The United States is under attack from within, retired Navy Admiral William H. McRaven wrote in The New York Times this week, and the attack is coming from the White House.
President Donald Trump fails to appreciate what makes America great, McRaven said, and because of this it is all too easy for the president to contentedly set about destroying the country and everything for which is stands.
“We are not the most powerful nation in the world because of our aircraft carriers, our economy, or our seat at the United Nations Security Council,” the former commander of the United States Special Operations Command wrote. “We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys. We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.”
If we abandon those qualities — as it would seem Trump is eager to accomplish — McCraven wondered how the consequences would ripple outward into the world.
[I]f we don’t care about our values, if we don’t care about duty and honor, if we don’t help the weak and stand up against oppression and injustice — what will happen to the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Syrians, the Rohingyas, the South Sudanese and the millions of people under the boot of tyranny or left abandoned by their failing states?
If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us? If we can’t have faith in our nation’s principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military? And if they don’t join, who will protect us? If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us? And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?
In the end, the United States would do best to replace the president, McCraven wrote, with a new leader — Republican, Democrat or independent — who better reflects the values of the nation.
“If President Trump doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office … The fate of our Republic depends upon it.”