Friday, February 19, 2016

OK, OK, Donald Trump might start a nuclear war, but at least that'll "stabilise the doons"

When I was at university, I remember reading a book about nuclear weapons that had been written in the early 1980s.  (It's quite a famous book, I think, but the name of it temporarily escapes me.)  It started by pointing out that opinion poll evidence showed that roughly half of the UK's population expected that, at some point within their own lifespans, human civilisation would be destroyed by a nuclear exchange between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.  It then pointed out that it was somewhat odd that it wasn't the number one political priority of both the electorate and the government to prevent that seemingly imminent catastrophe from occurring.

Arguably, we find ourselves in quite a similar situation now, because I genuinely think that if Donald Trump is elected US President in November, there is a non-trivial chance of a nuclear war occurring within his term of office.  That's not so much because of his insane right-wing views (it's difficult to know how many of those are genuine and how many are poses for the benefit of a Republican audience), but more because he's an ultra-belligerent narcissist with very little sense of restraint.  If he ever got the US into a serious dispute with Russia or China, it's not at all hard to see how it could escalate quickly.  The other day, I speculated that the chances of nuclear war under President Trump were at least 2% or 3%.  RevStu reckoned I should have stuck a zero at the end of those numbers.

Whichever of us is right, it's surely clear that the risk is unacceptably high.  As there can be nothing more important than preventing our species from being destroyed or mostly destroyed, it therefore follows that absolutely every other political consideration must play second-fiddle to the need to stop Trump.  The problem is that it's not at all clear how that is most likely to be achieved.  Most polls actually show that Bernie Sanders would have a better chance of beating Trump in a straight fight than Hillary Clinton would.  The cheerleaders for Clinton point out that the public at large haven't taken a close enough look at Sanders yet, and when it really comes down to it they would never elect a self-declared socialist.  But Clinton has her own disadvantages - she's a hate-figure for many moderate conservatives in a way that Sanders isn't, so it's far from inconceivable that she could genuinely prove to be the more unelectable of the two.

In view of that uncertainty, I think all that Democratic primary voters can reasonably do is forget about Trump for the time being, and vote for the candidate they really believe in.  For my own part, I had no hesitation in casting my postal vote for Sanders a few days ago.  It's almost painful to think what a huge step forward it would be for the world if he was elected - America would come into line with global opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nuclear weapons would be drastically reduced, and there would be a passionate advocate in the White House for the eradication of the death penalty, which could have huge knock-on benefits for human rights in China and the Middle East.

But if by any chance the eventual contest is Sanders v Trump, it'll be a straight all-or-nothing choice between America becoming a normal western country at last, and a descent into madness and possibly darkness.  Without question it'll be the scariest election anywhere in the world since Germany went to the polls in 1932.

33 comments:

  1. The only advantage I can see if President Trump happens is that if there is another Independence Referendum here, an unhinged intervention by The Donald on behalf of the Union would surely be worth many thousands of votes for Yes.

    Mind you it would be typical if the nutter got us all vapourised after winning independence!

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  2. Bernie Sanders used to send fraternal greetings to the SSP when I was a member. Welcome to socialism :)

    Anyway Trump's biggest problem is that he is insanely unpopular amongst all non-white voters, and that he will motivate the other side's base to turn out against him. That will most likely prove to be an insurmountable obstacle come November.

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    1. "Welcome to socialism"

      Thanks, but you're twelve years too late. This is my fourth vote for Sanders - the first was in the House of Representatives election in 2004.

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  3. There will never be a nuclear war between countries with cash rich elites. They have too much to lose. If there is a nuclear clash it will be between "rogue" states. There's no money in making big chunks of your landmass indefinitely uninhabitable.

    In the 70's the propaganda was all Russia evil. As you get older you begin to see its more about money than politics. The only ideology which rich people believe in is money - and their right to have lots of it. So sleep easy.

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    1. I think that's quite naive. Of course a nuclear war is in no-one's interest, but neither was the First World War. It still happened.

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    2. That was a bunch of cousins playing with their subject's lives. The billionaires all meet each other in Klosters every year, all know each other, and all scratch each others backs.

      In the 1930's banks went bust. Nowadays bankers get their bonus - cos they are too big to fail? Nah, cos they all went to Winchester, St Pauls, Eton, Rugby, etc.

      Its all kidology. They kid us on, we worry, they laugh all the way to their yacht.

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    3. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 19, 2016 at 10:56 PM

      Anon, they must be clever if they kid you! We could have Easterhouse or Drum Chappel kids running the economy. The Pollok Credit Union setting interest rates.

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    4. Davos. That's up the road from Klosters.

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  4. I've heard a lot of people say that they fear Cruz more than Trump, given that the latter has shown more flexibility in his political positions. I disagree. Cruz might be a dogmatic and inflexible right-winger, but he doesn't strike as being totally unhinged. At least not to the level of Trump.

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  5. If Hillary Clinton beats Bernie Sanders to the Democratic nomination, and comes up against Trump, then I am afraid to say that he would in all likelihood beat her. The Clintons are poisonous, as bad as the Bush family, and that is saying something. Hillary Clinton is an uber hawk, she led the charge for the bombing of Libya, supported the Iraq War, made an infamous cackle as she saw Gaddafi being violently executed, and is an open admirer of Kissinger, the war criminal. She is also completely in the pocket of Wall Street. Trump is obviously even worse, although sadly not as much as some make out.

    If Sanders does not beat Clinton, and then Trump to be the next POTUS, then I really, really fear for the USA, and the rest of the world.

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    1. I fear you may be right - many people hate Hilary and won't vote for her. It is a bit like the French election where the choice was between Sarkozy and LePen but in that case the French were prepared to vote for S to stop L.

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  6. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 19, 2016 at 10:41 PM

    If Trump wins will he be banned from Scotland along with US investment or will wee Eck just do his usual backslide and crawl. And of course Trump will bring back the old time religion. At least Trump had the audacity to tell the Argie Pope
    politely tae fook aff. That will be a bonus for him.

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  7. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 19, 2016 at 10:48 PM

    Cameron has done a deal! It is all over now. The Nat sis can breath some relief as they do not have to humiliate Scotland and crawl tae the EU mafia.

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    1. Ha ha ha. Not the deal that Cameron wants. I wouldn't be so confident on that one Glasgow Working Arse. I think you underestimate the contempt for Cameron and the EU down South. How do you think they'll react to the UK being too poor, too wee, too stupid to survive without the EU?

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    2. Out of the frying pan into the fire ,i think better with the EU Mafia , than the poison English Mafia.f

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  8. Anon : Comment deleted. PLEASE stop attempting to make that sort of post - I've warned you repeatedly (I'm pretty sure it was you) that it breaches this blog's moderation policy.

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  9. My partner is currently working in California. At an evening meeting she was talking to a fairly high flying lawyer, who, when questioned on Trump, simply said "no way, he will have a JFK moment. " such is American politics.

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  10. Nuclear war is likely if the US and UK et al. Continue to back the rebels against Asad in Syria. Putin the flawed character that he is is right on the Syrian situation.

    If the Saudis and Turks send ground troops in to overthrow Asad. Boom nuclear war strikes by The Russians in Syria! That's a very likely situation.

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 20, 2016 at 1:10 AM

      It is possible if Turkey and Saudi feel their borders and wealth is compromised then they will intervene directly although they are intervening indirectly just now.
      However Nuclear war is not go to happen. If Turkey does intervene then there will be a bloodbath. The Turks do not mess around!
      At least wee Israel is getting a bit of respite from the Islamist nutters.

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    2. If Turkey invades Syria we are likely to get a direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO member Turkey. The Russian forces in Syria are not big enough to combat a Turkish invasion, Russia may very then well bomb Turkish airbases in Turkey to prevent attacks on it's own troops in Syria, that would entitle Turkey to call in NATO for defence and that will lead to a nuclear stand off basically to protect the Turkish and Saudi backed jihadis in Syria. NATO will subsequently have to choose between falling apart and nuclear war. The sheer stupidity of the western elite getting itself into such a mess is quite staggering.

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    3. Fortunately the NATO treaty would only come into effect if Europe or North America was invaded. The Asian part of Turkey doesn't count.

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  11. Cruz is far more dangerous than Trump could ever be. Trump is a populist, but Cruz is a religious fundamentalist and the prospect of him holding any amount of power is terrifying.

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    1. Agree with you there. I would prefer Trump to Cruz as the best of a bad choice. But the fact that these two became frontrunners is crazy.

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    2. Being religious is not necessarily unhinged. Meanwhile, Trump believes in The Donald. I'd sooner he believed in God.

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    3. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 20, 2016 at 10:54 PM

      Which god is that?

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  12. Donald perspective is quite different, Its tough to understand that.
    Great information is shared by you. Thanks

    Ballot Box Suppliers | Voting Booths

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  13. Sadly if Brenie wins and the establishment looses at the Ballot Box I think he will go the way of all American radicals.

    The establishment will forsake the Ballot Box for their fallback of choice... The Bullet Box

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  14. In reply to :- Colin McCartney

    ... aye, Trump will never be President of America as the 'Established Order' won't permit it.
    As you suggest, there is the possibility of a 'Kennedy Solution' ..... or (less terminally) a pre-choreographed scandal will be exposed requiring his withdrawal / abdication from office.
    In any event, he is considered too much of "a loose canon" to be the Commander-in-Chief.

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    1. Or if you want to save money on tinfoil, there could simply be a brokered convention, which eliminates Trump entirely legally without having to resort to assassination and/or black helicopters.

      It's already on the cards.

      http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/brokered-republican-convention-cleveland-219306

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  15. How do you qualify for a vote - postal or otherwise - in US elections James?

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  16. Meanwhile back in Brit Nat Land the P&J just loves Trump and his Golf Courses and STV Aberdeen thinks the sun shines out of his 19th holes. Trump can build a dome over Turnberry to protect it from the fallout and the Brit Nats can have their Brit Open whilst the world turns into a radioactive slag heap and the P&J and STV Aberdeen will tell us isn't it all wonderful.

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  17. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 20, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    Iain More, you do not arf talk shoite.

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  18. Trump is going to win, isn't he...we are all going to die.

    He's like the Presidential candidate in Ray Bradbury's Sound of Thunder come alive. Came someone whip up a time machine because we need to go back and kill some bastarding butterfly. Baggsy the grenade launcher.

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