It is a crazy election season that might be oddly defined by historians. On one side off the cuff bluster, a lack of discipline amid historically disqualifying comments are benchmarked by seemingly new unforced errors every day. This comes as press reports discuss a “Trump intervention” and concerns over nuclear codes, once considered fringe, are now logical questions. On the other side of the equation is the very symbol of the political elite, the establishment status quo in a year where nothing could be more unpopular.

Donald Trump
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Trump is reported wondering why it might not be advised to use nuclear weapons

For Trump, this was considered a winnable if competitive election. But those odds, at the moment, appear fading. This uncontrived orange force is facing his polar opposite on the other side, where establishment politics as usual appears to be the screaming campaign message. It is unclear if that is unintended or not, but regardless it makes for a stark contrast.

Consider one presidential candidate who quips about starting “World War 3” over the Russian invasion of Crimeria. This is an image most commonly associated with nuclear weapons, which Trump is reported to have asked questions about recently. Namely, he wanted to understand why he couldn’t use them? This comes as legitimate talk from the stalwarts of the Republican party addresses abandoning their support for the nominee, a full-planked mutiny.

Under normalized circumstances this election would have been put to bed long ago. The problem is on the other side of the election is Hillary Clinton, who today is attending an Aspen, CO fund-raiser hosted by Charif Souki, CEO of Cheniere Energy, a liquefied natural gas concern with a history that has been questioned.  With election choices that have become akin to the tale of slim pickings for finding late night “love” as the bar closes, one has to wonder when and how this crazy circus will end?

Trump continually takes the bait, playing into Clinton’s hands: Will this be a persistent trend?

At times when a Republican Presidential nominee appears to continually place his foot in his mouth with obviously absurd strategic choices. His taking the bait and lashing out at a military hero and Gold Star family is but the latest in a seemingly never ending list. The question is: what is the scariest?

Hillary Clinton may have her finger on this button.

As previously noted in ValueWalk, a decided dark undertone of the Clinton attack against Trump may be playing itself out. The fear of Donald Trump with unfettered access to the nuclear codes might just be the best, most logical scare of them all. From one perspective, many of the controversies at their core point to un-forced errors that reveal an irrational if intemperate nature.  Trump, appearing to play checkers against chess masters, is taking the bait yet again.

Speaking to the press Monday, Trump tied several controversies surrounding the candidate into a package when he addressed the Crimeria situation. Specifically he said:

When I said, ‘Believe me, Russia’s not going into Ukraine, alright?’ They’re not going into Ukraine. The person said, ‘But they’re already in Ukraine.’ I said, ‘Well that was two years ago.’ That’s – I mean – do you want to go back? Do you want to have World War 3 to get it back? That was during Obama’s watch.

To understand the strategic blunder, recognize the framing. Trump has been accused of having close ties to Russia, not having the proper temperament to be US President let alone have access to the nuclear codes and his “grasp of facts” and related accuracy of communication has been called into question.

Here in one paragraph he lets it fly like a birther conspiracy theorist coming out of the closet. Trump is again falling into a carefully laid path that prompted the candidate to reveal a lack of temperament, discipline but perhaps most concerning – a lack of political and strategic sophistication.

His actions raise the question: if he can be so easily distracted and baited by Hillary Clinton and her acknowledged team of top political chess players, will this behavior be repeated on the world stage? Could someone goad him into using nuclear weapons?

The Clinton campaign wants this question asked for some very valid reasons.