I strongly agree with the critical views against President Trump’s misogyny, racism and anti-Muslim policies expressed by your multi-authored letter (“We stand together against Trump’s toxic agenda,” 2 February; https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/01/we-stand-together-against-donald-trump-toxic-agenda)
But, as someone who has been a member and supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament for nearly 40 years, I cannot understand why Dr Kate Hudson, national general secretary of CND signed this letter in the name of the campaign she leads, rather than in a personal capacity.
To be sure, Just before Christmas last year, he tweeted, as President –elect: “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/22/donald-trump-tweets-expand-nuclear-weapons
But Trump has made many more comments opposing nuclear weapons, which CND must know.
For example, on 16 January, he asserted:“I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially ( “How President Trump Could Bring About A Safer Greater World Peace,” Forbes, 20 January, www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2017/01/20/how-president-trump-could-bring-about-a-safer-greater-world-peace/#58c18d476724)
Over a year ago, on15 December 2015 he said “The biggest problem we have is nuclear—nuclear proliferation and having some maniac, having some madman go out and get a nuclear weapon. That's in my opinion that is the single biggest problem that our country faces right now.” (“Distorting Trump on nuclear war,” National Review, 6 September 2016, http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/439744/distorting-trump-nuclear-war)
Trump’s views on nuclear weapons are maverick, like many other of his policies, and they stretch back over three decades, as an article published in US news web site, Slate, on 1st March last year, demonstrates with extraordinary insight. (Trump’s Nuclear Experience: In 1987, he set out to solve the world’s biggest problem www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_spectator/2016/03/trump_s_nuclear_experience_advice_for_reagan_in_1987.html)
Written by senior Slate magazine writer, Ron Rosenbaum, it revealed: “Trump is not new to nuclear matters. He has been thinking about how he’d handle nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation for more than a quarter-century, at least since 1987, when he claimed to me that he was “dealing at a very high level” with people in the White House (that would have been the Reagan White House) on doomsday questions.
Trump wanted to begin a crusade to find a way to halt a national security policy based on nuclear mutually assured destruction (MAD) “before a wild-card nuke deals death to millions.”
Trump foresaw a situation soon when “hair-trigger” heads of state will have their hands on multiple nuclear triggers. And, Rosembaum observed, it drives him crazy that nobody in the White House senses the danger.
In the middle of last month it was revealed in the media that Trump wants to recreate the US-Russia presidential summit that US president Reagan and Soviet President Gorbachev held in Reykjavik, in Iceland in January 1986, where they very nearly came to an extraordinary agreement to outlaw all nuclear weapons. (“Trump wants Putin summit in Reykjavik, Sunday Times, 15 January, http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/trump-wants-putin-summit-in-reykjavik-rc909n9t0)
CND and others campaigning against nuclear weapons should take some encouragement from this positive aspect of Trump’s outpouring of negative policies, and read the US National Archive on Gorbachev’s Nuclear Initiative of January 1986 and the Road to Reykjavik, (Electronic briefing book 563, 12 October 2016, http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB563-Gorbachev-nuclear-abolition-1986-and-Reykjavik-summit/) to see how Trump could be, as were Reagan and Nixon with China, the Republican president who made a big difference in east-west relations