I finally finished the 700-page biography of Robert Oppenheimer, American Prometheus. Oppenheimer led the Manhattan Project that first developed the Atomic Bomb.
Afterwards, he was persecuted and spied upon by an ungrateful government because he advocated a thoughtful and open dialogue as to how Atomic energy should be further developed, handled, and used.
Instead, of using common sense and consensus, as Oppenheimer suggested, secretive national security structures here in the US and in other Nuclear Power countries have put the world in grave danger with their policies of Mutually Assured Destruction.
Currently, the use of the United States Nuclear Arsenal rests at the discretion of whichever candidate gets the most votes in a popular election. No one can tell that person, whoever he or she might be, that he or she cannot push the Nuclear Button. That decision is the President’s alone without any oversight, debate, or delay.
When ex-president Nixon was facing impeachment, he correctly commented on how trivial the Watergate proceedings were in light of the fact that he could, in a matter of a few minutes, kill 60 million people. President Nixon is well-known to have been drinking heavily at the time.
Individuals in training to be astronauts undergo extensive psychological tests to ensure that we do not send an unstable person into space, but, as we know, anybody can be President if they get enough votes.
Consider this: both the current front runners for the job are old enough to be potentially subject to the debilitating effects of Alzheimers, but that would not necessarily disqualify them.
In Russia, Vladimir Putin holds the nuclear triggers, and he, I’m told, is dying of cancer.
Robert Oppenheimer was right.
Proposed: Let’s take a few steps back and rethink our approach to Nuclear Policy. Instead of Atomic energy and weapons being in the hands of Doctor Strangelove and the certifiably crazy, let’s put those decisions in the hands of the certifiably sane.