Letter: Trump shows alarming ignorance of nuclear weapons

Trump shows alarming, ignorance of nukes

To the editor:

We Americans are in a unique election cycle. First there was the intense and popular challenge by Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic nomination. On the other side, Donald Trump triumphed over a large field of hopeful Republicans.

Now many prominent Republicans and conservative observers (including Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson) and experienced government leaders say they cannot vote for the chosen candidate of their party in November. Amazing.

But let's focus on just one big issue. In my opinion, Mr. Trump's from-the-hip question about nuclear bombs. " Why don't we use them?" revealed a total lack of understanding of these city-destroying weapons.

The two bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 killed over 200,000 people, ended the war, and saved many thousands of allied soldiers lives. It was a tough, and controversial decision — by President Truman. However, that decision to end that war does not remotely compare with any conflict since.

For 71 years since, we and several other countries have built thousands of nuclear weapons and delivery systems. These are even more powerful than the two we used in 1945.

Through the decades of the cold war, we lived under the MAD cloud — Mutually Assured Destruction — as the Soviets and several other countries created nuclear bombs. Not one has been used. Now Mr. Trump asks, casually, "Why don't we use them?"

Was he joking? About these terrible weapons of mass destruction? Does he think before he speaks? It sounds like a sensible question — if you know absolutely nothing about nukes. The idea that this ignorant TV personality could be our commander-in-chief is beyond scary, beyond senseless.

Phil Knowles, Lenox


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