Is Donald Trump the Biggest National Security Threat in US History?
The result of the upcoming November presidential election is widely anticipated across the country. As Donald Trump vies for a second term, his actions and words, along with emerging news stories about his shortcomings not only make him unfit for office but also suggest he could possibly be the biggest national security risk in American history.
As more and more details come out, it’s abundantly clear that Trump is a veritable powder keg of uncertainty and risk. As the leader to the most powerful nation in the world, he is privy to national secrets and a treasure trove of information that could do irreparable damage if it ever fell into the wrong hands or was manipulated for personal gain. Regardless of how you might feel about the country’s 45th President, there is little in the way of plausibly denying the deep concern of the risk he presents.
One of Trump’s greatest vulnerabilities is his precarious financial standing. Forbes.com recently reported that he owes more than $1 billion in unpaid debt. These loans are spread out over more than a dozen of his holdings and include foreign lenders. Although he may reportedly have more than $2.5 billion in assets, it’s unclear how liquid he is. In the meantime, huge chunks of what he owes are coming due over the next five years, right as he either starts another term or settles into life out of office.
Trump was vocally opposed to the popular social media app TikTok, even attempting to ban it in the United States, because of a fear that compromising videos could be used against American officials who had accounts. If the possibility of a diplomat coughing up state secrets because another country threatened to release a video clip of them dancing with their Pomeranian to a Journey song sends up security warning bells, the combination of his irresponsibility, crippling debt and national secrets should cause an explosion of worry.
This doesn’t even take into account Trump’s personal volatility. He has no sense of propriety or boundaries. He has proven time and time again that he is willing to say or do anything that he perceives as giving him at advantage or being damaging to an adversary. He has consistently displayed diarrhea fingers on Twitter since well before his presidency, putting out anything he believes will get a rise out of his supporters. He then refuses to accept any responsibility for any negative impact.
A perfect example of his irresponsibility is how he recently exhorted followers at a rally to “lock up” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, less than two weeks after the foiling of a plot of domestic terrorists who planned to kidnap her and put her on private trial for her alleged crimes as a Democratic leader enacting Democratic policy. Showing no regard for the power of his actions, his stirring of the pot to just tweak his political adversaries only serves to show his immaturity and callousness. Literally nothing is out of bounds with him; nothing is sacred; and everything is on the table when it comes to his ego and self-preservation.
No matter what happens during the upcoming election, Americans should be terrified of the potential damage Trump can do to this country. This has nothing to do with policy and everything to do with his unpredictability and vulnerability. When an animal is trapped in a corner, all options are on the table. This becomes an infinitely more dangerous situation in one like the President’s, given his record of utter disregard for everyone other than himself.
The coming weeks may well bring about the end of Trump’s tenure in office. However, even well after he leaves the White House, he is a terrifying existential threat to America. He is perhaps the most dangerous the country has ever seen because he puts himself first, second and third when it comes to who he will protect when it comes down to brass tacks and his refusal to adhere to anything resembling diplomacy and decency.