Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 | 2 a.m.
Voters got a preview this month of what a Donald Trump presidency would look like and what that would mean for our country’s national security.
As a veteran who made the decision to serve in the Marine Corps a year before the attacks of Sept. 11, I can assure you that despite his foolish claims to know “more than the generals,” Trump doesn’t have the slightest clue as to how to approach today’s global security challenges and has proved to be temperamentally unfit to be commander-in-chief.
On the NBC Commander-in-Chief Forum, Americans watched Trump double down on his praise for Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, while continuing his disturbing pattern of insulting our military and attacking America’s generals. He also made it clear that he has no plan to defeat ISIS, one of our biggest threats. In fact, his stance on global issues would cater directly to both Putin’s and ISIS’s playbooks; when Trump attacks Muslims, it helps ISIS boost recruitment, and when Trump says he wants to disband NATO, it emboldens Russian aggression.
If that isn’t terrifying enough, Trump’s fascination with quasi-dictators like Putin prompts the question as to what he aspires to do if given power. Trump has acknowledged he supports nuclear weapons proliferation and the use of torture. He has made comments indicating his desire to alienate our allies, whose enduring relationships have contributed to our country’s success as a global leader since World War II. Only a truly unqualified and irresponsible leader would consider dissolving these critical ties. We can’t afford to elect a president who lacks the basic tenets of diplomacy.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is a proven leader with years of experience who will be ready to serve on Day One. As secretary of state, Clinton negotiated a cease-fire in Gaza to protect Israel, helped bring Osama bin Laden to justice and established some of the toughest sanctions on Iran in history. She comprehends the immense sacrifice that our men and women serving in the military have made to keep us safe. She has a strategic plan to defeat ISIS that involves taking out ISIS strongholds in Iraq and Syria, dismantling global terrorism networks and improving our defensive capabilities. She is committed to giving our military troops everything they need while serving overseas, and will support them with the care and benefits they deserve when they come back home, including job training and mental health care.
The stakes are too high in this election to irresponsibly tamper with our national security. Clinton is the only candidate who has the informed judgment to keep us safe, and the only one who understands, appreciates and respects our military.
As Nevadans head to early voting, which starts Oct. 22, the choice could not be more clear: We must choose the leader with the experience, temperament and judgment to lead us to victory, or we will shortchange America with an untested candidate who spouts divisive and dangerous rhetoric.
Elliot Anderson is a Nevada assemblyman and a Marine Corps veteran of the war in Afghanistan.