Of all the political issues I might be worried about, why am I so concerned about trust and nuclear weapons?
Given Trump’s terrifying statements about nukes, I think the fear should be obvious. I don’t worry for the children of Seattle; I absolutely do worry for the children of cities across Asia, particularly within range of North Korea. Do I think Trump would actually do something so nightmarish as to start a war there? No, not with high probability… but not with zero probability, either. The truth is, I genuinely have no idea. Does anyone?
Trust strikes me as the far more insidious concern. Trust may have been eroding before Trump, but he willfully accelerated the process. I have no doubt that he will continue to sow distrust in our government and media institutions throughout his tenure. This is a poison that will linger, harming our country long after Trump is gone.
A friend asked me whether these should truly be my top two concerns. After all, we should probably be alarmed by Trump’s autocratic tendencies, his malicious xenophobia, and the apparent conflicts of interest that could lead us to kleptocracy or worse. To all of these I say yes, I’m worried, but I also think we can muddle through this sort of madness. One doesn’t muddle through a nuke, however, and depending on how far one travels, one may never quite return from the dangerous road of distrust.