There have been extinction events many times in world history. None of them have so far involved in a species exterminating itself. But that could change. There has never been a Donald Trump before.
And nuclear annihilation is a very likely outcome of Trump’s Christmas present to us all, a nuclear arms race. This is the man, remember, who asked if we have nukes why we can’t use them. Three times in an hour.
Media Matters‘ Oliver Willis offers us a sobering reminder of what, precisely, we are talking about when we say “nuclear arms race”:
reminder of the day
50 nukes could kill 200 million people, 60% of the us population
we have about 7,100
trump says we need more
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) December 22, 2016
The remarkable thing is how often Trump can say completely reprehensible, unthinkable things, only to have his followers massage his words, as happened with what The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent calls Rachel Maddow’s “deeply disconcerting” chat with Kellyanne Conway last night:
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) December 23, 2016
As Trump fact-checker par excellence Daniel Dale put it in words far too clear for the Trump camp,
It's back: 1) Trump says unclear thing. 2) Spokespeople offer most benign version. 3) Trump says he means most extreme version.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) December 23, 2016
So we end up with,
Trump SPOX: “There is not going to be” an arms race. Trump: “Let it be an arms race.”
Or, as HuffPo’s Sam Stein presents it, an administration that seemingly can’t find it’s own backside with both hands and a flashlight:
TRUMP: More nukes
AIDE: He meant less nukes
TRUMP: No, really, more nukes
AIDE: We won’t have more nukes
Stein is certainly right when he says, “Trump may believe in strategic ambiguity. In this case, it could bring us closer to nuclear war.” Indeed, if there is one thing we absolutely must be clear on, it is nuclear weapons.
Jeffrey Wright quipped that Trump was caught “Publicly pleasuring himself on Presidential power” but guess who is in the splatter zone?
Here's what the electoral map would look like if only people who weren't burnt to a crisp in the nuclear holocaust voted. pic.twitter.com/MsrkuOjZWi
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 23, 2016
Of course, at that point, with the libertarian dystopia finally the stuff of more than dreams, there is no guarantee there would be even that many people left to vote.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.