Let me see if I understand our president’s thinking. Unlike predecessors who tended to keep their scrapping with other U.S. politicians in-country, he now seems to be seeking approval — or some form of affiliation — with tyrants against potential nominees for the upcoming election.

And he chooses one of the world’s most autocratic men, one who starves his people and limits their freedoms to a level we hope to never see here.

Electioneering should be just that, in our country and about real issues. If you want our president for four more years, let him stand on his entire record, his character and achievements, but it is our election, in this country, and should remain so.

Campaigning for 2020 began after Trump had just taken office in 2017. And he has chosen not to be best at any rally or press conference. The name calling never stops, but now he is joined by, of all people, Kim Jong-un. If this does not bother you, it should.

Bad-mouthing anyone in our government or running for election in public and overseas not only lacks class but sows the seeds of destabilization for our government should it change hands at the election. Who runs for our government positions is no one’s business but our own, and no one should encourage disrespect of our form of governance, nor of the people who legitimately run for our offices.

By choosing to do this form of disrespect of fellow Americans, by making the U.S. look cozy with a tyrant, Trump weakens us as a nation. Your chosen friends say a great deal about you. Our mothers told us that.

Trump goes on to say that, despite the feelings of his advisers and military, he feels that Kim will honor his agreements with Trump, though his firing of missiles indicates otherwise and sets South Korea, Japan and China on edge. Nope, Trump chooses to agree with someone who will, reportedly, speak ill of Joe Biden.

Biden is neither here nor there — it could be any candidate and it would be not only wrong but worrisome. Siding with Kim is not good governance, or good policy, and it is, at the very least remarkably bad behavior.

I know, I know. Trump loves to be “not normal, not predictable” but one can only justify that so long before one has to admit that much of it seems in service of self and not in service of country.

There is no crime in running against a president for that office, no crime in disagreement and there is — despite the new norm — a center way to be found. But the name calling, bully-boy approach hand-in-hand with adoration of Kim and others should be noticed, as now he has chosen to disrespect our citizens on his trip abroad. We the people are in his sights.

I do not agree with much of Trump’s vision, but he is president and has his time to make things work, but does that mean that I have no standing? Does that mean that openly demeaning me, if only by proxy, and anything I might hold dear is justified? No, it does not.

I have the freedom to think, to worship, to write and to seek to become better educated in this country. I have the right to speak my mind, to also be respectful of my fellow citizens when I do so and I have the right to vote as I deem fit, for whom I believe will do the best job. It is not treason to do any of these things.

It is not reasonable to side with North Korea on much of anything, since I would not choose to live there, visit there or die there, for surely I would as Otto Warmbier did at home after his jailing. And yet Trump believes Kim Jong-un over others, believes Kim’s thoughts on Joe Biden should even be mentioned. For Trump, it is better to demean Joe Biden with a little help from Kim than it is to be our diplomat in chief abroad.

The next many months will seem an eternity as Trump demeans everyone exercising their right to run, as he gathers more sheaves of agreement from despots abroad.

We are better than this.

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