Admiral McRaven, a retired Navy SEAL Admiral, former Commander of US Special Operations Command, and former Chancellor of the University of Texas has penned an OpEd in the New York Times that is worth a read. McRaven also oversaw the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.
The Admiral draws two ceremonies he recently attended- a change of command for a General and a celebration of the O.S.S. Society- to compare the celebration of service and sacrifice for country with the prevailing sense of foreboding at what Donald Trump and his administration are doing to our country.
But, beneath the outward sense of hope and duty that I witnessed at these two events, there was an underlying current of frustration, humiliation, anger and fear that echoed across the sidelines. The America that they believed in was under attack, not from without, but from within.
He cites examples of military leaders confiding to him that the current “leadership” of our government is all too willing to sell out the ideals that make this country strong. He cites generals who are staunch Republicans recognizing that Trump is selling out our ideals. And why is Trump selling out our ideals? Because he doesn’t understand them.
It is easy to destroy an organization if you have no appreciation for what makes that organization great. 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. We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys.
He goes on to talk about honor, duty, commitment to allies, standing by our obligations and states that none of these things are important to Trump. And he closes as follows:
And if this president doesn’t understand their importance, if this president doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office — Republican, Democrat or independent — the sooner, the better. The fate of our Republic depends upon it.
This is a huge OpEd. Adm. McRaven is well-respected throughout the military and has been apolitical in the past. For him to pen these words is a huge public admission that cracks in our Republic are not sitting well within the military and a big signal to those in government to stand behind our values and stand up for our Republic, and remove those who don’t share our national ethos.