WASHINGTON, January 28, 2017 — In 1949, President Harry Truman announced the Soviet Union had successfully tested its first nuclear weapon. And so, the Union of Concerned Scientists announced they pushed the hand of their fanciful “doomsday clock” to a frightful three minutes to midnight. They might have assumed that Truman, the first world leader to use nuclear weapons, had an itchy trigger finger.
But in 1963, when Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev assumed America’s playboy president would be a pushover, deployed short-range nuclear missiles in Castro’s Cuba and triggered a crisis that pushed the world to the brink of thermonuclear war, the doomsday clock sat at a safer 12 minutes to midnight.
President Kennedy blinked in the face of Russian aggression, removed U.S. Jupiter intermediate-range nuclear missiles from our NATO bases in Turkey and Italy, and promised never to topple Russia’s cigar-smoking puppet in Havana.
He also signed a meaningless nuclear test-ban treaty.
But the clock’s hand ticked back to 3-minutes to midnight in 1984 as the United States was in the midst of a massive arms buildup under President Ronald Reagan. The Gipper’s move obliged the Soviets to play catch-up, forcing them into bankruptcy and eventual collapse.
With the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, which brought an end to the “long, twilight struggle” of the Cold War, the doomsday clock moved to a much safer 17-minutes to midnight.
Peace through strength, it seems, pulled back the hands of time.
Last Wednesday, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that with Donald Trump safely installed in the Oval Office, the doomsday clock sits at two-and-a-half minutes to midnight.
They did not say what accounts for the missing thirty seconds.
“Keeping future temperatures at less-than-catastrophic levels requires reductions in greenhouse gas emissions far beyond those agreed to in Paris,” warned the scolds in white coats.
These scientists also fear the “rise in strident nationalism worldwide in 2016, including in the US presidential campaign during which the eventual victor, Donald Trump, made disturbing comments about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons and expressed disbelief in the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change.”
“Doomsday,” therefore, has been redefined as the peoples of the democratic West casting off the shackles placed upon them by authoritarian “experts” whose solutions to the world’s problems is to reduce individual freedom while increasing the power of shadowy, bureaucratic agencies at home and abroad; bodies whose actions are not subject to the “consent of the governed.”
And where do these experts get their mandate? It comes from manufactured data that support their manufactured and “overwhelming consensus.”
Where does mankind get its mandate to live free? “They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Unlike the clock-watchers in white coats, the clock maker of the Bible is no tyrant. He has given to the most unique among his creation, humanity, free will to act for good or ill; to heroically strive for freedom or crawl the coward’s muddy path to dishonorable tyranny.
What we are witnessing, therefore, is the age-old battle between science and religion. A battle scientists tell us is one between truth and superstition. At least, that seems to be the overwhelming consensus they have discovered while talking among themselves.
Throughout the Western democracies, acting upon liberty’s self-evident truths, free people have pushed the clock’s hour hand to midnight. And the petty tyrants of this world hear the tolling of its bell.
And yes, it tolls for thee.