Thursday, July 9, 2020
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The president-elect rattles our nuclear saber

President-elect Donald Trump continues to use Twitter to keep the world updated as to his thoughts and feelings about US policy, as if he were running for president, telling us yesterday that the country should “strengthen and expand” its nuclear capability.

Coming from a candidate for the presidency, this is nothing more than an opinion. Coming from a president-elect, however, this signals a policy path he may decide to set the country on. Asked to clarify his tweet, Mr Trump told MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, “Let it be an arms race,” saying that the US would win it.

Ordinarily, Voxitatis wouldn’t comment on policies involving nuclear capabilities of the US, but coming from the president-elect, this comment would appear to require financial support from our taxes. Energy Secretary-designate Rick Perry, I imagine, in response to this direction, will be dusting off our nuclear weapons and have some bids dusted off, billion-dollar contracts with weapons manufacturers, just so we can prompt leaders in Russia to spend the same amount of money to beef up their capabilities.

Spokespeople, future press secretaries, and others close to Mr Trump have been scrambling to provide a translation to the admittedly brief tweet, but (a) their descriptions of what Mr Trump “meant” are conflicting and (b) we have the original source, which is always preferable when it comes to reporting on the facts.

Maybe Governor Larry Hogan, Republican of Maryland, knew something was up when he struck a sweet deal with Northrop Grumman a few weeks back.

It pains me to point out, however, that if we strengthen and expand our nuclear weapons, we will spend lots of money to do that—money that might better be spent to pay college tuition, even at the current rates, for every student in the US who wants to attend college, or to pay for universal health care for all Americans out of the federal budget, instead of through insurance companies, requiring a substantial investment on the part of US companies and small businesses.

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Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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