By Anna Schumann
But we also hope to hear a lot about nuclear weapons policy issues — not only because policy surrounding the world’s most dangerous weapons is literally a life-and-death issue, but because nuclear weapons policy intersects with so many other key issues. We want voters nationwide to judge presidential candidates not only for their economic, environmental or education policies, but for their nuclear policies, too.
Here are five reasons why you should vote with nuclear weapons policy in mind.
- Wasteful government spending: We can maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear stockpile for way less than the $1.2 trillion (yes, with a T) or more that we’re spending to modernize the world’s most dangerous weapons.
- Terrorism: If we don’t control our nuclear & radiological materials, they can fall into the wrong hands and be used to make bombs. We need politicians who will support funding for programs that keep these materials safe.
- Social inequality: Nuclear testing, uranium mining and waste disposal disproportionately affect marginalized communities, and lead to lasting negative health impacts.
- Climate change: One nuclear exchange could have catastrophic environmental effects, including widespread famine and violent conflicts over resources.
- Unstable leadership: The President of the United States has the sole authority to launch nuclear weapons. No one can stop him — and we designed the system that way! We can do better. (On that note, did you know the United States also reserves the right to use nuclear weapons first in a conflict and is vague about when it would? Yep, that’s terrifying. You can take action.)