As many have pointed out, alleged 2016 Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump—a sideshow who has somehow managed to become the main event—is big on bluster, but short on actual, concrete policy prescriptions. And when he does dish out specifics on policy, it often comes out sounding totally insane.
Take, for instance, his solutions for our national security and foreign policy woes.
“I would bomb the hell out of those oil fields. I wouldn’t send many troops because you won’t need them by the time I’m finished,” Trump said this month, regarding how he would be “so tough” on ISIS.
But beyond bombing Iraqi oil fields (which would be a very dumb thing to do, according to almost any expert), how would Future American President Donald J. Trump fight terrorism?
If his past campaign blueprint is any indication, he would set up a Powerball-type lottery to counter global jihad.
In his book The America We Deserve, published in early 2000 (around the same time he was first contemplating running for president with Oprah as his running mate), Trump offered his hot take on the coming threat of terrorism and “mass destruction.”
“It’s time to get down to the hard business of preparing for what I believe is the real possibility that somewhere, sometime, a weapon of mass destruction will be carried into a major American city,” he wrote in a chapter titled, “Freedom From Terrorism.” (Shortly after the September 11 terror attacks, Knight Ridder basically made the point that Trump had predicted 9/11 with this chapter.)
“I really am convinced we’re in danger of the sort of terrorist attacks that will make the [first] bombing of the Trade Center look like kids playing with firecrackers,” he continued. “No sensible analyst rejects this possibility, and plenty of them, like me, are not wondering if but when it will happen.”
In the book, Trump calls for the stockpiling of antibiotics in major American cities, the development of devices to warn of biological attack, and the hiring of Russian biotechnicians to help defeat terrorist groups.
And then comes the section on the anti-terror lotto.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that once the American people are awakened to this threat, they’ll be willing to pay for any reasonable means of defense,” he wrote. “I bet if I started a national defense lottery, with money earmarked for preventing terrorism against U.S. cities, we would take in enough money to hire and train every spy on Earth and still have money to spare.”
He said the model is already in place. President Trump would just use his executive powers to somehow create a vice-addled Powerbomb.
“The National Security Lottery would sell tickets just like in a Powerball lottery but dedicate every cent to funding an anti-terrorism campaign,” Trump wrote.
The book’s description emphasizes how Trump “points out problems and offers sensible, practical solutions” and formulated his policy prescriptions with the help of “a group of domestic and foreign policy advisers, all with White House or senior policy experience.”
It is not clear who among these advisers gave him this idea, since the federal government has long poured billions of dollars into battling international terrorism without the aid of a lottery that acts as a form of regressive taxation.
Recent Powerball revenue for an entire fiscal year was in the $3-4 billion range. That’s nothing to sneeze at. But considering the government annually spends upwards of $16 billion on counter-terrorism alone, Trump’s nonexistent anti-terrorist lottery likely would not be enough to train every counter-intelligence agent on the planet.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment on whether or not he still wants to combat Islamic extremism with a Powerball lottery.