The choice before electors is clear: It's Trump, or the Republic

Undoubtedly characterized by authoritarian leaders as a “useful idiot,” Moscow must have kompromat on Trump.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing at Lake Charles Fire House as he visits nearby areas damaged by Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S., August 29, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/TOM BRENNER)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing at Lake Charles Fire House as he visits nearby areas damaged by Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S., August 29, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/TOM BRENNER)
At a time of great peril and challenge not only to the United States but the world, there is a virtual vacuum in the White House, with one of the most morally bankrupt, psychologically unfit and intellectually lacking presidents in American history. This is exacerbated by an inexperienced and sycophantic circle of advisers.
At a time of unprecedented challenge, we are adrift as a nation with a commander-in-chief who would never even have qualified for a security clearance had he not been elected. Not a day passes without the president saying or doing something even more loathsome, reprehensible or shameful than the one preceding it. That said, how can one blame a narcissistic sociopath, a man of such low ethics, courage and intellect, a man so shamefully insecure that he has put our republic in grave danger?
Undoubtedly characterized by authoritarian leaders as a “useful idiot,” Moscow must have kompromat on Trump. It is inexplicable why the president appears to ingratiate himself with Vladimir Putin. He is unwilling to challenge the former KGB spy even at a time when he has been briefed by the CIA on reports that Russian intelligence has been paying the Taliban to target American soldiers in Afghanistan.
Watching the president at his notorious July 2018 press conference in Helsinki with Putin conjured up visions of The Manchurian Candidate. The release earlier this month of the fifth and final volume of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation found significant counterintelligence risks in the president’s 2016 campaign. Trump’s director of national intelligence further inflamed this dangerous reality on August 29, when he informed Congress that he would no longer provide briefings on election security.
The president has not matched his predecessors internationally, and is consistently ill-prepared as he refuses or ignores his own foreign policy and security officials. And why listen to your advisers when what you know is what you think you already need to know, regardless of the stakes or consequences for the US?
Those whom I condemn and hold responsible for our current predicament are the members of the Republican Party who have shown themselves to be spineless cowards and hypocrites. They are unwilling to counter anything the president says or does as they, with few exceptions, blindly follow the president’s lead even when they know it is wrong or against American strategic interests.
Unwilling to put their own elected positions in jeopardy they remain silent. The list is long but includes Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and Susan Collins, along with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, among others.
Our system is broken, and what is wrong with both the Democrat and Republican Party is that politicians on both sides appear to believe that the priorities are first and foremost what is good for them; secondly their Party; and a distant third, if at all, their country.
THIS IS unacceptable, and the division sewn in our society and the havoc and confusion abroad have only weakened our alliances with our traditional friends while they have emboldened our adversaries. For generations the world depended upon and looked to the idealism and leadership of the US. Trump in his first term has squandered that capital and caused considerable damage to our institutions, our standing in the world and our network of alliances that have kept our country and the West at peace since 1945.
A second term would make America’s strategic position and security weaker. The geopolitical and strategic dynamics of the international community are shifting and ensuring that US standing in an ever more interconnected world will suffer perhaps irreversible damage.
Although it has become somewhat cliché to say, we have indeed never had a more crucial election before us. I have always liked Joe Biden, despite his reputation for gaffes and embarrassing moments. That said, they pale by comparison to the current president, whose inability to tell the truth, belligerent and irrational behavior, bigotry, vindictiveness and banality place him in a league of his own.
I have no confidence in the judgment of America’s elected leaders, and believe that the president’s self-interests, either in support of his ego, business or family, dictate his agenda. How many people think the US is going in the right direction?
As the president’s numbers tank, it will be an education in Darwinian rodent behavior to see how many rats jump ship. I recall, as a Republican congressional candidate in 2010 that Congress had abysmal ratings of public support, yet the vast electorate seemed to think their own representatives were doing a good job. Let us hope that the blind support that the voters give their own representatives comes to an end, and that they actually start to engage their brains and vote in defense of democracy and our nation.
Neither party is blameless, as partisanship has dominated American politics for decades. Tribalism must be the reason that despite the behavior of the president, the majority of Republicans continue to view him favorably. Perhaps the catalyst for a rejection by GOP supporters and a manifestation of their revulsion of all the lies will be COVID-19, which the president has consistently downplayed or about which he has put out false and misleading information, all to facilitate his own reelection.
For the 2020 election cycle, let us hope that our fellow citizens begin to identify themselves as Americans rather than simply as Democrats, Republicans or Independents, and think about putting our country’s values and long-term interests first, both domestically and abroad, before it is too late.

The writer, a 2010 Republican congressional candidate, is a Boston-based media, communications and information consultant. He is a graduate of Oxford University with over 20 years of experience working throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan as a consultant and photojournalist.