In an provocative – and dangerous – tweet tonight, Trump took to Twitter to effectively threaten nuclear war with North Korea, claiming that he, too, has a “Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than [Kim Jong Un’s].”
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
Trump’s tweet comes in response to the North Korean leader’s own thinly-veiled threat against the Trump administration, claiming that he has a nuclear button “always on the desk of [his] office.”
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“The United States can never fight a war against me and our state,” he said. “It should properly know that the whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike and a nuclear button is always on the desk of my office, and this is just a reality, not a threat.”
Legendary journalist Dan Rather took to Facebook to pose some extremely vital questions in the wake of Trump’s daunting remarks.
Donald Trump’s tweet on North Korea (the one you’ve probably seen where a President of the United States plays “mine’s bigger than yours” like a schoolyard taunt but about nuclear weapons) is so far beyond any norm of advisable presidential behavior as to define reason.
What can be said that has not already been said a thousand times? Except that it keeps getting worse and more dangerous. Do you ignore these ravings? Do you try to deprive a petty bully of his Twitter oxygen? Does the world take it seriously? Do they take the United States seriously? Will that help protect us from the sheer import of this perilous rhetoric? What does it say that we have to hope for restraint from a murderous dictator in return?
As with so much of the Trump era there are always more questions than answers. And a couple final ones to put this moment in context. Will the rest of the Republican Party continue to normalize this behavior? And will we look at this administration as an aberration in America’s march to progress or a dangerous portent of our future course?
I for one remain optimistic that most Americans see this for what it is and President Trump and his supporters may pay a political price because of it.
The escalation is only the latest in a series of incendiary remarks between the two despotic rulers grandstanding on the international stage.
So far, all of Trump’s strongman tactics have earned him exactly nothing, as North Korea, per their own announcement, now has a “complete” nuclear arsenal. The unfortunate achievement comes on the heels of repeated missile launches in the face of Trump’s aggressive rhetoric.
The world, meanwhile, is forced to stand idly by and watch as these two authoritarian leaders attempt to outdo each other on Twitter to mollify their insatiable egos.
As to whether the Republican Party will “continue to normalize this behavior,” if recent elections are any indicator, they won’t be in power long enough for this to matter.
Americans are fed up with Trump’s dangerous tweeting, and November can’t come soon enough.