According to a new CNN report (yeah, we know…), President Trump is “obsessed” with finding and firing the individual responsible for the anonymous New York Times op-ed published last week that gave new meaning to the term Deep State.
The individual, as if you aren’t already aware, claimed to be part of a resistance within the Trump administration that was working against the president in some ways while furthering the “better” parts of his agenda. Better by the standards of whoever wrote the piece, anyway. Better for the country? That’s certainly a matter of opinion.
It isn’t, by the way, the opinion of many who have since commented on the article. In a rare moment of bipartisan unity, pundits and politicians on the left and the right attacked the anonymous author for having the audacity to believe that his (unelected) vision for the nation was superior to the president’s. Trump supporters and critics alike called the writer a cowardly traitor who should resign if he or she loathes the president’s direction so badly.
Even Barack Obama, no fan of his successor in any way, acknowledged in a speech that undermining the presidency from within was not what made our democracy tick.
More than 25 senior Trump administration officials have publicly denied writing the op-ed, among them Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis. Pence and Mattis fell under suspicion thanks to a couple of unique terms used by the writer: “Lodestar,” which pops up in Pence’s speeches from time to time, and “first principles,” which is a phrase Mattis has been known to use. The usage of those terms could indicate that the op-ed was written by a speechwriter for one of the two men, or it could simply mean that the writer was clever enough to disguise his identity by throwing in some “off-the-scent” vocabulary words. Either way, we find it extremely doubtful that the writer is someone known to the general public. Or that he’s really a “senior” official at all – at least in the way most people would think of such a person.
Still, determining his identity should be a priority for the White House. More to the point, it needs to be a priority to find, identify, and root out anyone who considers themselves part of this internal “resistance” to President Trump. Trump, as all presidents before him, deserves the loyalty of those working in his government. No, that doesn’t mean that every official has to agree with every aspect of the president’s agenda. But it does mean that they must either execute the president’s agenda, talk Trump out of it, or resign because they can no longer stand by their work. Those are the only honorable choices. The only patriotic choices.
Anything else is undemocratic and traitorous.