Joe Biden “is the leader our nation needs,” according to 489 retired generals, admirals, senior noncommissioned officers, ambassadors, and senior civilian national security officials. “We love our country,” the group, which included Republicans and independents as well as Democrats, wrote in an open letter. “Unfortunately, we also fear for it.”
Nowhere does the letter mention Donald Trump by name, though throughout it cites Biden’s good qualities in ways obviously distinguishing him from Trump: empathy, honesty, “experience and wisdom,” personal responsibility, “sound judgment, thorough understanding, and fundamental values.”
Biden’s good qualities overwhelm policy differences, the 489 former officials write. “While some of us may have different opinions on particular policy matters, we trust Joe Biden’s positions are rooted in sound judgment, thorough understanding, and fundamental values.”
In the final paragraphs, the letter turns to the “current President,” who, it says, “has demonstrated he is not equal to the enormous responsibilities of his office; he cannot rise to meet challenges large or small. Thanks to his disdainful attitude and his failures, our allies no longer trust or respect us, and our enemies no longer fear us. Climate change continues unabated, as does North Korea’s nuclear program. The president has ceded influence to a Russian adversary who puts bounties on the heads of American military personnel, and his trade war against China has only harmed America’s farmers and manufacturers.”
”I spent 36 years in the United States Air Force, almost seven of those as a prisoner of war in Vietnam,” Retired Air Force Gen. Charles Boyd says in a video released by the group. “Since my return, I’ve been a Republican, but quietly.
“I fervently believe that military officers should not be involved in presidential politics, even when retired,” said Boyd. “But this year is different. Donald Trump’s assault on the rule of law that makes a democracy possible has been so egregious I’ve decided to speak out. … We need to vote for Joe Biden this year. I’m going to vote for him. I hope you do, too.”
This is not the first such group to form. Last month, a group of more than 60 former national security officials who had all served in Republican administrations—including Trump’s—called Trump “unfit to serve.”