Lt. Colonel (Ret) Alexander Vindman has a few things to get off his chest, and it is damned powerful. He wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post  this morning that rips through the Trump administration’s pettiness. Vindman message is strengthened by three undeniable facts.
First, Vindman knows what he’s talking about when he references authoritarian regimes, having fled one in Ukraine in his youth and then specializing in such dictatorships as a special adviser to the National Security Council. So if Vindman sees a regime forming here, it’s especially hard to deny.
Two, Vindman wouldn’t be the type with an axe to grind. He served in the Trump administration without making waves right up to the point where he saw Trump make a move so fundamentally anti-American that to not report it would be a dereliction of duty.
Three, nothing threatens Trump more than an honest man or woman who knows the truth. It is why Trump has made every employee he ever had sign a non-disclosure agreement. Trump loathes the truth.
So Vindman dumped some truth on Trump:
“After 21 years, six months and 10 days of active military service, I am now a civilian. I made the difficult decision to retire because a campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation by President Trump and his allies forever limited the progression of my military career. At no point in my career or life have I felt our nation’s values under greater threat and in more peril than at this moment. Our national government during the past few years has been more reminiscent of the authoritarian regime my family fled more than 40 years ago than the country I have devoted my life to serving.”
Vindman hits it exactly right when he references a culture of retaliation:
“Our citizens are being subjected to the same kinds of attacks tyrants launch against their critics and political opponents. Those who choose loyalty to American values and allegiance to the Constitution over devotion to a mendacious president and his enablers are punished. The president recklessly downplayed the threat of the pandemic even as it swept through our country. The economic collapse that followed highlighted the growing income disparities in our society. Millions are grieving the loss of loved ones and many more have lost their livelihoods while the president publicly bemoans his approval ratings.”
Holy shit! He went well beyond the retaliation culture and Trump’s corruption, he went straight at the bottomless incompetency.
He closes by being the good guy with hope in his country, that his nation really can be great again because “right matters:”
“To this day, despite everything that has happened, I continue to believe in the American Dream. I believe that in America, right matters. I want to help ensure that right matters for all Americans.”
We can expect to see more and more of these as we barrel toward November. There will be more former officials coming out to talk about Trump’s corruption and the death of American values under Trump. Trump isn’t near as strong as he once was, and the retaliation is losing some of its bite, as we see from this morning’s Washington Post.
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