What Will Be Donald Trump’s Gulf of Tonkin?

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


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.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate