I feel ashamed for not assuming that Obama was the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima. Mostly because I was naive enough to think that a practical discussion about disarming nuclear weapons should involve the victims of such weapons. Partly because I was naive enough to think there have been practical discussions about disarming nuclear weapons. Of all the science fiction like horrors that humans have dreamt up, this is the one that we made real, visceral. I’ve never even been to Hiroshima, but reading John Hersey’s journalism for the fourth time, It’s still easy to think it’s fiction. As if I’m reading a novel based on the Fallout series. But no, it’s real, and probably going to happen again elsewhere.
I’ve heard arguments for the merits of using the bomb, harrowing accounts from soldier’s like E.B. Sledge in “The Old Breed.” But clearly, they are limited by an American exceptionalism that Hersey thankfully did not employ. What seems most insane though is the time, money and effort put into making new nuclear bombs that make those experiments used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki look like cheap toys. At a time where our world leaders become more and more childish, we have made human extinction a game that even a child can play.
At no point did I dream that I would be watching a presidential debate in the most powerful country in the world where candidates would be literally comparing their penis sizes to a voting audience that seems content with their political representation. All leading up to dirty toddler fingers lingering over the fate of an entire planet because progress means 18,000 pound nuclear bombs on a planet covered almost entirely by water that a billion of us will die for lack of.
This next bottleneck in human history will undoubtedly be caused by nuclear weapons, but unlike 50,000 years ago, this next group will be self-selecting. Behind every button pressed or switch flipped there will be a general, a diplomat, a billionaire with their own shelter and all of the plebeians will look up and regret not voting for the one true candidate. The one who just recently saved the world from certain annihilation. Sure he may have some extremist views, but he says what he thinks. He believes humans and low level mutants are trash, but his first order of business is to get rid of the nukes.
Vote with your heart. Apocalypse 2016.