Monday, September 14, 2020

Breaking with Trump - the last straw

We know that lots of high profile Republicans are breaking with Trump. Colin Powell is one such person. But it is instructive to hear from those who have worked in the Trump administration about why they finally abandoned Trump - about their personal breaking points.

Breaking Points. What led Trump’s most prominent former supporters to give up on him.

And that from a credentialed Republican, the author “Bulwark political columnist Amanda Carpenter is a CNN contributor, author, and former communications director to Sen. Ted Cruz and speechwriter to Sen. Jim DeMint”

Here’s the short list stripped of most details.

  • Trump’s former defense secretary James Mattis. Theoretically, the “warrior monk” General “Mad Dog” Mattis, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, who once led Central Command
  • John Bolton arrived at a similar conclusion after working directly with Trump as his national security advisor.
  • Miles Taylor, former chief of staff to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly
  • Elizabeth Neumann, Trump’s former assistant secretary for counterrorism and threat prevention at DHS,

Significant cracks have emerged as well in Trump’s support among individuals outside the administration.

  • It was Trump’s callousness toward others that moved Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director for Ohio Right to Life, to quit her job rather than endorse Trump and help him win a second term.

Other committed Republicans have found Trump’s attitude towards the elections appalling.

  • Steven G. Calabresi, cofounder of the Federalist Society and a professor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law who supported Trump through impeachment, said in July that Trump’s tweets raising the possibility of postponing the election were causes for removal.

Other casualties include Anthony Scaramucci (former press secretary), Omarosa Manigault Newman (a Trump hanger-on from the first season of The Apprentice), and Ann Coulter (who wrote a book extolling Trump’s virtues. By this year, she’d had enough; she called Trump “the most disloyal actual retard that has ever set foot in the Oval Office.”)

These tales are easily lost in the deluge of news pouring out of the Trump Administration. Such complaints are routinely dismissed by Trump’s latest surrogates as sour grapes from disgruntled former employees. Trump taps out tweets disparaging the character of these former loyalists and, just like that, their names melt into the social media white noise of the Trump era.

Except when you take a step back, a few common chords ring through and rise above the petty back and forth. We should pay attention because it matters far more than Trump’s personal relationships with these people.

The people most willing to assist Trump tell us he is a person with disastrous foreign policy ideas. They say he shows disrespect for the Constitution and displays a lack of empathy or concern for the humanity of others. He threatens our democratic process. He expects his allies to accept blame for his misdeeds.

The characters are different, but all their stories are the same. Trump pushes people to take unethical, dangerous, and even criminal actions for his benefit.

That’s just who Trump is. He tries to corrupt those around him. This is why—in addition to the desire to sell books—so many people have been coming out in recent weeks to explain their disenchantment with Trump. They know that if he gets a second term, he will keep corrupting America, too.

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