Trump And American History

 “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

* No, it’s not going to presage a “Seven Days in May” scenario, but recent Trump-critical comments by those with serious military and national security credentials and insights just might be the final straw in this flailing, failing president’s defeat in November. Respect for those sworn to protect us transcends political partisanship. Generals and admirals are not seen like elected officials with self-serving, fealty agendas. They have earned respect the hard way–through their service to country–no matter who their commander in chief happened to be.

It hardly helps Trump to have his (current) secretary of defense, Mark Esper, and the (current) chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen. Mark Milley, indicate publicly–and defiantly–that they don’t support using the military to combat protests over the killing of George Floyd. As it turns out, neither does Gen. Martin Dempsey, a former chairman of the joint chiefs. Then Esper’s predecessor, Gen. James Mattis, weighed in and added that Trump “doesn’t even pretend to try” to unite this increasingly polarized country. Then Adm. Mike Mullen, another former chairman of the joint chiefs, spoke out about the dangerous “inflection point” that Trump has brought this country to. And as far as retired 4-star Gen. John Allen is concerned, American democracy is imperiled because “there is no one home” at the White House.

There have also been letters–signed by former SODs (Chuck Hegel, Ashton Carter and William Cohen), and scores of foreign service officials and top figures in the Army, Navy and Air Force–condemning Trump for his heavy-handed, militarist approach to civilian protest. And you know there are other issues–including America’s dysfunctional relations with its allies, its simpatico relations with authoritarians and its betrayal of Syrian Kurds–that have been festering. In short, Trump, an intemperate, narcissistic security threat, is to be marginalized and contained, not respected and saluted.

“President Trump has shown he doesn’t have the qualities necessary to be a good commander in chief,” stated retired Navy Adm. William H. McRaven, who directed the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. “This fall it’s time for new leadership in this country–Republican, Democrat or Independent.” And Colin Powell, former secretary of state, national security adviser and chairman of the joint chiefs, cut to the Oafish Office chase: “He’s dangerous to our country.” Powell has already indicated he’ll be voting for Joe Biden. He won’t be the only one.

* “Washington transformed into a war zone for this coward.”–That’s a blunt outtake from the latest political ad (“Mourning in America”) salvo from the Never Trump Republicans of the Lincoln Project PAC.

* “We all watch in horror and consternation what’s going on in the United States.”–That was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s reaction to Trump’s response to American protestors.

* “Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying, ‘This is a great thing that’s happening for our country.”–That, inexplicably, is what the tone-deaf, white-nationalist-in-chief said about what the brutalized, murdered George Floyd’s reaction would be to a positive jobs report.

* No, marching over to St. John’s Church as security forces cleared the way for Trump and his enabling posse was not a “Churchill moment.” More like a Putin moment.

* “I am struggling with it.”  That’s how Alaska’s Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski responded when asked if she could support Trump for re-election. “Struggling“? How about, “Hell, no. I’ve seen enough. In fact, I had seen enough before this narcissistic goon was ever appointed by the Electoral College. I care more about my country than about my Party standing. I answer to my conscience–not the marching orders of Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell.”

* Proximate to nearby protests, the Secret Service did their job of protecting the president by ushering him into the White House bunker. But then they let him out.

* Trump Vodka. Trump Steaks. Trump Travel. Trump University. Trump Tower Tampa. Why would any American have expected other than what we’ve gotten from Trump Presidency?

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