Would Trump Nuke 25 Million People To Distract His Base? It's No Longer A Crazy Question

The moment Donald Trump won the presidency, the thing that popped into my mind was: what would happen if he was backed into a corner? Over the early weeks of the presidency, I spoke with a lot of people in government and the media about that, and they insisted that I was crazy to even posit the question. "He's not insane!" "The institutions will always hold up."

Institutions Always Hold Up?

That seems less and less certain today.

Donald Trump has systematically been trying to destroy U.S. institutions. He started with the judiciary -- with the Judge Curiel attacks. Then, he continued to the legislative branch, which he continues to attack today. And nobody can forget his attacks on the Justice Department and FBI.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes with Steve Bannon and others, Trump been disassembling the government. The State Department, for instance, has a large number of ambassadorships unfilled, including one in South Korea, which could be really useful right now.

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But these actions are nothing compared to what Trump has done when he felt he was under attack.

Yesterday, we learned that Trump abruptly announced his transgender ban on the day that Paul Manafort's house was raided by the FBI. After Trump made that announcement, it was revealed that he hadn't spoken to anyone in the military about it. It was just an off-the-cuff attack to satisfy -- and distract -- his base.

Trump tried a similar tactic when it was revealed that Jeff Sessions lied in his testimony during the transition. When that story got out, Trump made up a fairytale about Obama wiretapping him that -- still today -- has nutjobs like Devin Nunes wandering the streets of London to "prove."

Things Are Getting Dangerous

What's remarkable is that this has all happened in mostly safe times for Trump. Although the Muller investigation has been on his tail, Trump continues to be given cover by the right-wing media and the Republican congress. And the Republican Congress still overwhelmingly supports him.

As things change, what will Trump do? It's clear from his words about killing civilians -- and his actions -- that he doesn't value human lives (except, perhaps, those of his base).

He has hollowed out engagement rules in Afghanistan and Iraq so that the military can kill civilians essentially at will. And the civilian death statistics prove it. According to The Guardian, 60% of the U.S.-caused civilian deaths in Syria happened the first 3 months of Trump's administration. This is in a war that we've been involved in for 3+ years.

And of course, Trump is always talking tough about killing civilians -- as long as they're foreign. That riles up his base more than any other red meat he can throw at them.

So going back to my original question: what will Trump do if he is cornered? I went back and consulted with some of the people I originally asked this question to. The answer now: "Who knows?"

Trump has complete control over the levers of military power, and the time between his decision to fire a nuke and the actual liftoff can be measured in seconds. For a man who has uncontrollable morning rages, was raised to act without thinking about consequence, that's a very dangerous thought.

One more thing: don't expect the Republican base to do anything about this. The fact is, they couldn't care less about killing innocent (non-white) people. And they definitely won't do anything to stop Trump -- a poll is out today from The Washington Post saying that 52% of Republicans would support "postponing" the 2020 election if Trump wanted to. Trump's evangelical advisor is also on board, saying God thinks bombing North Korea is hunky-dory.

This is where we are...my advice: be terrified.

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