Phil Nailer is a pseudonym for a former author of the National Intelligence Estimate, a document which analyzes threats to the United States, both domestic and foreign. Nailer says in no uncertain terms that “Donald Trump and his coterie of criminals have done more in two years to weaken the United States than the Soviet Union was able to achieve in decades.” The NIE categorized threats, ranging from the existential, such as nuclear war and global warming, to terrorism, to threats of nuisance value. The threats were then prioritized. Based on this model, Nailer has concluded that the number one threat to the United States is none other than the GOP. The Independent
Let me say it again: the Republican Party is the biggest threat the United States is facing. And without proper attribution, recognition, and a well-articulated and implemented counter-strategy, it could be terminal.
There is no other reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the facts.
An enemy of the United States might seek to sow discord between ethnic groups, or to wage a disinformation campaign, or to highlight moral inconsistencies that weaken the standing of the United States on the world stage. An enemy of the United States might try and degrade the capacity and public trust within our intelligence apparatus. It might use propaganda and weaponised information. It might seek to engage in fraud or other criminal acts to sway an election in their favour.
Does any of that sound familiar?
The Republican Party has steadily embraced authoritarianism, suspect electoral tactics, and racism more and more over the past few decades. That process has been turbocharged with Trump at the helm of the party.
We’re now seeing an explicit embrace of white supremacy. Denial in the face of climate change. Deliberate sowing of discord within the FBI and the CIA. Weakening of the rule of law. Brazen criminality. Removing funding for elections oversight. Blatant human rights abuses at the border.
With Donald Trump at the helm of the Republican party, it has become increasingly toxic. Most of the Republicans who speak out against Trump are former members of Congress. They have no skin in the game so they can afford to be candid. Justin Amash is a total rarity, he actually resigned from the party and became an Independent. The rest of the GOP is behaving like a bunch of scared rats. They don’t want to run down the rope and jump into the ocean, because they’re hoping that Trump, their personal Captain Bligh, won’t actually sink the ship, and as long as they humor his madness, they might actually get reelected and sail into the sunset without consequence.
However, if the plight of Susan Collins is any indication, siding with Trump might not be the way of political survival, but rather political seppuku. Estimates of Collins’ chances of being reelected are slim to none.
Nailer makes the point that the Republican party is hell bent on reshaping the nation’s institutions to its will. There is no question that with Trump in charge, the GOP has become a corrosive and pernicious force in American politics. And you know what Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” His words, spoken during the worst time of civil upheaval in the nation’s history, were prescient, and now we see them coming true in our own time.