I know you’re out there, but your silence is deafening. Enough is enough. Listen, I understand it can be hard–when you’ve identified as a republican for so long, and you hate Hillary Clinton so much–to stand up and say, “There’s no way in hell that I would ever cast a vote for Donald Trump,” but we’re going to need you to do that now. Okay? Because this stuff is getting crazy. You didn’t say anything when he insulted the Muslim family of a slain American soldier, you didn’t say anything when he shamed a mother for having a crying baby at one of his rallies,you didn’t say anything when he said that if his daughter was sexually harassed, he’d “like to think she would find another career,” you didn’t say anything after he joked about how being given a purple heart by a fan was “much easier” than earning one… And you really should have said something. But now it’s time for you to speak up now. I’m serious. Because this is not just about your tacit approval of the sexism, racism, and xenophobia that Trump represents and champions. That SHOULD be enough for you, but I get it–It’s not. But there are three things that highlight not just how amazingly unfit he is to be president, but how inherently DANGEROUS a Trump presidency would be.
A lot of people are at least a little bit aware of Trump’s man crush on Vladimir Putin, but most people don’t know that the extent of his relationship with the Russian strongman goes way beyond complementary tweets and shirtless horse rides… Trump’s campaign chairman is a man named Paul Manafort. Manafort has worked on many Republican presidential campaigns… As well as working for foreign dictators like Ferdinand Marcos and Mobutu Sese Seko. Another person Paul Manafort worked very closely with is former Ukranian president Victor Yanukovych. The U.S. opposed Yanukovych because of his close ties with Putin. So why does this matter? Because Donald Trump is a little too buddy buddy with Vladimir Putin. His campaign chairman also worked for a Putin puppet leader. Trump has said that “Putin is a better leader than Obama.” He said that Putin is “not going into Ukraine”–Even though, as George Stephanopoulos pointed out, Putin already went into Ukraine. And–perhaps most alarmingly–when the Republican Party had language in their official platform about providing Ukraine with “lethal defensive weapons”, the Trump campaign insisted on changing that language to providing Ukraine with “appropriate assistance.” Now, normally I’d be just fine with taking steps away from “lethal defense weapons,” but that seems more than a little fishy for his campaign to insist on that. Especially when you consider what an itchy trigger finger Trump seems to have for using nuclear weapons. Which brings me to my next point…
Joe Scarborough recently revealed that an unnamed source confirmed that during a foreign policy briefing, Trump asked THREE TIMES why–if we have nuclear weapons–why we can’t just use them. And listen… If that doesn’t scare the crap out of you, it should. I have seen no better response than the response of former nuclear launch officer and national security expert John Noonan, who (originally in 20 tweets) wrote the following scathing assessment of Donald Trump as a leader:
“I cant get this in one tweet. So bear with me as I air some laundry here on Scarborough’s claim Trump’s interested in nuclear First Use. Pulled 300 nuclear alerts, 100 ft under the Wyoming turf. Job is serious and full of serious people. When we went into ICBM training, we went through a battery of tests and interviews. Are you sane? Are you willing to turn your key? I see how those might sound at odds. But the whole idea behind nuclear deterrence is that you don’t use the damn things. So I thought the mission credible and worthy. There are a hell of a lot of bad actors out there who have nukes. They are restrained only by our ability to instantly lay waste to them. The nuke triad, which Trump doesn’t have a clue about, has been the single greatest contributor to global peace for decades. You heard me. I dont know if Scarborough is telling whole truth here. Anonymous sources suck. BUT… if he is… buckle the hell up. Because Trump would be undoing 6 decades of proven deterrence theory. The purpose of nukes is that they are never used. Trump disagrees? This would be the single greatest strategic shift in US national security in decades. In a Trump Presidency, our foreign policy would be this: “Leave our alliances, fall back on a nuclear first use policy.” Does he understand just how F’ing dangerous that is? But what really concerns me, as a former nuke guy, is the idea of a narcissist walking around with nuclear authenticators. I could sit 100ft underground, on alert, knowing that the POTUS would not make me do my duty — not unless it was absolute last resort, but imagine having to turn launch keys not knowing if we were under attack or if it was b/c foreign leader said a mean thing on Twitter. The power is there to kill millions. Permanently alter the geopolitical landscape. It is a sacred, sobering responsibility. [The] Idea that nukes would be used, say over Raqqa or Mosul, simply because we have no more allies and it’s a simple, easy fix is nauseating. Simply signaling that you’re open to using strategic weapons as a tactical solution rewrites the rule book. Russia, China, others will respond. Nuclear deterrence is about balance. Trump is an elephant jumping up and down on one side of the scale. So damn dangerous. But geopolitics aside, I can’t get my mind off the young officers on nuke alert right now. Wondering if they’ll soon answer to a madman. And be asked to do a duty that should morally be asked of no human being, ever.”
I know that quote is long, but you should probably read it. The author is not just some guy… He was the national security advisor for Jeb Bush. I don’t want to take a page out of Trump’s own playbook (“Everyone be very afraid!”), but that is some legitimately scary stuff. And not in a “Muslim’s are trying to instill Sharia Law” sort of way, but in a “This man does not have the temperament to have the nuclear codes” sort of way… And that’s a wholly other level of concerning. But as dangerous as this is, I think the worst thing he has done is…
CASTING DOUBT ON THE VALIDITY OF OUR DEMOCRACY
The moment his poll numbers started to slip (as if they wouldn’t after saying some of the recent things he has said), he said MULTIPLE TIMES that he suspected the presidential election would be “rigged.” He said, “I’m afraid the election’s going to be rigged, I have to be honest,” and later said, “November 8th, we better be careful, because that election’s going to be rigged.” Think about that for a minute… Three months before the election, and without any sort of proof whatsoever, the republican nominee for president is casting doubt on the validity of our election process. A man whose narcissism has made him so delusional that he actually believes he can say or do anything without any political consequences (“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”) is so completely stunned by the fact that his asinine comments are costing him numbers in the polls, that he calls into question the validity of one of the building blocks of this nation–Our democracy.
So where are you, rational republicans? Stand up and be counted… And not just behind the curtained privacy of a voting booth. I know there are some fanatics out there who no one has any chance of reaching… People who fly Confederate flags on their trucks, people who are convinced Obama is a Muslim, people who would happily elect the love child of Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler if he promised to put a pro life Justice on the Supreme Court, etc… But you’re not one of “those” kind of republicans. Are you? Don’t be afraid. It’s not like you’ll be the only one. FIFTY (that’s 50!) of the top republican national security advisors just signed their name to a letter opposing Trump, calling him “fundamentally dishonest” and saying he would “make America less safe.” They said he would be “the most reckless president in American history.” You can read the entire scathing letter RIGHT HERE. Even the Harvard Republican Club said they are ashamed of Donald Trump, and for the first time since their formation in 1888, they have NOT endorsed the republican nominee for president. Again, you can read their startling disappointment HERE.
So we need to hear your voices. We need to hear the sound of rational conservatism… Because right now it seems like only the crazies are making noise. You might not think that he has a chance. But he does have a chance. Nobody thought he had a chance to win the primaries either. He doesn’t just need to lose–He needs to lose by a gigantic margin. And yes, he’s probably going to lose, but even if he loses, you realize just about all this stuff is being recorded, right? In the very near future, this period of American history will be looked back on as a very dark time. It will be seen for what it is: A time when our first black president revealed the thriving, beating heart of America’s racism… And the anger, fear, and nationalism that resulted almost led our nation to turn to fascism and elect one of the worst men our great country has to offer. And you’re going to be on the record, whether you like it or not. People are going to remember the ones who supported this man. And they’re also going to remember the ones who knew better, but decided to stay silent. It’s time to speak up.
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