Donald Trump, to put it nicely, appears to be erratic, unable to formulate any reasonable and consistent policy and seems to lack the moral compass and integrity required for a U.S. president. His election campaign was centered around the phrase, “Make America great again.” It is more than unlikely that he will even vaguely succeed in this quest. Most of the good news about the U.S. economy is a result of the efforts of his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, has the aim of basically restoring the Soviet Union to its former powerful position and is prepared to invade countries (the Ukraine and Crimea) and overlook or contribute to the murder of innocents, including children (his support of Assad’s regime in Syria) in pursuit of this goal. He is pursuing any means available, including cyber warfare, in pursuit of his aim. He even had the temerity to tell Russians to prepare for a possible nuclear attack. His mojo might as well be called, “Make Russia great again” and he is effectively conducting a semi-clandestine war against the West.
Xi Jinping, China’s president for life, wants to make the “reunification” of China his legacy. (One must remember that the original inhabitants of Taiwan were not Chinese and that it is only in the last three centuries that large numbers of Chinese people inhabited that island. Taiwan is not, and was not, an integral part of China.) He has said that China is prepared to use force to take Taiwan.
He also desires to extend Chinese power as far into the Pacific as he possibly can. You might as well say that he wishes to make China great, or greater again and probably aims to make it the world’s number one superpower. Again, questions of morality or legality are not even considered. Here we have another dangerous maniac in full flight.
These three presidents, Trump, Putin, and Xi, are much more likely to cause a catastrophic nuclear war than achieve their aims. None of them knows how to be sensible, reasonable and back down when necessary. We have every reason to be scared, and much more so than in 1962.