In a recent case of nuclear mudslinging, Hillary Clinton questioned Donald Trump’s mental stability and suitability to be the man (or woman) with the codes to set off a nuclear war.
At a speech in San Diego on Thursday, Clinton ignored her present opponent in the Democratic primaries and took aim at the Trump, who, unlike Clinton, has accrued enough delegates to earn his party’s nomination. Hillary Clinton is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination to run for the White house, though her opponent, Bernie Sanders, has yet to concede defeat. The upcoming primaries in California and New Jersey are expected to give her the necessary 71 delegates to hand her the nomination, which is probably why she allowed herself to fight a battle that hasn’t officially begun. A Sanders’ victory in the upcoming primaries would not give him the nomination, but it may bring the party to question Clinton’s ability to win the keys to the Oval Office formerly occupied by her husband. According to an average of recent polls compiled by Real Clear Politics, Clinton holds a slim lead of only 1.5 points over Trump.
“Donald Trump’s ideas aren’t just different, they’re dangerously incoherent. They’re not even really ideas, just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies,” she said. “He is not just unprepared. He is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.”
“He should not have the nuclear codes because it’s very easy to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because someone got under his very thin skin. We cannot let him roll the dice with America,” Clinton claimed.
She continued, “Imagine Donald Trump sitting in the situation room making life or death decisions on behalf of the United States. Do we want him making those calls? Someone thin-skinned and quick to anger. Do we want his finger anywhere near the button? Making Donald Trump our commander-in-chief would be a historic mistake.”
“He says he has foreign policy experience because he ran the Miss Universe pageant in Russia,” she quipped sarcastically. “I will leave it for psychiatrists to explain his affection for tyrants.” Clinton added: “It is not hard to see how a Trump presidency could lead to a global economic crisis.”
Before the speech, Mr Trump tweeted that “Crooked Hillary Clinton, who I would love to call Lyin’ Hillary, is getting ready to totally misrepresent my foreign policy positions”. He later tweeted: “Bad performance by Crooked Hillary Clinton! Reading poorly from the telepromter (sic)! She doesn’t even look presidential!”
Imagine if he had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he’s angry, but America’s entire arsenal. https://t.co/e7M2CV3sj6
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 2, 2016
Bad performance by Crooked Hillary Clinton! Reading poorly from the telepromter! She doesn’t even look presidential!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2016
The recent exchange raises serious concerns. Not only does it bode a presidential campaign that sees hitting below the belt from both genders, but it also raises an area of debate that has not been so hotly contested since the end of the Cold War. Trump opened the subject in December when, during a primary debate, he said the U.S. must be “extremely vigilant and extremely careful when it comes to nuclear,” adding that “the biggest problem we have is nuclear proliferation, and having some maniac, having some madman go out and get a nuclear weapon.”
Nuclear warfare has not been considered a major component of a political platform in a presidential campaign since 1964 when Lyndon Johnson (Dem.) ran the famous “Daisy ad” against Barry Goldwater (Rep.). The ad was provocative and controversial, airing only once while becoming an icon in the world of political advertisements. In the most ominous manner, it warned that Republicans, seen as the more hawkish pro-nuclear party, might actually use nuclear weapons as more than just a deterrent.
Ironically, the ad was re-purposed last July with only minor changes by Mike Huckabee, a Republican, to rally against the dangers of Democrat President Barack Obama’s brokered nuclear deal with Iran, seeming to imply the parties had exchanged roles with the Democrats now promoting nuclear proliferation.
It will be interesting to see which party is portrayed as the nuclear zealot in the upcoming election. It may be that by making it a key issue, Clinton has already set the stage.