Contrary to the “bloggers’ bible” I’m writing this article well prior to posting. In reality that is my normal practice, but this time of year in order to accommodate holidays and take last half of December off from writing I have even longer lead times. Wednesday night the Washington Post broke some news I found disturbing and it led me to ask a lot of questions. Let’s explore.
Almost immediately after the election President Obama authorized the intelligence agencies to give both Donald Trump and Mike Pence the Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) in an effort to have them up to speed when they take over the reins of power on January 20, 2017. This is something that has been done in the interest of national security since Richard Nixon’s 1968 election. While Pence has found time to be briefed almost every day, Trump has only had two briefings refusing all others. I find this alarming! That is what led to today’s title: Seriously?
I find it incredible that Trump could seriously be dismissing the briefings, especially considering his background; or to be more accurate lack thereof. Trump has absolutely no experience in government or in national security. He has never even served on a town council or been in the military. A rookie county commissioner or buck private has more experience than Trump. If there was ever an incoming President who needed to get up to speed with national security it is Trump! This situation reminds me of George W. Bush’s cavalier reply to the security professional who warned him of 9/11 during a PDB: “OK, you covered your ass.” We all know how well that worked out.
I have to ask if Trump is taking his new job seriously. Does he think it is just another sales meeting where he goes into a room and gives a rah-rah speech? Does he think that other world leaders and tyrants will simply bow and do his bidding because he is the great Donald?
There are supposedly eight other nuclear powers in the world. They are not all led by good people with honorable intentions. That is not to mention the ever-present danger that nuclear arms could fall into the hands of a non-governmental entity. In its worst case scenario nuclear war could render this planet uninhabitable for our species. That is about as serious as it can get in my book.
The President must make life and death final decisions often in a matter of minutes. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some background? There may not be time to call Ivanka or Jared for advice; not that they know anything anyway. There will not be sufficient time for Steve to run a poll to see what the alt-right thinks and I certainly don’t want the fate of the planet resting on their collective “wisdom”!
Here is the truly scary part and I think I have the answer: Does Trump know how deficient he is in the knowledge department when it comes to national security? I truly fear the answer is No! Trump really does feel that he already knows everything and doesn’t need to waste his time getting the advice of experts and the benefit of the knowledge of the intelligence community. Among other factors I think Trump lacks both the attention span and intellect to absorb the material he would be presented with.
It appears Trump lost the popular vote by over 2 million, and we can argue about the Electoral College all we want but that doesn’t change the fact that under our system he is the President-elect. Here is the truly scary and undisputable part: he received over 60 million votes – seriously.
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