In a sobering, brutal piece published in New York Magazine today, Andrew Sullivan lays bare the terrifying reality of what a Trump presidency would do to America. Characterizing Trump as a sociopathic, misogynistic and racist bully with “no concept of a non-zero-sum engagement”, Sullivan argues convincingly that should he get in, he will bring the country down in record time.
Contrary to the myth peddled by Leftist who won’t vote for Clinton this election because “Trump won’t be able to get anything done”, Sullivan points out the fact that the Republicans will control virtually every branch of government and have shown no inclination to stop him doing whatever the hell he wants:
Some — including many who will be voting for Trump — will argue that even if the unstable, sleepless, vindictive tyrant wins on Tuesday, he will be restrained by the system when he seizes power. Let’s game this out for a moment. Over the last year, which forces in the GOP have been able to stand up to him? Even his closest aides have been unable to get him to concentrate before a debate. He set up a policy advisory apparatus and then completely ignored it until it was disbanded. His foreign-policy advisers can scarcely be found. He says he knows more than any general, any diplomat, and anyone with actual experience in government. He has declared his chief adviser to be himself. Even the criminal Richard Nixon was eventually restrained and dispatched by a Republican Establishment that still knew how to run the country and had a loyalty to broader American institutions. Such an Establishment no longer exists.
More to the point, if Trump wins, he will almost certainly bring with him the House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. A President Clinton will be checked and balanced. A President Trump will be pushing through wide-open doors. Who can temper or stop him then?
A Speaker who reveals the slightest inclination to resist him will be swiftly dispatched — or subjected to a very credible threat of being primaried. If the military top brass resist his belief in unpredictable or unethical or unlawful warfare, they will surely be fired. As for the administration of justice, he has openly declared his intent to use the power of the government to put his political opponent in jail. As for a free society, he has threatened to do what he can to put his media opponents into receivership.
Human conflicts can be created, exacerbated or defused by political leaders, and given our rapidly growing population, the last thing we need as a species is a highly volatile president of the largest military in the world. Sullivan lays out three nightmare scenarios that are almost certain to happen should Trump be elected, and argues he is uniquely incapable of responding to them:
If one of his first moves is to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, we will be hurtling rather quickly to a military confrontation, as Iran rushes to build a nuke before Trump can launch military attacks to thwart them. That rush to war would empower him still further…..There will doubtless be another incident between police and an unarmed black man under a Trump presidency. Rather than calm the nation, Trump will inflame it. There will be an Islamist terror attack of some kind — and possibly a wave of such attacks in response to his very election. Trump will exploit it with the subtlety of a Giuliani and the brutality of a Putin
These nightmare scenarios will then grow into far larger nightmare scenarios that could push us to the brink of destruction given the awesome weaponry humanity now possesses. We are also in the midst of a climate crisis, the likes of which we have never seen before — and to have a man who believes global warming is a “Chinese hoax” crafting environmental legislation is not just stupid, it is suicidal.
This is what is at stake on November 8th — global stability and a hopeful future for humanity. So vote. And vote if your life depends on it, because it does.
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.