These are no Henny Pennies, these folks who have been warning us for months and years that the sky really could collapse and crush our civilization as we know it. Nor do they recklessly warn of imaginary wolves. No, these folk are modern-day prophets, informed not by divine revelation, but by first-hand, up-close, intimate, personal knowledge about a man who would be the American king. And a king cannot tolerate a democracy.
Some of these prophets are former partisans who once stood proudly beside their sovereign as he sought to turn our democratic republic into an autocracy. Others attempted—with varying degrees of success—to curb the former president’s tyrannical tendencies by working within his administration.
Each, in his or her own way, has sounded the alarm about a man who holds an indefatigable influence over tens of millions of starry-eyed disciples. And each has failed to move the needle on the monarch meter. Those immovable, dogged disciples are more resolutely devoted to their new, secular emperor-messiah than they ever were to their biblical Christ.
The most recent prophet, Alyssa Farah, who served as former President Trump’s White House communications director, told CNN’s Jake Tapper that, if re-elected, Trump “would certainly be open to using the military for political reasons.”
Farah also told Tapper,
“There were things that he wanted to do when he was in power the first time that were well beyond the scope of what the U.S. president should be able to do, but often times it was simply the motivation of hoping to win reelection that kept him from doing [those] things. It’s very different in the second term and I think that’s what scares me the most.”
Grisham, who served first as personal assistant to Melania Trump, then as White House press secretary, said of her time within the Trump administration,
“I believe that I was part of something unusually evil, and I hope that it was a one-time lesson for our country and that I can be a part of making sure that at least that evil doesn’t come back now.”
Similarly, Fiona Hill, senior director for Europe and Russia on Trump’s White House National Security Council from April 2017 until July 2019, warned,
“I think it’s just very hard for Americans to step back and realize that they have themselves enthralled, people who have voted for him, to an individual. They don’t want to admit it to themselves, and any criticism about Trump is a criticism about them. He’s kind of like an avatar in a big video game, in a reality game. But in real life, you know, President Trump is taking us in the direction of tyranny. This is no joke.”
General James Mattis, Trump’s former defense secretary cautioned,
“We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him [Trump], drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.
We must reject and hold accountable those in office who [referring to Trump] would make a mockery of our Constitution.”
Richard Spencer, who served as Secretary of the Navy until his ouster for daring to take a stand against Trump’s misguided pardon of Eddie Gallagher, wrote, “It [the pardon] was also a reminder that the President has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniform set of rules and practices.”
According to an NBC News report, John Bolton, Trump’s National Security Adviser from the spring of 2018 until autumn 2019, described Trump as “employing ‘obstruction of justice as a way of life’ and making decisions based purely on what they meant for his re-election.”
The Hill reported that General John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff from mid 2017 until early 2019, stated,
“The depths of his [referring to Trump] dishonesty is just astounding to me. The dishonesty, the transactional nature of every relationship, though it’s more pathetic than anything else. He is the most flawed person I have ever met in my life.”
Omarosa Manigault Newman
Manigault Newman, who served as Trump’s director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison, wrote in her book Unhinged,
Donald Trump, who would attack civil rights icons and professional athletes, who would go after grieving black widows, who would say there were good people on both sides, who endorsed an accused child molester; Donald Trump, and his decisions and his behavior, was harming the country. I could no longer be a part of this madness.
Rex Tillerson, Trump’s former secretary of state, called Trump undisciplined and said Trump often asked him to do illegal things, largely because the president was so ignorant about how the government is supposed to function in a democratic republic. No doubt adding to that ignorance was Trump’s inclination to favor autocratic rule over a government of, by, and for the people.
Better Late Than Never
These are but a small sampling of the Trump administration insiders who witnessed firsthand the ignorance, arrogance, greed, and autocratic tendencies of this nation’s 45th President. Many others, such as Anthony Scaramucci, Michael Cohen, Gary Cohn, and Alexander Vindman could be added to the list. And while critics might be justified in labeling some or all of these whistleblowers as cowards for not voicing their concerns sooner, in this case, late is undeniably better than not at all.
Diehard members of the Trump cult likely will never be persuaded that their messiah has even minor flaws, much less that he is a verifiable threat to the continuation of this nation’s democratic form of government. But for the rest of us, these warnings must be taken seriously.
Trump has signaled his intention to run for president again in 2024. And because of the fear his followers instill in his possible Republican challengers, if he does indeed run he almost certainly will win the nomination. He could be re-elected. And if that happens, the concerns expressed by the “prophets” listed above would likely come to pass.
The threat to our nation—and the entire world—of a second Trump presidency cannot be overstated. Americans of goodwill and dignity must learn how to deprogram members of the Trump cult. And then we must be diligent in countering the grave threat of Trumpism.