Take the Nukes Away From the Madman in the White House
August 12, 2017
Scott Galindez / Reader Supported News
Commentary: I have always argued that we are hypocrites to say other countries can't have nuclear weapons but we can. People have always said we were not crazy enough to use them. (Um . . . Hiroshima and Nagasaki.) Even if you ignore those bombings, there now is a madman in the White House threatening fire and fury. Kim Jong-un may be a nut job (and the world is a more dangerous place with him in power) but the new problem is Donald Trump -- a nut job with a more dangerous military at his disposal.
Take the Nukes Away From
The Madman in the White House
Scott Galindez / Reader Supported News
(August 11, 2017) -- I have always argued that we are hypocrites to say other countries can't have nuclear weapons but we can. People have always said we were not crazy enough to use them. Um . . . Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even if you ignore those bombings, the argument can no longer hold true.
Now there is a madman in the White House threatening fire and fury. Kim Jong-un may be a nut job, and the world is a more dangerous place with him in power. However, the new problem is Donald Trump, a nut job with a more dangerous military at his disposal.
The North Korean regime, like many others in history, depends on fear to remain in power. They need their people to believe they are strong leaders, and they depend on propaganda to feed that belief. The bluster that comes from North Korea is designed to give the North Korean people the impression that their country is a world power.
North Korea's missile tests are part of that propaganda campaign. The rhetoric out of North Korea has not gone unnoticed, and the responsible response has been isolation and sanctions.
Donald Trump depends on the same formula to govern the United States: propaganda, irresponsible rhetoric, and outright lies. He knows how to push all the right buttons to keep his angry white base motivated. The rest of the country and the world are disgusted by his actions, but his angry white base loves what he is doing.
This is nothing new with Trump. Everything he does is calculated to fire up his bigoted base of support. I am not saying all Trump supporters are racist or bigoted, but the base of his support is. Let's look back to his support of the birther movement.
I don't believe he ever doubted that President Obama was born in the United States. He did know that if he championed the issue, he would become a hero to people who didn't think a black man should be president.
During his campaign, he fired up his base with anti-immigrant rhetoric designed to fire up the same voting bloc. That angry white voting bloc believes that people of color are taking their jobs and are a drain on their economy.
They also are likely to be very patriotic and pro-military. They are the cab driver who tells you we should nuke all the Arabs, or the business owner who thinks all his taxes are going to lazy people and not to his community's infrastructure.
Those same people react positively to irresponsible militaristic rhetoric. As Donald Trump acts like a schoolyard bully and threatens to crush North Korea, these people are fired up and proud to be Americans again.
Kim Jong-un likely sees through it. He knows exactly what Donald Trump is doing. The North Korean leader has the same leadership style. But what if one of them believes the rhetoric they are throwing out there?
I think they are both phony cowards who are all show. I believe that they both just want their people to believe that they are tough. The problem is they have access to nuclear weapons, weapons that could end life on this planet.
Neither Donald Trump nor Kim Jong-un should have access to the powerful militaries that they lead. Jong-un becomes stronger every time Donald Trump ratchets up the rhetoric. Sanctions and isolation are the right responses to North Korea. Threats and bluster only increase the chance that a catastrophic event will take place.
It is time once again to work toward ridding the world of weapons of mass destruction. We have become lazy; there has not been much of an antiwar movement since the Iraq War. It is time to focus not only on nuclear nonproliferation but also on disarmament.
We can no longer count on the current nuclear powers being sane enough not to use nuclear weapons. Any country can elect a nut job like Donald Trump.
Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice.
Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott moved to Des Moines in 2015 to cover the Iowa Caucus.
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