Preventing Nuclear War III
Suddenly, a window opens, and we see with crystal clarity why the US government is chronically unable to solve any of the urgent problems we face. Trump goes for a historic photo-op in North Korea. He shakes hands with “the enemy” and takes 20 steps into enemy territory, 20 baby steps toward ending the Korean War. Koreans north and south, left and right, are cheering progress toward national reconciliation. Hatred is abating. Love prevails between the star-crossed Trump and Kim, thanks to matchmaker Moon. Lowering tensions on the Korean Peninsula is a good thing, right?
In response, the whole flock of Democrat candidates jump on him for “meeting with a ruthless dictator” or “giving without getting anything in return.” Caught off guard by this sudden outburst of Trumpian peace-making, Democrats reflexively reveal the two-party structure’s commitment to criticizing the opposition no matter what. Trump is a liar, a white supremacist, a gangster, and a Republican. Ipso facto, whatever he does must be criticized, even when he attempts to defuse a sputtering time bomb.
Of course, both parties play this game. Both would rather leave a problem unsolved than let the opposition take credit for solving it. Hence, our most important problems go unsolved. Dysfunction is what happens when winning is more important than problem-solving.
And this is precisely why we need to liberate ourselves from the ultimate embodiment of the win-at-all-cost mindset. Nuclear weapons intensify and justify the hyper-competitive war culture now running rampant globally at a time when we desperately need to solve problems through dialogue, truth-seeking and cooperation. But nuclear weapons are also the most vulnerable pressure point at which to strike that war-culture mindset. They are obviously evil, ecocidal, and must never be used. If we (peace people) can’t overcome the hyper-competitive mindset in the nuclear arena, how can we exert significant influence in the CO2 arena? How can we (earthlings) hope to cooperate enough to save our ecosystem when we keep following leaders who threaten to blow us all up? To rebel against the forces of death, the first and easiest step is forcing (nonviolently) our leaders to lay down their nuclear arms. After that, we have some real work to do.