What is really unprecedented about Trump?

When President Trump spews off insults about “Little Rocket Man” or blasts the Iran nuclear deal, threatening military actions against adversaries and promising that America will do whatever it takes, with the implied use of military action, to achieve its goals, many observers tremble. And they should: not because Trump is doing something so unprecedented, but just the opposite. He is partaking in a well-established tradition of hawkish bluster coming from U.S. presidents that have brought us to the precipice, or brought us directly into, costly military conflicts.

From Cold War presidents ramping up the world temperature through warnings about “puppet” governments in Central America and Southeast Asia to President George W. Bush discussing the mass cache of weapons of mass destruction allegedly possessed by Iraq in 2002, Trump joins a long list of presidents whose words have heightened the tension levels with our adversaries. His brazen style simply does a bit more than some others to instantly expose the risks that can ensue.

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