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The True Story About Trump's Little Red Button of Doom

And How President Biden had it removed from office

By Rui AlvesPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Ren & Stimpy | "Space Cadet" by John Kricfalusi on Nickelodeon

The former POTUS, Donald Trump, had a little red button sitting on his desk. He enjoyed bragging about the doomsday "jolly candy-like" feature to fellow world leaders. Trump would also use the "beautiful shiny button" whenever an interview became too dull for his taste.

The red button of doom

Unlike the Cold War’s red telephone that was nothing more than a myth, the “red button of doom” was a real-world object. Trump's red button housing was cordless and portable; hence he could use it around the White House and even place it on his nightstand. Yet, until 2017, nobody disclosed its exact purpose, and we kept recalling the Ren & Stimpy show: "Oh, how long can trusty Cadet Stimpy hold out? How can he possibly resist the diabolical urge to push the button that could erase his very existence?"

"Will he hold out, folks? CAN he hold out?"

Them, we heard a worldwide sigh of relief when the dreaded candy-like button turned out to be a dud.

An Associated Press reporter, who interviewed Trump to mark his 100 days in the presidency, noticed a curious detail during the conversation, which took place in the Oval Office. The shiny red button inside a wooden box resting on the Resolute desk that Queen Victoria gifted to President Rutherford Hayes in 1879. With a touch of the President’s hand on that button, a butler would diligently bring a glass of Coke for Mr. Trump.

Everybody knew Trump was a fast-food lover. We saw him celebrate the Republican nomination for the Presidency with a hamburger and fries from McDonald’s. What came as a surprise was his insight to use such a speedy method to have a glass of soda while working at the Oval Office. Mr. Trump, a well know Diet Coke hater, had become a Coke zealot. Back then, we also found out how he made a habit of drinking a dozen Diet Cokes each day.

The 'Football'

The U.S. President has to maintain command and control over the nuclear arsenal at all times. Yet, there are safety measures and protocols in place to prevent any misusage of the system.

The real “nuclear button” isn’t sitting on a desk waiting for some staff member to unleash Armageddon by dusting it a little too hard. To be clear, the “red button of doom” isn't even a button… it’s a bag! Contrary to pop culture, the “nuclear football” — the black suitcase that accompanies U.S. presidents — doesn’t contain a button. The briefcase holds all the documents that the U. S. President requires to sanction a military strike.

Bill Gulley, former director of the White House Military Office, unveiled the Presidential Emergency Satchel content in his book Breaking Cover. There are four items inside the "Football": a little black book with retaliatory launch options, a card with authentication codes, a list of classified site locations where the president can be relocated in an emergency, and instructions for using the Emergency Broadcast System.

To launch a nuclear strike, the President has to collaborate with advisors and generals — who have the operational control over the systems needed to launch a nuclear warhead and are linked, by the chain of command, to the officers and other military personnel working directly with this technology.

Final thoughts

Trump’s "little candy-like red button of doom" was nothing more than a Diet Coke button, and President Biden removed it. It’s gone now, good riddance!

The new Administration redecorated the Oval Office; the staff changed portraits, busts, carpets, and even the presidential armchair during the turnover. The decor now honors the presidential family, civil rights, and science.

On a shelf behind him, President Biden placed a series of photos of his family and a bronze bust of the renowned labor leader and civil rights advocate, Cesar Chavez.

The President also removed a portrait of Andrew Jackson, replacing it with a painting depicting one of the country’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, next to a moonstone, a tribute to the alliance between science and politics.

President Biden reminds us that, even if "every important machine's got to have a red button,"* we can easily hide it in the basement under lock and key.

* Quote: Joseph DeRisi (adapted)


Thanks for reading this article. Please feel free to come back at any time and pick up another thread from my Vocal book of content by clicking here. Small tips and big hearts are highly appreciated. Till next time, cheers.



About the Creator

Rui Alves

I write to find the surrogate writer in me.

Rui is a graduate of the University of Porto, teacher, and life-coach.

He is also a partner of Rock n’Heavy and the founder of ZENite.

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