Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The Resistance to Trump inside the Trump Administration: Bad Character Does Matter

The New York Times has just published a remarkable Op-Ed essay that is anonymous, because the author is a senior official in the Trump administration identified as "part of the resistance inside the Trump administration."  It is said that the author must remain anonymous to keep his job.

The author claims that "many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations," although they "want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous."

The author says:
"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."
"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."
I agree that the root of the problem is the president's amorality.  In previous posts (here and here), I have argued that the fundamental problem with Trump is that he lacks both the moral and intellectual virtues of a good person, and that he suffers from a grandiose narcissism.  I am shocked that many conservatives don't see this as a problem, but I am encouraged to see that some of the conservatives in his administration do recognize this as a dangerous problem for the country, and they are doing what they can to frustrate Trump's bad impulses.

I was also encouraged to see the author of this essay paying tribute to John McCain, as I did in my last post.  "Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them."

1 comment:

Hershblogger said...

I agree Trump is amoral. A theme on my blog, in fact.

I have to disagree with you on the subject of John McCain's honor and, by extension, his political moral fiber. He was principled, yes. An honor-culture warrior to the bitter end. Let's call that the refusal to invite Sarah Palin to his funeral.

Honorable, though? Well, that depends on the principles.

At The Other Club, I've written a fair bit on Senator McCain. The man who wanted the "tea party Hobbits" to "return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor," and whose name is part of the most offensive anti-civil rights bill in modern American history - McCain-Feingold.

His his overriding need to appear honorable tarnished his principles: An anger problem he had all his life, and the impetus for his greatest mistake mentioned above.

He didn't like what Dubya did to him in an advertising blitz in the South Carolina primary and wanted it never to happen again, even if it meant gutting the First Amendment. His fit of pique got the better of his respect for the Constitution. Pique got the better of him again when he voted to preserve Obamacare after campaign promises to vote for repeal.

His proclivity to interfere in professional sports is a minor offense, but indicative of his authoritarian misunderstanding of the role of the general government.

He also was responsible for: McCain-Kennedy (amnesty for illegal aliens), McCain-Kennedy-Edwards (trial lawyers' bill of rights), McCain-Lieberman (global warming legislation), Gang of 14 (McCain-Byrd, obstructing change to the filibuster rule for judicial nominations), saying he voted against the Bush tax cuts because they “favored the rich,” and bashing pharmaceutical companies as if he were John Edwards.

And, Keating 5.

John McCain was an honorable soldier. As a politician he was merely a contrarian with anger issues.