Michael Palin made his reputation as a member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. Today Palin has become a world traveler, and last year he spent two weeks in the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea, better known as North Korea.
A two-hour documentary on his travels to that "Hermit Kingdom" appeared on a cable channel last week. I can't remember which one. A diplomatic thaw between DPRK and South Korea began a year ago allowing Palin to visit North Korea and, to a limited extent, explore the country.
The Kim dynasty is a three-generation lineage of North Korean leadership descended from the family's first leader, Kim Il-sung. Kim came to power in the North after the end of Japanese control in 1945. He began the Korean War in 1950 in an attempt to reunify the entire peninsula.
In the 1980s, Kim developed a "cult of personality" which was later passed on to his two successors: his son Kim Jong-il and grandson Kim Jong-un.
I came to the realization that the entire country and its dastardly form of government is based on one thing: Lies.
During his visit, Palin talked to a North Korean soldier while visiting the 38th Parallel, the dividing line between the north and the south. They began talking about the Korean War. The young man said it began when the USA invaded North Korea in 1950.
Actually, history says the opposite is true. It was North Korea that invaded South Korea. The soldier and every citizen of North Korea have been brainwashed.
As the two-hour documentary continued, it became clear to me that the entire North Korean government is based on lies, all of them spawned by the Kim regime.
I suspect Donald Trump admires the Kim regime and holds the president of the country in high regard because three Kims have created a cult based on lies. The people worship the "dear leaders," past and present, and accept their lies as truth.
I believe in the darkest parts of his mind, Trump wishes he could do the same in America. If given a chance, Trump would not allow anyone, especially the press, to report on any of his lies.
Just last week, he told lies about crime in El Paso and the number of people who attended his campaign rally in that town.
Under Kim's government, no one dare challenge what the dear leader says lest they are sent to a labor camp or killed by a firing squad.
Two things stand between the USA becoming North Korea. We are the blessed by the U.S. Constitution and, although it has its shortcomings, the free press. The "enemy of the people" is exactly what Kim Jong-un would call the free press. There is no free press in North Korea. All information is controlled by the government along with everything else, right down to the "hate America" songs kids are taught to sing in kindergarten.
Despite his outrageous Kim-like characteristics (perhaps because of those characteristics), Trump has his cult followers. One of them attacked a BBC photographer at the Trump rally last week in El Paso.
If the cultists and Trump had their way, we would all drink the Trump Kool-Aid and become one of them.
God help us if that ever happened. We'd be like North Korea.
Dave Peyton is on Facebook. His email address is email@example.com.