As Donald Trump himself continues to go nuclear, the very thought of a President Trump’s tiny fingers anywhere near the button for the nuclear codes sends shivers down my spine.
Anytime the words Donald Trump and nuclear weapons appear in the same sentence, a mushroom cloud of anxiety blossoms over me.
The nuclear nightmares I had as a child are now replaced with a Trump Nuclear nightmare.
Decades earlier I had caught a cold war chill I could never shake. For those of us who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s the fear of a cold war turning hot was the subtext of our childhood.
It was a time when most Americans assumed the US and the Soviets stood continually on the brink of nuclear war. Baby boomers never forgot the lesson that our world could someday end in a flash of light and heat while we were crouched helplessly under our desks, our tucked safely in our beds.
No boundaries were safe in the cold war culture run rampant with nuclear fear; it was a childhood filled with intrusive thoughts and night terrors.
Like most parents my mother and father lulled me to sleep with stories from my collection of Little Golden Books. But sweet bedtime stories did little to counter the frightening stories that ran rampant about nuclear attacks creating unceasing fears that ran through my cold war childhood .
I knew a nuclear attack could happen any moment any hour. The reality was I would lie in bed, feeling helpless and count slowly to 25 as each plane passed over afraid to miss the flash of light that would be my only warning.
Instead of Poky Little Puppies and Sweet Little Kittens finding their mittens, my terror filled dreams were filled with the impending doom of a nuclear attack. Tootles the Train would explode in a flash, Scuffy the Tugboat would be blown out of the water.
Thinking the Unthinkable
Now the terrifying prospect of Trump with nuclear weapons is unthinkable. His glib talk about nuclear weapons obscures a greater danger. To glibly talk about using hydrogen bombs to settle a problem is unthinkable.
With a single phone call, the commander-in-chief has virtually unlimited powers to rain down nuclear weapons on any “ perceived”adversarial regime and country at any time.
The scary thing is there are no checks and balances.
The President has absolute control. There is no advice and consent by the Senate. No second guessing by the Supreme Court. If he were president, Trump who likes to say he doesn’t spend a lot of time conferring with others ( “my primary consultant is myself.” he boasted in March) –would be free to launch a civilization ending nuclear war on his own any time he chose.
With his temperament, Donald Trump is an object of mass destruction.
As he is fond of saying, it would be a “disaster!”
© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Bedtime Stories: Sweet Dreams is currently on view at:
University Art Gallery at the University of Redlands. 1200 E Colton Ave, Redlands, CA 92373.
October 18 –November 12, 2016
Gallery hours: 1-5 pm Tuesday-Friday, 2-5 pm Saturdays and Sundays, Gallery is closed on Mondays.
Prints are available: Sally Edelstein Collage