Trump’s Terrifying Nuke Answer at the Debate Should End His Campaign (But It Won’t)
Donald Trump and I have something in common: When right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt asked the GOP frontrunner about America’s nuclear triad at Tuesday night’s debate, neither of us had heard that phrase before.
But Donald Trump is running for president, and I’m not.
There’s another difference between us: I could glean from the context of Hewitt’s question that he was asking Trump what he would do to maintain our nuclear arsenal. (The triad refers to our land-, sea- and air-based systems for delivering nukes.) Trump had absolutely no idea what Hewitt was asking, and his answer was genuinely terrifying.
Trump has said a lot of scary (and racist) things on the campaign trail, from calling undocumented immigrants rapists to saying he’d ban Muslims from the country to urging supporters at his rallies to attack protesters.
But his answer Tuesday night was especially terrifying; it revealed what it means to put an ignorant blowhard with a head full of jagged rocks in charge of enough munitions to blow up the entire world several times over.
Let’s go through his answer. If you didn’t see it in real time, know that you should experience the stomach-churning terror you feel when you climb that first hill on an especially tall roller coaster.
First, Hewitt’s question:
“Mr. Trump, Dr. Carson just referenced the single most important job of the president, the command, the control and the care of our nuclear forces. And he mentioned the triad. The B-52s are older than I am. The missiles are old. The submarines are aging out. It’s an executive order. It’s a commander-in-chief decision.
“What’s your priority among our nuclear triad?”
No matter how little you know about the makeup of our nuclear forces, it’s clear Hewitt is suggesting the technologies we use to deliver a nuclear attack are too old, and asking Trump what his priority would be when it comes to maintaining them. Right? You’d have to be completely ignorant, an utter buffoon with the intelligence of an earthworm the other earthworms make fun of for being dumb not to get the gist of what Hewitt is asking here.
This was Trump’s response:
“Well, first of all, I think we need somebody absolutely that we can trust, who is totally responsible, who really knows what he or she is doing. That is so powerful and so important.”
On the face of it, Trump’s first comments may seem reasonable. We do need someone we can trust, who is totally responsible, who knows what he or she is doing when it comes to taking charge of our nuclear arsenal. But this wasn’t an introduction to a fuller answer explaining why he knows what he’s doing (or what his plans are). To Trump, that was the substantive answer. Listen to Trump for 30 seconds at any of his rallies and you realize that’s the entirety of his thought process. “Make America Great Again” is a perfectly fine slogan if you have a plan to make America great again, but with Trump, the slogan is the entire agenda. There is no plan.
How do we know Trump is responsible enough to handle our nuclear arsenal? He went on:
“And one of the things that I’m frankly most proud of is that in 2003, 2004, I was totally against going into Iraq because you’re going to destabilize the Middle East. I called it. I called it very strongly. And it was very important.”