During the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton described Donald Trump as “temperamentally unsuited” for the office. How prescient her words were. Most of us now know the holder of the nation’s highest office is, indeed, temperamentally unsuited. Neither a prudent nor thoughtful man, he prides himself upon being a disruptor.
Certainly, the world needs disrupters. Martin Luther King was one. So was Cesar Chavez. And so were women like Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan who gave the cry for women’s equality a boost. But nuclear toys in the hands of a disruptor are another question, entirely. Until this president, we’ve never had a leader who asked, “Why have them if we can’t use them?” (“Rocket Men,” by Jon Wolfstial, The New Republic, Jan/Feb. 2018, gp.13).
Since 2010, our national policy has been that, “the president will consider nuclear weapons only if another nuclear state launches a nuclear attack (or a massive conventional attack.)” (Ibid, pg. 12.) Donald Trump wants to be a game changer. Already, he is said to be pushing the military for a line of nuclear weapons to be used on a small-scale. Of course, making nuclear weapons “useable” means they no longer serve as a deterrent. They make a nuclear war doable.
Moral issues aside, the cost of his strategy, $1.2 trillion, could eliminate other practical weaponry, like the F-35 fighter jet and navy combat ships. (Ibid pg. 13.) If he has his way, forget improvements to the infra structure, medical care and public education.
Retiring republican, Senator Bob Corker, has found his voice, at last. He warns Trump is driving the nation toward World War III. (Click) Regrettably, his Republican colleagues, those who continue to enjoy political perks, have remained silent. Because of their cowardice, two bills languish in committees. Each would curb the president’s power to set nuclear policy. The first requires Congress to declare war before nuclear weapons could be employed. The second makes the “no first use “strategy official policy. (Ibid. pg. 13.)
Donald Trump’s nuclear ambitions disrupt the current détente. If Republicans want to build a wall, let it be between the Congress and the White House. The public has lost its taste for the current legislative stalemate. Let our elected leaders choose and choose now. Whom do they serve? Their political party or their country?