Sunday, August 28, 2016

Trump's Casual A-Bomb Threat: What It Means

Hiroshima shortly after it was destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945.
Donald Trump casually threatens to unleash hell on anybody who pisses him off if he is elected president, but my guess is that he hasn't even the slightest idea what the bomb means, what it is capable of, what the long-term consequences to the U.S. and the world would be.

The more important impact: Many thousands of dead.
Trump is the kind of madman--like some of those in the Middle-East who don't have access to atomic power--who would give up the entire world to serve his bruised ego, should anyone slight him. He is so far off center that he is all but on his head.

John Hersey's lyrical, powerful August 31, 1946 New Yorker article, "Hiroshima" (here), reminds us clearly what the consequences of nuclear power were--and are, to a much greater degree with the far more powerful bomb today. The article was published 31 days after I was born on July 31, 1946. Every year of my life has been lived under the threat of a nuclear war.

The article is 30,000 words long and occupied all of the issue, the only time the New Yorker has ever turned an entire issue over to one story (including the 9/11 issue, which is equally iconic with its black cover and the shadows of the Twin Towers). It was journalism at its finest from a man raised on journalism who had become a successful war correspondent and novelist. At least one ranking had it at the top of the best journalism of the 20th Century.

Trump is casually irresponsible with one of the most important avenues of death ever developed. This man could easily stand between us and the end of life on the planet as we know it. It's that simple. Hersey tells you what it would be like in its simplest, most powerful form.

(Photo: the dead, www.scoop.co.nz; the city, newyorker.com.)


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