. The commemorative coins would have been immediately the most prized commodity ever minted, even more prized than Chamberlain Umbrellas.

But now, thanks to Leader Kim’s reckless comments about Mike Pence, it cannot be. Ah, curse Donald Trump, and his loyalty to Mike Pence — that same loyalty that made him fire Mike Flynn, unless that is no longer the story that we are going with. There are many bridges that the president will cross and set on fire without a second thought, bridges that others would never dream of crossing. But this man holds one thing sacred: the honor of Mike Pence. There is no greater good he would not sacrifice to this fanatical devotion. He would snap his fingers and destroy the earth in an instant so long as it meant that Mike Pence would be kept safe from insult and calumny. He feels for Mike Pence what Mike Pence feels for Marlon Bundo: a fanatical desire to protect him at all costs and feed him lettuce, so that someone can gaze at him with trusting eyes and wrinkle his nose and he can feel that at least one person on this earth understands his fundamental and innate Correctness about Everything. He could not bear to lose that, even by way of sitting down with someone whose government has called Mike Pence “a political dummy.” He can put up with many outrages. But this is not among them.

We must mourn what might have been.

It would have been amazing. It would have been the greatest summit of our time. Thomas Jefferson would have fallen demurely off Mt. Rushmore to make room. “I am not worthy,” would have creaked from his enormous stone lips, as he fell, “but I shall clear the way for one who is: The man who has solved Diplomacy.”

We must cast our commemorative coins into the commemorative sea. There is nothing to commemorate. The brave new world, in which Oceania and Eastasia found peace at last, is no more. But Mike Pence has been protected. No one can call him a “political dummy” and expect to sit down with Donald Trump. Donald Trump will stand and walk and sit down with many people, very fine people, but this — he could not countenance this.

Perhaps Leader Kim knew this. Perhaps this was why he allowed his minister to insult Vice President Pence: because he knew what would have happened if he had sat down with Donald Trump.

North Korea, of course, would have completely denuclearized without asking for any concessions whatsoever. That would have been the very first thing that would have happened. The things that would have happened after that would have been so beautiful that thinking of them, and knowing that Leader Kim made them impossible, fills my heart with a raw ache. The commemorative coins would have sold out, immediately, and their value would have increased each year exactly the way the value of Beanie Babies hasn’t.

And now it can never be.

It is too bad that through no fault of his own, Donald Trump could not go through with this.

Donald Trump is a master deal-maker, and he would have made this deal perfectly. Effortlessly. He would have been seen, finally, for what he is: the greatest leader of all time, the culmination of history, the savior of mankind. We would all have been forced to admit, finally, how great he really is. It would have been amazing. Curse you, Leader Kim!