On September 5th, the media world was “rocked” by an anonymously authored op-ed piece in The New York Times that, to hear about it through all the other networks, was like the end of the world for President Trump. According to the op-ed piece itself, it is written by a “senior official in the Trump White House” who has “vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”
This piece’s existence became the lead story on Thursday going into Friday. Drudge, Fox, CNN, and just about everyone in the major news media was covering this “extraordinary” publication. The underlying narrative by most of the networks was “look, it’s an insider trying to thwart the President and they are trying to control this out of control man. Defend yourselves while you still have time!” And indeed, the op-ed piece itself says this almost verbatim:
To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.
But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.
That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.
This certainly reads like there is a problem. It sounds like the President is crazy and must be managed by this group of people.
And for a while this story seemed to hit and hold as speculation turned to who it might have been that dared to do this sort of writing. For the Liberals, the person was pictured as a courageous hero, and for the GOP, and especially Trump supporters, this person was vilified as a traitor.
However, this sort of analysis seems to sidestep the main issue, which is what is actually in the piece.
And upon reading that, we find nothing new. The writer appears to be aligned with the neocon agenda, possessing a rigidly closed mind to the notion that Russia might not be the bastion of evil that almost everyone in American politics seems to want to make it. The allusions of “amorality” are as vague as that word itself is. What does “amoral” mean for the author? It might actually be hard to say.
The problem is simple enough. When one has a set of opinions, they usually believe they are right, and those who disagree with them are wrong, hence “amoral.” This seems to be about the level of the writer’s assessment. As we examine the op-ed piece itself, this becomes quite clear. We will offer the material from the op-ed here formatted bold italic, and then our responses in plain text:
The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.
This is a visceral accusation but it is formless and pointless. At this point there is no definition for what construes “amorality.”
Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.
This is patently untrue, every single bit of it. Rather, the President has exercised and encouraged his supportes to exercise their own ability to think, to doubt (the media), and the booming markets are strong evidence of his love for free market capitalism, because the boom is largely due to very simple policy changes he made upon entering office, plus the general optimism he carries as a person. Mr. Obama was the Wet Blanket in Chief by comparison, telling the United States that manufacturing jobs were gone forever and get used to it.
Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.
This is the author contracting him or herself.
But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.
From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.
Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.
“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.
This allegation is nothing we haven’t seen already. Just listen to a campaign rally. However, in this style, a lot of good is getting done. We still have yet to see anything “amoral.” Unconventional? Maybe. But “amoral” indicates something evil or without good, and there is no evidence of either of these characteristics that has been explained to the reader yet.
The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful.
It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.
The result is a two-track presidency.
Since there is nothing specific offered here, the allegation is put out for no other reason than to stain the thoughts of the reader. Proof, please. Oh! Maybe here is some…
Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.
Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.
On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better — such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.
Maybe that is because the “like minded, allied nations” we have are all currently invested deeply in one-world globalism, George Soros style, and Russia in particular is the great power that is most like the West, but refuses to play the Western game. As we have covered extensively here on The Duran, the issue is centered around Russia’s re-emergence as a powerful, Christianity-guided nation that rejects the innovative moral and cultural philosophies taken as sacred tradition now by Western Europe and the United States.
In an interesting side note, China, which is economically more powerful than the US in some ways, and whose culture is radically unique contrasted with the West, and which is a Communist nation, is not targeted for such vilification. And for good practical reason: The US owes a whole lot of money to the Chinese, and our own economy risks severe disruption if we get the Chinese too mad. But Russia doesn’t make anything we need, and we have no real economic ties save for the fact that Russian rockets get our astronauts into space. It’s easy to pick on Russia because we don’t lose anything significant in doing so. There is probably no other reason for this choice of scapegoat.
This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.
How about the “steady work of the Deep State?” The writer may have confused his or her word order.
Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.
The op-ed would have more merit if there were but one single incident written here that describes the President as being unstable. But there isn’t one specific given. So like an earlier allegation, the seriousness of the charge has nothing to do with whether or not there is any truth to the charge. And this is election season, the time where lies abound everywhere.
The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.
Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation.
Again, and finally, this only gives us the point of view of the author. The author likes John McCain, so they are one of the Deep staters, and right now it doesn’t matter if the writer is liberal or conservative; but whether or not they like President Trump’s style.
The whole piece so strongly resembles the narrative of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN, MSNBC and other major network outlets that there is a good chance that it was not written by anyone in the White House staff at all, but is just a fantasy written by someone looking for a creative way to keep up the narrative.
Any person capable of critical thought should be able to see right through this.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.