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Donald J. Trump Has the Power to End All Life on Our Planet, Don’t Let Him!

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“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Voltaire

I was born in May 1947, less than two years after the close of the second World War and toward the beginning of what has come to be known as the Cold War.

Throughout my years in elementary school, the country held regular air raid drills. At the sound of the shrill tones from the booming sirens screaming their warning of imminent attack, we were taught by our teachers to immediately walk toward the center of a building with the least number of windows, find a desk or table under which we were to duck and bend to the floor, and then to grab both hands together and place them over our head as protection from falling debris.

We rehearsed these “duck and cover” drills regularly in our classrooms, and most of us actually thought at our young ages that we could survive a nuclear attack if we crouched directly beneath our protective school desks and placed our hands in just the correct manner. Well, at least I thought so until during one of the drills, a student began laughing at the absurdity of the situation. He then shouted to his classmates, “That’s right class. Let’s all bend down, place our heads between our legs, and kiss our ass goodbye!” His words have haunted me ever since.

In my 70 years on this planet, I have twice feared for my life and the lives of all humanity because of the words and actions of world leaders who risked nuclear annihilation.

The first involved the direct and potentially catastrophic showdown between the United States and the Soviet Union in October 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. These two superpowers came close to nuclear war following a failed attempt by the U.S. to overthrow the Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro, which prompted Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev to reach a secret agreement with Castro for the installation of Soviet missiles on the island to deter another U.S. invasion.

At a time when people were rapidly constructing fallout shelters in their backyards and stocking them with emergency supplies, routine U.S. aerial intelligence in September 1962 clearly showed the construction of numerous Soviet missile sites in Cuba and the discovery of an arms buildup, which included Soviet IL-28 bombers plus medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic nuclear missiles.

Surrounded by his top military advisers and the support from the Organization of American States, Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba. The same day Kennedy sent a message to Khrushchev declaring that the U.S. would not allow offensive weapons to be delivered to the island nation, and that all strategic weapons already in Cuba must be immediately returned to the Soviet Union. The Joint Chiefs of Staff increased our nation’s military readiness status of DEFCON 3 as U.S. naval forces began to implement the quarantine. They also planned for a possible military strike on Cuba.

Following days of tense negotiations going back and forth between the White House and the Kremlin, with several charges and counter charges, plans and counter plans, and the frayed nerves of the world’s people, Khrushchev agreed to the removal of all Soviet missiles from Cuba under the direct supervision of the United Nation, with the guaranteed assurance that the United States would not attack Cuba. In addition, the Soviets demanded that the U.S. dismantle and remove its Jupiter missiles from its bases in Turkey.

A nuclear Holocaust was averted.

I fear that we are once again on the verge of another possible nuclear showdown with increasing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, and the U.S. and Iran. The difference between today and the early 1960s are many. But for me, it comes down to a difference in leadership between that of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Donald John Trump.

Though there are some similarities between the two in that both were given the name “John,” both were legendary womanizers, and both were born into families headed by fathers rich materially but bankrupt morally and ethically in the ways they conducted affairs of business.

On the other hand, JFK felt an insatiable hunger and thirst for knowledge. He was an avid reader with a sharp and quick mind. He consumed knowledge the way Trump consumes and spits out wives. Kennedy was a scholar of history, and he fully comprehended the workings of government and, in particular, the awesome responsibilities and duties required of any President of the United States. Before taking an action, he conferred with his trusted advisors, weighed all options, and after thoughtful reflection, came to a decision.

Yes, Kennedy certainly made mistakes, the most consequential being his committing troops and resources into Indochina. Kennedy was generally, however, measured in his public comments, and he relied on his administration’s abilities at diplomatic means to settle international and domestic conflict.

John Kennedy demonstrated a certain stability in character, brilliance of mind, focus in action, and a deep sense of commitment to the notion that to those to whom much is given, much is expected.

What can I say about Donald Trump that the majority of thoughtful people don’t already understand? Trump has no love or need for knowledge or preparation, he has no apparent understanding of history or of science, and even less use for either. This President, rather, operates purely on emotion and instinct. He shoots from the mouth, and thrives on chaos, disarray, and perpetual infighting among his staff and advisors, whom he discounts when they attempt to give him counsel.

He is unstable in character, ignorant in mind, unfocused in action, which he alters from one minute to the next and after talking with each person he meets. Though his campaign slogans were “America First” and “Make America Great Again,” in truth he operates on the assumption of me, Donald Trump first and foremost, by making Donald Trump even richer and more powerful, again.

We, the people of the United States, find ourselves at a critical juncture in our collective history, one in which we must choose among various routes going forward.

One category of options refers to the possible ways of standing with a President who was elected by a minority of the electorate, a President who has clearly demonstrated in words and actions his total temperamental and intellectual incapacity to handle the enormous power and responsibility he has been granted over the lives of all living things upon our beautiful and increasingly interdependent planet.

Other choices, though, center on how we may (or must) resist so we will alter the course this President has chartered toward our figurative and literal destruction as a nation and as a species.

Donald Trump seems incapable of understand the enormous power at his command. His Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, allegedly referred to him as “a f*****g moron” following a July 2017 meeting at the Pentagon in which top military leaders briefed Trump on U.S. readiness around the world. At that meeting, Trump was reported to have asked his advisors for a tenfold increase in the country’s nuclear arsenal, and asked that since we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them?

“Enabling” is the term given to those who fail to act against and collude with those who engage in the maltreatment and hurtful decisions that impact themselves and others.

How long will it take for Trump’s supporters to finally realize they have been duped by this con-artist who sold them his snake-oil-of-a-campaign of little value, which can have disastrous consequences? How much longer can Trump’s enablers understand that they are hurting the country and sacrificing their own integrity and sense of dignity for the mere promise of some small political gains?

Unfortunately, it is apparent that Trump’s Cabinet lacks the spine to invoke the 25th Amendment, Section 4, which requires a simple majority vote of the Cabinet plus the Vice President to remove the President from office. In addition, Republicans in the House of Representatives lack the will and courage to impeach, and Republican Senators lack the will and courage to convict this President of the clear and present danger he poses to the very foundations of our democratic institutions.

The U.S. dropped “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” on Japan in 1945, killing initially an estimated 200,000 souls and injuring countless more. Donald J. Trump has already resigned from the human race. Don’t allow him to take us all down with him.

Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld is author of Warren’s Words: Smart Commentary on Social Justice (Purple Press); editor of Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price (Beacon Press), and co-editor of Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge) and Investigating Christian Privilege and Religious Oppression in the United States (Sense), and co-author of Looking at Gay and Lesbian Life (Beacon Press).

 

Written by Warren Blumenfeld

October 13th, 2017 at 10:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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