It’s increasingly clear that one of the most disturbingly compelling ideas in this presidential contest is that of Donald Trump possessing the nuclear codes.
He has, after all, endorsed war crimes. He’s fine with deliberately killing the innocent family members of terrorism suspects. He considers international law a bunch of politically correct namby-pamby nonsense. He has a strong Jacksonian impatience with the muss-and-fuss of ground troops, limited war, long-term engagements, or multilateralism. And as you may have noticed, Trump is a bit on the impulsive side. There is a reason even fellow Republicans have often resorted to the language of abnormal psychology in talking about his temperament.
And so it makes good political sense for the Clinton campaign and its super-pac allies to make the argument that, even if you agree with Trump on immigration, crime, climate change, trade, or taxes, you might want to think twice about giving the wiggy dude nuclear weapons.
The super-pac Priorities USA decided to go there in a new ad.
If that has a chilling effect on Trump supporters, Team Clinton might want to go back and reuse the famous “3:00 AM” ad from 2008. It was originally aimed at Barack Obama, but it didn’t mention his name, so who cares?
And speaking of retreads, perhaps the most famous campaign ad of all time could be recycled. It does not mention the name of the opponent (Barry Goldwater) being questioned, and presumably one could substitute a pacific voice-over from HRC for the one by LBJ.
Trump supporters will, of course, object to any and all nuclear fearmongering as demagogic and (to use Trump’s favorite whine) “unfair.” Perhaps he should spend some time talking about nuclear non-proliferation, a “no first use” policy, and diplomatic alternatives to war. Then he might have a point.