It's time to focus laser-like attention on the meaning of a Donald Trump presidency for America's security.
Until now, the presumption that Trump wouldn't win or doesn't really mean what he says has led to insufficient scrutiny of how his presidency would threaten our safety. Many security experts -- including leading Republicans -- have raised concerns, but their protests haven't risen to the level of the danger.
The time for such complacency is past. The Donald brags he will make America "strong again" but the policies he promotes would do exactly the opposite: emboldening our enemies, undercutting our allies and destroying America's clout in the world.
So let us imagine what America's security situation could look like in 2020, after one term of Trump as our commander-in-chief.
Europe: Our most important alliance, with Europe's democracies, lies in tatters, after Trump's "America First" policy accelerated the break-up of the European Union and the demise of NATO.
Trump closed down our bases in Germany and England (as well as in Japan and South Korea). He had claimed during the campaign that our allies didn't pay enough for our protection, telling CNN that the benefit of those alliances was "not big enough to bankrupt and destroy the United States."
In reality, our Asian allies paid a huge chunk of the base costs in their countries, while NATO allies paid lesser amounts. But the savings of relocating bases from Europe to America were minimal, since Trump didn't want to disband the transferred military units.
By 2020, Russia has become the dominant influence in Europe, nibbling at the Baltics and Poland and annexing half of Ukraine.
This doesn't disturb President Trump, who had finally achieved his decade-long dream of building a Trump tower in Moscow, and has regular dinners with his buddy, Vladimir Putin.
Asia: After Trump withdrew America's forward Asian bases, China became the dominant player in Asia, taking firm control of many disputed islands and controlling the sea lanes.
The nuclear arms race in Asia grows ever more dangerous and could threaten U.S. territory, but Trump's "America first" policy eliminated America's critical role as a stabilizer.
Terror: Islamic terrorism has risen exponentially in the West and in Israel, as intelligence cooperation has splintered within Europe and among former NATO allies. Trump's responses are to (1) try muzzling U.S. media criticism, after asking Putin for pointers, and (2) blaming everything on illegal immigrants, or other internal "traitors." (However, he has been unable to deport the 11 million or get an outraged Mexico to pay for a wall.)
U.S. standing: Global respect and admiration for America have tanked, as the erratic Trump insults former friends and praises its adversaries. Nations no longer look to the United States as the exemplar of liberal democracy.
Perhaps Trump won't do half of what he's pledged, but the risk is too great and the security threat too huge, dwarfing any of Hillary Clinton's flaws. But for anyone still sitting on the fence in this election, the time to face up to the danger is now.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Trudy Rubin is a columnist and editorial-board member for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Readers may write to her at: Philadelphia Inquirer, P.O. Box 8263, Philadelphia, Pa. 19101, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From above:..It's time to focus laser-like attention on the meaning of a Donald Trump presidency for America's security.....
**How come No laser-like attention to "Big Mama's policies....or Obama's before he got elected..???
Democrat Double Standards...???
Never mind, we read and see on TV everyday, the results of the Obama/Clinton Democrat FAILED foreign policies..!
The Democrats and "Big Mama" are getting nervous and desperate...The Deplorables are ahead in the Polls...
Can you say "President Trump"..???
All Aboard the Trump Train...!!!!!