Goodbye. And good riddance. “Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.” While I find you a shameful man, I do not consider you a stupid man. Surely you can see the handwriting on the wall. Secretary of State Tillerson was not just dismissed, he was discarded like a soiled diaper. And you should expect no more courtesy or respect. I am sure that you have already heard the rampant , rumors of the imminent demise of your brother generals, Mattis and McMaster, and if you haven’t heard the similar rumblings about your own future, then it is by design of willful ignorance. Your boss, President Trump, is preparing a massive spring cleaning. His manifest failures to govern within the rules has led him to believe that he can do no worse unfettered by rules and norms. And you represent those very rules and norms.
You were never an actual chief of staff, you were a symbol. You, along with generals McMaster, Flynn, and Mattis were the one thing that Trump himself never was. A soldier. I do not believe that this President surrounded himself with generals because he craved their attention and approval, I believe his motives were exactly the opposite. Trump was ridiculed publicly for using his fictitious “bone spurs” as an excuse to avoid military service. When Trump was elected President, he didn’t surround himself with generals to cloak himself in their respectability. He surrounded himself with generals to show the world once and for all that even a cowardly draft dodger could bend real soldiers to his will simply by winning an election. Now that he has drunk his fill from that cup of humiliation, none of you are necessary any longer.
No one will mourn your passing from public service. Not the poor victim in Charlottesville, not Representative Fredrika Wilson, and most certainly not the grieving widow of Sergeant LaDavid Johnson. But let this be clear, you did not bring about shame and dishonor on these people, that privilege you reserved for yourself. And you are well entitled to all of it.
It isn’t just because you lied on behalf of this President. Hell, everybody lies on behalf of this President, it’s in the White House handbook. But most Trump liars have the good grace to at least appear uncomfortable about it, to say their piece quietly, with eyes downcast, looking like they’d rather be having root canal. Even Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is paid solely for the purpose of lying for this President, has the self respect to don a stoic kabuki mask, and tell her lies by rote, speaking from a prepared script half of the time. But you did not just lie, the passion on your face, the loud and abrasive tone of your voice, the personalized fabrications that you wove into your lies proved beyond any doubt that you were not forced to lie on behalf of this President, you lied for your own satisfaction. Simply because you could, with no personal or professional repercussions. Or so you thought.
The question you will soon have all the time in the world to ask yourself is “why?” Why would you ruin not only your professional good name and honor, but your personal good name and honor as well. Why would you take a job in which you had no experience, no standing, and at this point, clearly no aptitude for? Please don’t tell me that you did it as a matter of civic duty and responsibility. From his candidacy roll out speech it has been clear that this man stands against everything you personally took an oath to stand for and defend. Did you honestly thin k that occasionally showing up, hat in hand, to testify in front of a handful of Representatives and Senators somehow gave you an entre to their club, some influence over them? Good lord, you even brought up what should have been the sacred memory of your own heroic son, passionately describing the treatment and transport of his fallen body, for the purpose of defending the man who was insulting a new widow who herself was undergoing the personal tragedy that you yourself and your wife had suffered. What in God’s name could possess you to do that?
But it will all be over soon enough, and we’ll all watch you disappear into a drear overcast rather than a brilliant sunset. And we will all heave a collective sigh of relief, and take a mental shower to cleanse you from our memory as much as possible. As for the question I posed earlier? I strongly suspect that it is the one question you cannot honestly ask yourself, for there is simply no adequate answer. As has properly been asked so often before, “At long last sir, have you no sense of decency?” I highly suspect not. Go on then, be gone damn spot!
Joseph Murphy aka Murfster35