I see that it’s been about 2 weeks since my last post, that’s probably a record. And while some of that gap can be explained by holiday commitments, it’s also because I’ve been frozen in place watching the president-elect ramp up. It’s similar to watching a train derailment in slow motion… with bad hair.
I admire people who are able to separate each catastrophe as they occur, and write on that topic without overlapping with so many others. I can’t start talking about a new arms race without commenting on the filling of so many cabinet positions with people who are on record as wanting to dismantle the very department they are now slated to lead. There’s no way to take your eye off the ball for a second and not get it in the face these days.
For anyone who isn’t old enough to remember the constant state fear and distrust between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, it’s difficult to describe what the landscape was like, and how it is now quickly reemerging into existence, like Lord Voldermordt being reborn from a lone cauldron in a remote cemetery.
For over a year we’ve been watching Trump tweet out insinuations and thoughts that have sent the media (and consequently half of the country) into a tailspin over and over, only to have his cleanup crew try to explain what he really meant in order to calm everyone down again.
As president-elect, he is doing it again, only now his words carry the weight of policy. Like a petulant man-child, he can’t seem to not react, and there seems to be little if no forethought to the repercussions. It does not matter how intelligent someone is if that are a slave to their emotions. There is so much nuance in world diplomacy and nuclear policy that no one person can respond as quickly as he does without considering every reaction to their words. And based on the explanation rate from his minions, Trump is no exception.
There can be nothing less presidential than the willingness to endanger millions of innocent lives because you feel the childish need to posture at every provocation and opinion.
The old saying goes, “what goes up, must come down”, and America’s position as a global power is no exception. It is inevitable that the developing regions of the world will continue to become more and more relevant, while those that have led the world will find themselves in growing company, whether they like it or not.
The need to be perceived as the most successful, the most powerful, the most virile man ever to own a penis, is at the base of Trump’s nature. His need for recognition and accolades is legendary. But likewise it is bottomless and insatiable. That kind of need for fulfillment comes from a deep place in the individual, but is probably linked to more war and bloodshed than any other driving factor in human history.
The idea that a 140 character instant communication could start another nuclear arms race is something people are trying to impress upon the president elect. Unfortunately, he has one foot in a reality where he must show his virility at all cost, and a fantasy where everyone overreacts to his words and “need to lighten up”. And unfortunately, reality is in the perception of the observer, and those who are watching must err on the side of caution. And so, self-preservation is the watchword.
The biggest oversight Trump has made is assuming that all of this may only become another arms race. To hope that all sides will see this posturing as a reason to build their own arsenals up enough to once again ensure a worldwide nuclear stalemate is a hope drawn from the shelves of the dusty past, just as the slogan “make America great again” is nothing more than fruitless nostalgia for a bygone era.
To examine Donald Trump’s public statements is to reveal a man whose ideas on foreign policy are steeped in the teachings of the Sylvester Stallone and Steven Seagal movies of the 1980’s. But ignoring the fact that increased production of these weapons only makes more of them available for non-state actors bent on global destruction in exchange for their own eternal reward is ignorant to the point of delusional. Those are not on the preferred list of characteristics to a world leader, but they are similar to traits shared by dictators throughout the ages.
And so I’ll sit back and watch, and as the inspiration comes to me, I will comment as best as I can, for as long as I can, until they finally succeed in stopping me. At which point it’s your turn.