Like a petulant child that’s lost his TikTok and Instagram privileges, Donald Trump sits alone, unable to share his thoughts, dank memes or pictures of cute cats… with his friends. In his case, it’s Twitter and Facebook, but same idea. And for him, emptying the dishwasher or doing his homework… isn’t going to get it back.
As the presidency draws to a close, there are calls to remove him before the 20th… and there are very good reasons to have that happen. As we’ve learned, there is no bottom to this psycho, and one thing about psychotic narcissists that’s worth keeping in mind is that if, after everything, they’re going down, they’ll often take down as many people with them as they can. Recall, their usual M.O. is to elevate themselves at the expense of everyone else. Accordingly, when there’s no way to elevate, the only way to get the same effect is to bash everyone else down. It’s the whole “It’s not enough that I win; everyone else has to lose” thing. Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours brighter, but some people don’t get it. They’d rather stick a firehose in your mouth if you’re drowning.
The Pandora’s Box unleashed by Trump will take a lot longer than 10 days to sort out, so does it matter if he’s in power during that time? Absolutely and emphatically, yes.
First of all, it’s important that he leave this presidency like he deserves; dishonourably. The stamp of disgrace needs to be all over it, if for no other reason than it boots him out of politics forever. Impeached or 25th’d out of there; it doesn’t matter. If it happens, he’s gone for good, though I assure you, no matter what, he’ll continue to insist he might run in 2024. Because that’s what’ll keep the grift afloat. The millions will roll in from his brainwashed cult followers. If he’s not booted before the 20th, the process still needs to continue to that conclusion. At least Trump can have something unique; not only the only president to ever lose two popular votes, but also the only one impeached twice.
What’s the worst thing that can happen if he’s left to stay for another 10 days? That’s an uneasy question because the far-fetched answer is as truly frightening as it gets. The age-old question of just how much power does a president have with respect to launching a nuclear strike is easily answered: All of it. And quickly.
By design, there’s very little in the way of him deciding launch nukes. At the heart of The Cold War, it was understood that if the U.S.S.R. launched nukes at America, there’d be 4 minutes before they hit. Four minutes to assess the situation and react. Conventionally, deciding who and what and when and where to strike would involve the president consulting top advisers, strategic command, military command, the secretary of defense, etc. In fact, the suggestion to do so usually originates from one of those; not the president himself. But there’s no time for any of that if a retaliatory strike is called for. When the order is given by the president, it goes direct; the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the White House Chief of Staff, the secretary of defense, the vice-president… none of them are in that decision chain and none of them can legally stop it. The president flips open the nuclear football, that fancy briefcase that’s always nearby… he pulls out the authenticator (conventionally known as “the biscuit”), and he uses that to validate who he is to the duty officer at the National Military Command Center. Then he says something like “Launch Strike Package Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”, and the duty officer, having received a valid order from the validated president, passes that order straight to the missile bases, submarines, bombers… whatever is called for. And the duty officer has to make a decision… launch the nukes, or be charged with mutiny or treason. Not a great position to be in for some kid from Nebraska who only joined the army to get his college paid for.
It’s understood that this is an archaic system and it needs to change; nowhere else in the world is this the case. Not even Russia. Even Putin doesn’t have this power; it has to be approved by his second.
All that being said, what would actually happen if Trump attempted it? There is a lot of history, on both sides, of almost launching the nukes. In all cases, an individual did their own sanity check and averted catastrophe. After the fact, it was found to have been a false alarm, due to mechanical error, technical error, human error, sunlight, miscommunication, lack of communication. There’s a long list of people who could arguably be charged with treason, but in reality, they’re all heroes.
There won’t be a pre-emptive strike on Russia, nor anyone else who could retaliate… but a limited attack on Iran? That’s far from impossible. In his present aggressive state of mind, angered and confused by what he considers to be betrayal… how about one final exclamation point for this presidency. Let’s show them all who’s really the boss.
He could do it, and it’d be hard to prevent him from attempting it. But it might not be so hard to deflect it. I sincerely hope the call has gone out to all of the relevant people; as unconstitutional as it might sound, ignore anything from Trump from now on when it comes to military decisions. Or, beyond that, I would sincerely hope there’s at least one free-thinking individual in the small chain between Trump’s insane brain and the big red button that would be willing to take the hit… possibly charged with treason or mutiny, but, more likely, called a hero and be pardoned by President Biden.
Or, here’s the best idea… get Trump the hell out of there. Now.
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