Back in 1979, everybody was worried that Ronald Reagan was nuclear mad. I was, although I was only a senior in high school.
But Reagan was not unshackled. He was a hawk. Spoke softly and carried a bug stick. “Carried” being the operative word.
Trump isn’t a hawk. And he doesn’t speak softly. He can’t play brinksmanship because he doesn’t know what the brink is. Deterrence is too nuanced for him.