Donald Trump is frustrated, and that’s a dangerous thing.
Frustrated because the Russia investigation won’t go away, the Republicans in Congress aren’t scared of him anymore, the media sees through most his lies, his agenda—from wrecking the health care system to building the Wall—is a dead letter.
Dangerous for many reasons, but mainly because in key areas he acts as if he wanted to cut short the lifespan of the human species, and he is liable to do the craziest things when he is frustrated.
First, there is the war thing. This is the man with the nuclear codes, which means he could, in his own words, unleash “fire and fury in a way the world has never seen.”
Appearing on MSNBC recently, two former heads of U.S. intelligence said they worry because Trump is, well, crazy, and he is by law able to start a nuclear war on his own, with no one empowered to veto his decision. The president is supposed to consult with the Secretary of Defense in such an eventuality, but the Secretary can only offer an opinion. Trump can push the button regardless of what the Secretary of Defense thinks. Anyhow, Trump consult, really?
Those former intelligence honchos, whose jobs were mainly to identify threats to U.S. national security, are worried because they have identified one and he is the president.
In both his business and political careers, Trump has shown that not only is he aggressive, he’s downright bellicose. He has been entangled in so many lawsuits people have lost count. He cheats at every game, which worked well for him with helpless contractors, employees, game show contestants, and students at his pseudo-university but hasn’t and won’t with the likes of China’s leaders or even Angela Merkel.
He has a volatile temper, is impetuous in thought and action, makes wild threats, is ignorant of history, won’t listen to advice, has a grotesquely overblown opinion of himself and his own capacities. What’s there to worry about?
This last character trait is a special problem because it causes miscalculation. Remember “I know more than the generals.” On Afghanistan, he has just admitted he didn’t know better than the generals or Obama by changing course by 180 degrees.
Remember “I will build the Wall and Mexico will pay for it.” Now he has had to admit Mexico won’t and has threatened his own people he will shut down their government unless Congress gives him U.S. taxpayer money to build the Wall.
More frustration for Trump. Congress is not likely to give him the money. The Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan says no shutdown, no how, no way.
Economic experts say a shutdown now will hurt the markets and the economy, which Trump promised he would make great again.
Just the fact that he has had to eat such a steady diet of horse manure lately—on health care, the Wall, Afghanistan—must aggravate Trump further. With Trump being Trump and North Korea being North Korea, nuclear war, while still unlikely, is not far-fetched.
Perhaps even more dangerous because it threatens the big players is Trump’s recent decision to modernize and expand the already awesome nuclear capability of the United States. Just about every expert believes this could bring another escalating arms race and make war more likely. “Experts, who needs them,” thinks Trump.
The other big thing beside war that Trump threatens is the world’s environment, in which human life is inextricably embedded. Trump reneged on the Paris climate accord. He appointed the chief nemesis of the EPA to head the agency the better to gut regulation, defund key programs, empower the fossil fuels industry.
Donald Trump has always been a dangerous man—to women, minorities, the weak and gullible—but as president his “dangerousness” (a concept used by nineteenth century criminologists) has increased exponentially and now spans the globe. Unfortunately for the security of the United States, he is now messing with a tougher crowd with the ability and the will to strike back hard. The former U.S. intelligence chiefs realize that, and it keeps them sleepless at night.
The Trump administration racks up an outrage a day or more. Even so, the pardon of Sherriff Joe Arpaio, the most notorious xenophobe, racist and scofflaw in law enforcement, stands out. With tensions between police and minorities explosive in the extreme, this amounts to playing with matches. Irresponsible doesn’t cover it.
But the most momentous outrage of all, which is the subject of this article, is that there is no doubt now that the chief threat to U.S. security, both internationally and internally, is the man who holds the highest office in the land and who is sworn to defend the nation and its Constitution from all threats foreign and domestic, the guy who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.