Donald Trump and Torture: The Definitive Presidential Disqualifier

If you wanted a single statement from Donald Trump that conclusively illustrates why he is completely unqualified to run for office, this would be it. Speaking with New Hampshire’s NH1, Trump said this about the United State’s duty to commit war crimes:

Well it’s not the American way to have heads chopped off and have people drowning in steel cages. And so we can have our disagreements, but we’re going to have to get much tougher as a country. We’re going to have to be a lot sharper and we’re going to have to do things that are unthinkable almost.


Furthermore, in the wake of the attack on Istanbul, Trump asked a crowd in Ohio: “What do you think about waterboarding?”

They cheered in approval, then Trump weighed in on it, saying “I like it a lot.” 

“I don’t think it’s tough enough.”

To put this in perspective, here’s what the late Christopher Hitchens said about being waterboarded:

I once had the experience of being ‘waterboarded’ and can now dimly appreciate how much every second counts in the experience of the torture victim, forced to go on enduring what is unendurable.

Waterboarding constitutes torture and is a war crime — a crime that incidentally the US took so seriously that they executed Japanese soldiers for doing it in World War II. 

Yet Donald Trump thinks it isn’t tough enough. 

Remember, this is a man running for the president of the world’s most powerful democracy and supposed champion of human rights — a country that was instrumental in creating the United Nations, is one of the five permanent members, and a signatory to the Geneva Conventions. Donald Trump does not only openly advocate torture — he wants to do a lot more of it

No serious American presidential candidate can openly express their love for torture and expect the international community to take them seriously. Trump evidently does not care about this, but as his poll numbers continue to slide, it appears the American public don’t take him seriously either.   

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.