I am no fan or supporter of Donald Trump, whom I consider to be a boorish, low-brow, weirdly coiffed, inarticulate embarrassment. He is the Fourth Stooge.
I feel that way but I still hesitate to embrace the soon-to-be-published book called “A Warning” by an anonymous author who is identified as a “senior official in the Trump administration.”
For the purpose of discussion, let’s assume the person is actually a biggie in the administration. If you can’t accept that premise, go read something else.
In excerpts from the book published in the Washington Post, and an op-ed published last year in the New York Times, anonymous described the president as a dangerous, near-deranged accident waiting to happen and reported that members of his own staff were actively reversing or ignoring some of the president’s orders.
Is that the right thing to do?
Here I balance on the razor’s edge.
An over-the-top disruptor, Trump was elected president, which means he sets policy, whether you like it or not. Elections have consequences, right?
I am reading news reports right now that former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was enticed to undermine the president by Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (Remember that Trump himself appointed these dudes.)
When you hear reports like these, which seem credible, it gives a certain gravity to Trump’s otherwise paranoid ravings about a “deep state.” Remember Julius Caesar? Do these guys remind you of Cassius?
if yes — how do you feel about it? Is this how the system is supposed to work — elect a leader and have him cancelled by his staff?
How would you describe someone on your team who worked against you, countermanding your decisions?
I was in that situation once. I was a top editor of a small magazine, with three staffers under me. I set editorial direction, handed out assignments and led the team with a very loose rein. They were professionals and didn’t need to be spurred. An occasional word of encouragement was all that was needed.
One of the three, unbeknownst to me, wanted my job and set about poisoning the well. No need for details other than to say she got caught undermining me and my boss told me to fire her.
I did. It was the first time I ever fired anyone and it was hard, even though she earned what she got.
That was just a magazine. I was an editor, not a president.
Anonymous says he and others thought of resigning en masse, but that would put the nation in peril, which sounds a little grandiose to me. Maybe Anonymous has an ego as big as Trump’s.
Here’s the crux: Is the “right thing” to undermine the boss because you are listening to a higher voice? Or is the “right thing” to either go public with your concerns or quit with a loud bang?
Anonymous described the president as “a 12-year-old in an air traffic control tower, pushing the buttons of government indiscriminately, indifferent to the planes skidding across the runway and the flights frantically diverting away from the airport.”
Does the enormity of presidential decisions permit the backroom perfidy? Does the end justify the means? It seems like a bad precedent. If you feel it is justified for Trump, others would excuse it for a Democrat.
Despite the stated lofty intentions, I find it hard to applaud anonymous back-stabbing. It feels cowardly to me.
How about you?