Should America Entrust the Nuclear Launch Codes to Someone Who is Unhinged?
I’m not a psychologist, but after watching Donald Trump’s thirteen-month Presidential campaign, it certainly appears that he is unhinged.
He is erratic, eager to pick a fight with anyone for pretty much any perceived slight or affront. He is probably the most narcissistic person we have ever encountered – in his mind everything appears to be about him.
His inability to restrain his own anger at being attacked leaves him embroiled in battles that are not in his own interest – the ongoing fight with the Khan family and his gratuitous refusal to endorse his own party’s Speaker of the House being the latest examples.
There was a time when his pursuit of crazy conspiracy theories – like the idea that half a century ago someone plotted to create a fake birth certificate for Barack Obama so that he could one day run for President – were political ploys. Increasingly, it seems likely that he actually believes them.
In some respects Trump appears delusional. He may actually believe it when he assures everyone to “believe me” the Mexicans will pay for his giant wall, or that he is “the only one” who can fix the country.
In other words, Trump is an erratic, self-centered, narcissistic megalomaniac. And, as Mr. Khan so eloquently pointed out, he hasn’t got a shred of empathy for others. To Trump, other people are objects to be manipulated to benefit himself.
I will give him this. While he may be erratic, he is far from inconsistent. Every move he has ever made has been centered on one goal: to benefit Donald Trump.
As Elizabeth Warren has said, Trump would grind anyone in the dirt to make himself more money.
His entire business history makes that clear, from the Trump “University” fraud scheme, to five bankruptcies that left him rich but left his investors out of luck, to a trail of vendors and creditors who were intentionally stiffed – even though he could have afforded to pay. His motto has been, do the work, and then if you want all of your money - sue me. He has been sued 4,000 times.
Given his own megalomania, Trump may have actually convinced himself that he is the smartest businessman around. Although Warren Buffett, who is one of the smartest businessmen alive, points out that a monkey choosing stocks with by throwing darts at a board would have done better than Trump’s investors in his “huge” hotel deals in Atlantic City.
In fact, of course, we have no idea how “rich” Trump really is, since he refuses to release his income tax returns. Presumably he is trying to hide something – or many things. He is likely to have much less money than he pretends to have. Many years ago we know he paid no taxes for several years – and he likely used every trick in the book to avoid paying taxes throughout his career. He has probably made many fewer donations that he pretends to have made. And God knows where he has made investments – or borrowed money. For instance, it appears now that he has done deals with Russian oligarchs who are close to Vladimir Putin.
And just today, it has been reported that Trump asked an unnamed foreign policy expert why the U.S. couldn't use nuclear weapons. If we have them, why can't we used them, he asked.
The bottom line is this. The thought of having a person like Donald Trump in control of the nuclear launch codes should be terrifying to every American – and to everyone on the planet.
Remember, the President’s power does not just extend to leading the Executive Branch and signing legislation. The President of the United States personally controls a nuclear arsenal with the power to destroy much of humanity.
As Hillary Clinton has pointed out, imagine Donald Trump in the Situation Room at the White House in control of those nuclear codes and not just a Twitter Account.
The last person we need as President is a thin-skinned man with a hair-trigger temper, who can’t restrain himself from striking back at any perceived slight or disrespect.
The last person we need is a man who actually believes that he alone is capable of addressing the country’s problems, that he alone is qualified to be the savior of the nation – a person who has shown time and again that he refuses to listen to advice or even thinks he needs advice. Other countries have seen men like that rise to power before. The consequences were dire.
And let’s recall that all of those characteristics only amplify the danger of putting someone at the helm of our nation who has no experience dealing with other countries (except the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant) and doesn’t know the first thing about what is going on in the world.
Many Americans still remember the Cuban Missile Crisis when the United States and Soviet Union came a hair’s breath from a nuclear exchange. One nuclear weapon detonated above a major city would kill hundreds of thousands – potentially millions of people – in a matter of seconds. We came that close.
In the end, the diplomatic skill and cool head of John F. Kennedy allowed for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. It is terrifying to imagine what might have happened had an impetuous, erratic, delusional megalomaniac like Donald Trump been making those life and death decisions.
This is no ordinary election. For the next 97 days we must do everything you can to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the 45 President of the United States. Future generations may depend upon it.