What Will Be Donald Trump’s Gulf of Tonkin?

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Aside from the garden-variety conservative havoc that Donald Trump will wreak, the biggest danger of his presidency is that he’ll someday encounter his very own Gulf of Tonkin. LBJ used the 1964 attack in the Gulf of Tonkin as a pretext to go all-in on the Vietnam War, and Trump could very easily find a similar sort of pretext to amp up his own authority in dangerous ways. But what is it likely to be?

That is an interesting point. And no, it hadn’t occurred to me before. Iyad el-Baghdadi walks through some of the likely consequences of an attack on a Trump-branded property here, but I don’t think he goes far enough. Something like this could be Trump’s Gulf of Tonkin. And now that it’s been pointed out, it seems almost painfully obvious that a terrorist attack like this is bound to happen.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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