Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Global Nuclear Disarmament? Take it from Uncle John . . .

Will Donald Trump support the global negotiations on a nuclear weapons ban when he becomes US president in January, 2017?

Donald Trump's uncle John G. Trump
was honored with the National Medal of Science
by President Reagan in 1983.
I was intrigued to read this quote in a recent Mother Jones review of Donald Trump's pronouncements related to nuclear weapons. In a 2004 interview, Trump said:

I had an uncle who was a great professor and a brilliant man—Dr. John Trump, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His whole life was devoted to the study and eradication of cancer, and sadly, he died of cancer. But he was a brilliant scientist, and he would tell me weapons are getting so powerful today that humanity is in tremendous trouble. This was 25 years ago, but he was right. The world is rocky, and some terrible things are going to happen. That's why I lead the life I do. I enjoy it. I know life is fragile, and if the world looks like this a hundred years from now, we'll either be very lucky or have found unbelievably good leaders somewhere down the line. ("Does Donald Trump Believe Nuclear War Is Inevitable?" by David Corn)

Yes, Donald Trump's uncle John Trump was a prominent scientist: you can read about him on Wikipedia.

We spend a lot of time focusing on who Donald Trump doesn't listen to. But in this case maybe knowing who he has listened to could make a difference.

Listen to those words again:

. . . weapons are getting so powerful today that humanity is in tremendous trouble.

How many incoming US presidents have been advised on the need for nuclear disarmament by a family member who also happened to be a National Medal of Science honoree?

Beginning in March, 2017, the nations of the world will work to negotiate a global ban on nuclear weapons. Notably, a number of big states (colored red on the map below) voted against this initiative, and are unlikely to cooperate in the negotiations.

Vote on resolution to negotiate a ban on nuclear weapons in 2017 (L-41)
Green - Yes (123, 76%)
Red - No (38, 24%)
Beige - Abstained
(Via @ILPIwmd)

Of course, if the US turned from red to green, numerous states that follow its lead -- Canada, UK, Australia, Japan -- would do so, too.

(Maybe that's not possible without also getting Russia to go green as well? Hmmm . . . . )

Donald Trump prides himself on his ability to make deals. This deal -- the global ban on nuclear weapons -- is one that Uncle John would've wanted him to make.

Related posts

It is a stunning lesson in global civics to observe who voted "YES" and who voted "NO" (and also who abstained) on L.41 - "taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations."

(See Who would possibly vote "NO" to banning nuclear weapons???)

Gorbachev: "In light of their arguments and the strictly scientific data which they possess, there seems to be no room left for politicking. And no serious politician has the right to disregard their conclusions.”

(See When the facts all point to one conclusion: "No More Nukes" )

If Donald Trump intends to have good relations with Vladimir Putin and Russia, he can negotiate total nuclear disarmament.

(See Messrs. Trump and Putin: CHANGE THIS MAP!)