Nuclear Trash Talk Is Frightening

Opinion / Aug. 10, 2017 11:33am EDT

No, I’m not a forensic psychologist. No, I’m not a complete pacifist. No, I’m not easily drawn into debate. Yes, I’m a mediator both pro- fessionally and with a genetic predisposition for same. Yes, I listen to VPR, NPR and BBC every morning.

Verbal jousting is usually benign and not to be taken seriously. Sword rattling is a common practice and serves to tell potential invaders, be they threatening to pull a fast one in business or on some other scale, that they’d better think twice before putting thoughts into action.

It’s almost like white noise since nothing has ever shaken me up after surviving the torture of the Cold War. This morning, though, I’m scared.

Now? We have two wild cards in power. Ours and theirs. Millions and millions of peons on each side are watching the gap grow between reality and the visions of two egocentric narcissists. Two spoiled brats holding the reigns of power who have only one goal in mind.

What is it? Well, from where I sit, the men in question are still little boys on a playground. They both want the ball and will manipulate, bully, defame, bluster, huff and puff until one gets it.

What’s better about this scenario than the one the United States and North Korea occupy today is the fact that, beyond fists, present day leaders have red buttons.

Same attitude and level of maturity as the two school boys but big fat red buttons to push at will.

I do want our nation to be protected. I resent the threats of the child king in North Korea. I do think we should defend ourselves, but verbal sparring with “fire and fury,” and, frankly, “power the likes of which the world has ever seen” seems rather overstated.

Poking a stick through the cage to mess with an animal never results in anything to write home about. This does serve to further aggravate the beast, though.

Who will press the button first? What will be the flashpoint that forces one little boy to act first? How long will it take for the latecomer to react? Your guess is as good as mine.

Forensic psychologists are having a field day with this question, but I’m sure they agree on one thing: We the people are in too deep. Let’s hope the boys in charge grow up a bit before it’s too late.

Heather McKeown

East Berkshire

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