British public-service broadcaster Channel 4 last night broadcast a film about the “Trumpian brave new world of ‘America first'”, claiming “we should all be worried”, because “with nuclear weapons at play, it may decide the future of the entire world”.
“The first ten weeks of the Trump presidency have witnessed a descent into chaos and confusion,” says transgendered presenter Abi Austen in the opening line of the film, called President Trump: How Scared Should We Be?
Immediately, President Donald J. Trump is accused of being “ignorant and erratic” during the campaign and making “blood-curdling pledges to the American people”.
On America’s nuclear capability, the host said: “This awesome power is now wielded by a former game show host with no political experience and no knowledge of international diplomacy.”
The film recognises that Mr. Trump’s approval ratings amongst those who voted for him remain strong, but then systematically attacks him for attempting to implement election pledges.
The programme features a host of “experts” and former government advisers raising speculative concerns. Carlos Diaz-Rosillo, a director of policy for Mr. Trump, is briefly allowed to defend his administration. No extra time is given to optimistic, third-party, pro-Trump voices and opinions.
Channel 4 claims all of its news programmes are “presented with due impartiality” as required by UK law.
The implication that Mr. Trump’s presidency risks nuclear war appears to be based on the fact that some people in his administration are proudly on the political right, and the power of bureaucrats could be reduced and some checks and balances removed as the president seeks to streamline big government.
Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, stands accused of harbouring “far-right, ultra-nationalist views” by one interviewee. They offered no platform for anyone to push back against this outrageous claim.
The presenter says Mr. Bannon is “a man who inspires fear and mockery”, describing him as a “deeply religious Roman Catholic” who “sees America as engaged in an epic struggle for survival with what he calls ‘Islamic Fascism'”.
As evidence of the alleged threat of nuclear war, the programme highlights a story about the U.S. President allegedly allowing a security agent with access to nuclear codes to pose for a selfie in a public place.
As the programme continues to attack Mr. Trump for “aggressively” confronting terror, it simultaneously criticises him for adopting a more isolationist stance and allegedly backing off from “policing the world” and engaging in large-scale foreign military interventions.
“Trump speaks to the most primal emotions of Americans – and that is fear,” claims Tom Countryman, a career diplomat in the Barack Obama administration. “And as a consequence, he seems to view the United States’s role in the world not as a leader, but as a victim.”
Max Boot, a long-standing anti-Trump voice, adds: “You [want to] wall the United States off from the rest of the world. This is very dismaying to see these people who are really marginal political figures suddenly being put in the centre of policy making in this White House.”
Later, Mr. Countryman claimed those around Mr. Trump believe “alpha males have returned to the White House” which is “a theory that works very well amongst a gang of chimpanzees, and not among democratic citizens”.
“It’s an indication about a predisposition by this White House to resort more readily to military force than previous administrations have,” he adds, seemingly referring to a recent raid in Yemen.
On Russia, Mr. Trump is criticised for reaching out to Vladimir Putin, but also for risking war in Eastern Europe as he might “fall out” with the Russian president.
Mr. Boot says: “…there is a real danger that [Mr. Trump] will wind up taking us into a conflict that we did not intend.”
“There is no indication that Mr. Trump has made any effort to understand [the destructive power of nuclear weapons] in the same depth every other American president has,” adds Mr. Countryman.
“Never before has America had a Commander-in-Chief whose temperament has been so widely questioned,” concludes the presenter. “We should all be worried.”