As we get media-blasted daily about how horrible Donald Trump is, how close we are (always) to removing him from office and the hateful state of America, something is being swept under the carpet. Perhaps it’s because the thought of that ‘something’ is so incredibly disturbing—it’s hard to even wrap our brains around it.
At the height of the media finally acknowledging that Trump is a sociopath, along with the foreboding Mueller report near and Trump’s publicly failed talks with the Korean dictator who is now ramping up nuclear missiles, Trump still holds the greatest power any American can have. He, alone, can send out nuclear missiles that would potentially end of the world (I can’t believe I just typed that) and he can legally do so without running it by anyone.
This is not a new power. The allowance of a president to take such action became legal while President Truman was in office and has continued onward. Trump doesn’t have to ask the Secretary of Defense about launching a nuclear attack. He doesn’t have to get Congress’s approval. He doesn’t have to ask one fucking person before he presses the virtual button and kills billions of innocent people—or worse.
Thing is, we can’t put the concept past Trump. We can’t put anything past him. He’s had to have thought about it. We know how he loves to flex his power with executive orders and how he seemed to enjoy the power of extending an indefinite Government Shutdown that was causing havoc and unnecessary financial strife to millions, all because he couldn’t get funding for his campaign promise to build an abhorrent Mexican border wall. Some of the funding he did get came from money intended for military housing upgrades. Now he’s trying to declare a National State Emergency for the same reason. Many don’t realize that such a declaration would be much worse they thought. How far will he go? Trump has proven there is no limit to what he’ll do or try. He’s been caught lying or misleading thousands of times since being sworn in. One minute he’s a spoiled child in a man’s body. The next minute he’s a mean, hate-filled thug. The next minute he’s pole-dancing with the American flag. And then there are those nonsensical rants when no one knows what the hell he’s talking about. He’s clearly unfit, unstable, and yet Trump’s eroding mental health still does not seem to be a big enough story to stay in the news long enough to cause alarm.
The alarm is going off. What is being done to stop a madman from practicing this one ludicrous and perilous presidential entitlement?
Before Trump was elected, and during a time when Hillary Clinton remained far ahead in the polls and looked to be the sure winner, California Congressman Ted Lieu and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey introduced a bill in both the House and Senate that would “prohibit the conduct of a first-use nuclear strike absent a declaration of war by Congress.” The 2016 bill met the dust. The two Democratic lawmakers, Markey and Lieu, came back with the same bill in 2017 requesting restrictions be made. Again, the bill failed to gain enough interest or momentum to even spark a serious conversation in Congress. At the end of January, when we need action probably more than any other time in American history, Lieu and Markey have reintroduced the bill (H.R.669/S.200) in hopes of better results. Here is part of the press release from Ted Lieu via LeiuHouse.Gov on January 29, 2019:
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) and Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) announced the reintroduction of legislation to prevent the president from launching a nuclear first strike without congressional approval. Rep. Lieu and Sen. Markey announced the reintroduction of the “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2019” (H.R.669/S.200) at a press conference today alongside nuclear arms control leaders, who urged Congress to take action to prevent nuclear war.
Congressman Lieu states:
“Trump’s brand is to be unpredictable and rash, which is exactly what you don’t want the person who possesses the nuclear football to be,” Rep. Lieu said. “We introduced this bill under the Obama Administration but Trump’s Presidency has highlighted just how scary it is that any president has the authority to launch a nuke without Congressional consultation. I believed in 2016 what I still believe now: launching a weapon that has the power to instantly kill millions of people is an obvious act of war. Regardless of who sits in the Oval Office, Congress has the constitutional duty to decide when a nuclear first strike is warranted. As we’re now coming to realize, we could be one tweet that insults the president away from catastrophe.”
Senator Markey adds:
“No American President, and certainly not Donald Trump, should have the power to launch a first use nuclear first strike absent such an attack without explicit Congressional approval,” Sen. Markey said. “It would be immoral, it would be disproportionate, and it could only be considered an act of war – something our morals and our Constitution make clear no single person should be able to do alone. I thank Rep. Lieu for his continued partnership on the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, and we will continue to work with our colleagues to get this critical legislation passed.”
In Lieu’s press release, he lists nine prominent organizations from which the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2019 bill has garnered strong support. Here are four statements by four of those alliances.
Union of Concerned Scientists Washington Representative Stephen Young:
“Giving the president the sole authority to start a nuclear war – using one or even hundreds of nuclear weapons first — is quite literally the most dangerous policy possible. The explicit goal of that policy is to make global annihilation feasible in less than an hour. I wish I were exaggerating. I am not. While the policy is intended to serve as a deterrent, the reality is it leads to the current situation, where a fit of temper by the president could end the world. It is time to change that policy. The bill we are discussing here today would do just that.”
Arms Control Association Executive Director Daryl G. Kimball:
“The legislation introduced by Sen. Markey and Congressman Lieu has kicked off a long-overdue conversation about outdated Cold War-era nuclear use policies that give the president sole authority to initiate a nuclear conflict. Not only is this policy undemocratic and dangerous, it is unnecessary. Especially given the overwhelming conventional military edge of the United States and its allies, there is no plausible circumstance that could justify—legally, morally, or militarily—the use of nuclear weapons to deal with a non-nuclear threat.”
Win Without War Advocacy Director Erica Fein:
“According to a new poll, nearly half of all Americans report they have no confidence ‘at all’ in Donald Trump; yet, because of our deeply flawed and dangerous system, if the president decides to launch a nuclear weapon, no one can stop him. It is high time for Congress to add a check on this or any future president’s ability to start a nuclear war.”
Beyond the Bomb Director Cecili Thompson Williams:
“Donald Trump is a walking, talking case for dismantling a system that relies so completely on the judgment, temperament and emotional state of one person. It is profoundly undemocratic and dangerous. This president has taken us closer to the brink of nuclear war than we have been in generations, and it’s time for Congress to urgently intervene. The Markey-Lieu bill, which would force Trump to seek a Congressional declaration of war before launching a nuclear first strike – is an important step toward reigning in the President’s ability to start a war that could end life on this planet as we know it – and buy our country some time to pursue other critical reforms that overturn the unjust, undemocratic U.S. nuclear system. It’s time to start walking back from the brink, and the Markey-Lieu bill does just that.”
Bottom line: Regardless of who is in the Oval Office, no U.S. President should have the soul power to bomb billions of innocent people and/or end humanity, without first having to get approval from another being or entity. The Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2019 is common sense, it’s non-partisan and it could be the most critical bill in American history.