So motivated by principle and fear, national security Never Trumpers signed onto a statement that included this:
Most fundamentally, Mr. Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be President. He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world. He appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws, and U.S. institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press, and an independent judiciary.
Mr. Trump’s own statements lead us to conclude that as president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world. Furthermore, his expansive view of how presidential power should be wielded against his detractors poses a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States. Therefore, as committed and loyal Republicans, we are unable to support a Party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head. We commit ourselves to working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office.
There’s much more at the links.
These folks specialize in national security. They have principles. They stood by them so much that they signed a document not believing the man they were talking about would ever win the presidency so they could be secure in their opinion. It would not affect them one way or the other — except to signal to the Clinton administration that they’d be willing to help.
This was considered a no-risk proposition. There’s only upside. There is no way Trump could get elected, so why not preen?
Some will say that the national security experts signed onto these documents because they felt Trump was such a threat that they wanted to warn fellow Republicans and to encourage them to vote for… Hillary Clinton. [Ahem.]
I get it. I do. Rational people were, are, concerned. However, that sort of list is not well-thought-out. Any good strategic thinker must consider all possibilities–even the ones that seem impossible. What will the consequences be if the worst case scenario were to happen? It would seem that, to them, the worst case would be Donald Trump getting elected. What then? Even then, maybe especially then, a national security advisor with years of experience and wisdom would want to contribute. He’d want to be the ballast in what he perceives is a rocky ship.
How can this perceptive person do that for a leader who he believes is “fundamentally unfit?” How can that leader trust someone who thinks so little of him? Worse, what must that leader think of a man who took a cheap shot because it was the easy shot?
The thing is, the leader cannot know why a person put his name on the list, but there are only a couple of plausible reasons and none of them would make that leader inclined to want to be open to that person’s judgment.
The national security guys who put their names on this list shouldn’t be whining to the Washington Post that they’re being black listed. They put themselves on the list declaring the future Commander in Chief unfit. Why in the world would that leader want people working for him who think so little of him?
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