Photo of #NoRedButton campaign members during a rally in New York City courtesy of the campaign's Facebook page.
A group of anti-nuclear activists has organized a rally at the Long Beach Trump headquarters in Cambodia Town, questioning Trump's ability to calmly deal with nuclear weapon use. The rally is set for tomorrow at noon, along with other Trump centers in numerous states, as part of their #NoRedButton campaign.
According to an announcement, the campaign will feature protesters with banners stating phrases like “Keep Trump Away from Nukes” and mock “red buttons,” with speakers on hand to discuss how they feel a potential Trump presidency would relate to US nuclear aggression. The group pointed to a letter written by former nuclear launch officers, denouncing Trump’s experience, temperament and judgment when it comes to dealing with nuclear weapons.
“Only the president can order a nuclear launch,” the letter states. “That order cannot be vetoed and once the missiles have been launched, they cannot be called back. The consequences of miscalculation, impulsive decision-making or poor judgment on the part of the president could be catastrophic.”
The letter concludes with a plea for voters to not place Trump in a position of nuclear power:
“Donald Trump should not be the nation’s commander-in-chief. He should not be entrusted with the nuclear launch codes. He should not have his finger on the button.”
Saturday’s Long Beach rally is part of several such events this week, all relating to the #NoRedButton campaign. Demonstrations are slated to occur in other cities around the country including Seattle, Washington, Knoxville, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., Columbus, Ohio, Richmond, Virginia and New York, New York.
Building owner Gary Fultheim, who donated space within his building to the Trump campaign, said he had yet to hear of the rally.
When asked about his thoughts in regard to the validity of the protest, he declined to comment.
“I don’t know, and I haven’t talked to Trump personally about nuclear weapons,” said Fultheim. “I don’t know what his thinking is on it.”
In the first of the three presidential debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Trump was not entirely clear on his official stance toward nuclear weapons.
"I think that once the nuclear alternative happens, it's over," Trump said. "At the same time, we have to be prepared. I can't take anything off the table. Because you look at some of these countries, you look at North Korea, we're doing nothing there."
In March, Trump told Bloomberg News he would want to be "unpredictable" in nuclear decision making, as in the war against ISIS.
An NBC news brief summarizes Bloomberg reporter Mark Halperin’s line of questioning: "So you would — you would rule out the possibility of using, right, nuclear weapons against ISIS?"
"Well, I'm never going to rule anything out,” said Trump.
In televised appearances, he has reiterated his commitment to “not taking the cards off the table,” even in Europe.
“Why is anyone in this position? Why should anyone have the ability to launch a nuclear war in 15 minutes,” asked Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund, a nonprofit that promotes global denuclearization in a Politico article published yesterday. “Millions of people have been educated that the president can do this. There’s no vote, no Supreme Court appeal — you don't even need a Cabinet meeting.”
The Long Beach Trump headquarters is located at 2338 East Anaheim Street.