How the Presidency Took Control of America’s Nuclear Arsenal
For more than 50 years, the specter of “the button” has haunted conversations about American nuclear weapons. While the power to launch nuclear war has—contrary to our imaginations— never actually been contained within a button, historian Alex Wellerstein says the idea of it reflects the way the American public sees this presidential power.
“There’s no one button. There never has been. There never should be. It’s a terrible idea,” he says. “It’s a metaphor for how we think about technology, simplicity and our lack of control.”