Let's Fix This Country
election 2016

Why Trump Is Dangerous: #2: Nuclear? No Big Deal

Once president, his weapons go far beyond Twitter

The days-long assault on former Miss Universe that peaked from 3:20am to 5:00am one morning sounded an alarm that went far beyond concern for the undeserving Alicia Machado. It underscored to what lengths Donald Trump will go to revenge the most trivial of insults or rebukes. It amplified concerns for how that character trait is likely to burst forth when transported to the affairs of the Oval Office.

Bill Maher reminded viewers of the 2008 campaign ad, "Who do you want answering the White House phone at 3:00am? How about someone who's not already enraged in a hissy fit?". Trump's habit of tweeting alone in the early hours and the worry of how he might react at 3:00AM to a crisis when it's daytime the other side of the world did indeed bring back the eerie symmetry of Hillary Clinton's ad.

But we are not to worry about Trump's volatility, he says. "My strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament. I have a winning temperament". And just recently, "I'm honored to have the greatest temperament that anyone has ever had", which promted Hillary Clinton to say, " He knows we can see and hear him, right?".

President Obama in North Carolina the week before the election spoke of that worrisome temperament:

"He's is temperamentally unfit to be commander in chief. Anybody who is upset about a "Saturday Night Live" skit you don't want in charge of nuclear weapons. This is a guy who, like, tweets...'I don't like the way Alec Baldwin imitates me'. Really? I mean, that's the thing that bothers you and you want to be president of the United States? Come on, man".

In the vice presidential debate, Sen. Tim Kaine brought up a fear of Trump's thoughtless view of nuclear weapons, quoting Ronald Reagan:

“…someday some fool or some maniac or some accident triggering the kind of war that is the end of the line for all of us."

It is not an outlandish conjecture. Trump seems to view nuclear weapons as little different than other weapons; he seems not to grasp Reagan's understanding that they threaten the annihilation of civilization. To Chris Wallace on Fox News, Trump said,

"It's not like, gee whiz, nobody has them. So, North Korea has nukes. Japan has a problem with that. I mean, they have a big problem with that. Maybe they would in fact be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea."

Wallace asked, "With nukes?". Trump answered, "Including with nukes, yes, including with nukes". He urged South Korea to do the same. "Saudi Arabia, nuclear weapons?", CNN's Anderson Cooper asked. "Saudi Arabia, absolutely", Trump replied, then reversed himself, but continued:

"It’s going to happen, anyway… you have so many countries already, China, Pakistan, you have so many countries, Russia, you have so many countries right now that have them".

None of that relates to his temperament except that, matching his disregard of the existential threat nuclear proliferation poses for nothing less than the planet itself, he is equally rash about putting them to use. He would use a nuclear weapon in the Middle East. Trump said to Chris Matthews, "Somebody hits us within ISIS, you wouldn't fight back with a nuke?". And when challenged by Matthews, Trump asked, "Then why are we making them? Why do we make them?". Joe Scarborough, former congressman and co-host of "Morning Joe", was told that at a foreign policy briefing Trump asked three times in an hour, "If we have them, why can't we use them?". Trump confirmed his willingness to go nuclear against ISIS in an interview with Mark Halperin of Bloomberg Politics.

What about using them in Europe, Fox News' Eric Bolling asked. "I’m not going to take cards off the table. Europe is a big place". On "Face the Nation" he said about nuclear weapon use, "You want to be unpredictable".

Few Americans are aware of this. They are preoccupied with Trump's promises to fix all that ails their lives, realistic or not. If Trump is ever so reckless and ignorant to trigger a nuclear exchange — and by law and how the system works, nothing stops the president — those voters may well not live to see those promised fixes.

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