In less than one month, Donald Trump will be in command of the United State’s nuclear arsenal. This is alarming enough just at face value. It’s significantly more terrifying considering what Trump tweeted on Thursday:
The tweet was sent just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin issued this statement:
“We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems. We must carefully monitor any changes in the balance of power and in the political-military situation in the world, especially along Russian borders, and quickly adapt plans for neutralizing threats to our country.”
Nuclear experts are quite alarmed at Trump’s statement, although it’s not entirely clear what he meant. Huffington Post reported on the response of one noted expert:
Noam Chomsky, the renowned scholar and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor emeritus, said that Trump’s tweet was “one of the most frightening statements I’ve seen recently.”
“Putin’s is bad enough,” Chomsky said, “but at least it has a defensive cast. It’s about Russia’s borders, not Mexico’s.”
Chomsky also suggested these statements could prompt a change to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock ― a symbolic representation of how close humanity is to global catastrophe ― which is due to be updated in early 2017. Since 2015, the clock has been set at three minutes to midnight.
“[The clock] just might move even closer to midnight,” Chomsky said.
Huffington Post reports further with the comments of Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.), the executive director of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation:
But Trump’s comments taken alone, and especially when coupled with Putin’s, “are heated and careless,” Tierney said. The U.S. and Russia should cooperate in the goal of reducing the role of nuclear weapons, as they have since the Cold War, he added.
“This is a time for leadership, not bravado,” Tierney said. “Russia and the U.S. already own over 93 percent of the world’s nuclear arsenal ― more than enough to deter the other and destroy humanity. This is a time for both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to come to their senses. Billions of lives are at stake.”
Congratulations, America, you elected a narcissistic, bullying, thin-skinned child as POTUS, and now he’s going to get into a nuclear pissing match to prove how “tough” he is. The catastrophic consequences that could be around the corner are squarely on your shoulders, Trump voter.