Is Donald Trump ready to be our next Commander-in-Chief?
Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un will be rooting for him tonight.
Donald Trump thinks he can convince the American people that he’s ready to be in charge of our armed forces (and our nuclear codes). But since he announced his bid for president last year, he has proved over and over again that he is temperamentally unfit for the office.
So, before he takes the stage at tonight’s Commander-in-Chief Forum on NBC, it’s worth remembering just how dangerous his policies would be for our country—and how ignorant, reckless, and untrustworthy he’d be with our military.
Take a minute to examine Donald Trump’s vision of serving as your next Commander-in-Chief:
His policies are terrifying—and inhumane.
A Commander-in-Chief makes decisions that put American lives on the line. And Trump’s ideas for keeping our country—and our troops—safe are equal parts ill-advised and inhumane.
- For starters, Trump wants to bring back torture, and he promises to “absolutely” go further than waterboarding. (Meanwhile, he says that Senator John McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, is “not a war hero,” because he likes “people who weren’t captured.”)
- Trump also promises to implement a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the country.
- And he wants more countries to obtain nuclear weapons.
Trump’s policies are made even more terrifying by the casual attitude with which he looks at war—and by his refusal to “take any…cards off the table,” including nuclear weapons.
He would abandon our allies—while praising brutal dictators and regimes.
Trump has picked public fights with leaders in countries that are among our most important allies, including London’s first Muslim mayor and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He even picked a fight with the pope. And Trump has repeatedly praised some of the world’s most brutal dictators and regimes. In fact, he has cited their use of force, specifically, as an admirable leadership quality.
- On North Korea’s Kim Jong-un: “You’ve gotta give him credit. … He goes in. He takes over. He’s the boss. It’s incredible.”
- On Russia’s Vladimir Putin: “I think in terms of leadership, he’s getting an A.”
And it’s not as though Trump plans on taking in expert advice when he’s in the White House: As he says, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do.”
He doesn’t know the basic geopolitical facts a Commander-in-Chief should know.
Consider this. Trump…
- Once confused Belgium for a city, not a country.
- Couldn’t name the leader of ISIS.
- Said he gets his military advice from “the shows.”
Trump’s worldview isn’t informed by facts. As NBC’s Andrea Mitchell put it: Trump is “completely uneducated about any part of the world.”
Compare this to Hillary—a leader whose fascination with foreign policy has led her to rigorously study the geopolitical make-up of countries across the globe. (To see this in action, watch this video of Hillary providing a comprehensive answer to an unexpected question on Laos.)
He attacks Gold Star families.
When the Muslim-American parents of slain soldier Captain Humayun Khan stood up at the Democratic National Convention to defend the legacy of their son—and the importance of the U.S. Constitution—Trump responded not with gratitude, but with ignorance.
“If you look at his wife, she was standing there,” Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.”
When Stephanopoulos went on to ask Trump about the Khan parents’ sacrifices, Trump equated what they’d given up with his own “sacrifices”—namely “[building] great structures” and having “tremendous success.”
Trump’s feud with a Gold Star family led nearly every major newspaper across the country to argue that Trump is unfit for the office of president—and it even led Republican lawmakers to distance themselves.
But it’s not just the families of slain service members that Trump disrespects.
He has a long record of lying about helping veterans.
Trump is becoming infamous for lying about his charitable giving—including his support for veterans. That’s a surprising record for someone who says he “loves the vets”—but he’s been doing it for years.
- In 1995: he claimed to have donated $1 million to the Nation’s Day Parade, an annual veterans’ parade in New York. In reality, he donated only one-third of that.
- In 2006: he launched Trump Vodka and promised to donate proceeds to Walter Reed, the U.S. Army’s military hospital. But the charity administrator said they only ended up receiving “a few hundred dollars.”
- In January 2016: Trump said he was skipping a presidential debate to raise money for veterans’ organizations, pledging to donate $1 million himself. But that donation never came—at least, not until reporters followed up several months later.
Trump’s mistreatment of veterans extends well beyond his purse: He also opposes the Post-9/11 GI bill, which has enabled 700,000 veterans and their family members to pursue higher education.
This is the record of the man who wants to be your next Commander-in-Chief. His policies are dangerous, his allegiances are frightening, his ignorance is unprecedented, and his treatment of veterans is appalling.
We cannot afford put him in charge of the strongest military in history; we can not put the lives of the brave men and women who serve our country in his hands; we cannot give him the nuclear codes; and we cannot elect him president of the United States.
And in case you’re wondering, here’s what real plans to combat terrorism, protect veterans and their families, maintain the strongest military in the world, and defend our national security look like.