He won the bat­tle, but we’ll lose the war

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Yes, the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion is over. By win­ning the elec­toral col­lege vote, Donald Trump be­came the pres­i­dent-elect.

For­tu­nately, Mr. Trump, while wait­ing for the in­au­gu­ral in January to of­fi­cially be­come pres­i­dent, has given us a pre­view of his man­age­ment skills while se­lect­ing his pro­posed cab­i­net. His ap­proach seems to be “in-your face.” Cur­rently ex­ist­ing pro­ce­dures, pro­to­cols, treaties, trade agree­ments and el­i­gi­bil­ity are no longer valid un­less he ap­proves them.

One of our fore­fa­thers’ con­cerns was that the mil­i­tary should al­ways be sub­servient to civil­ian author­ity. To en­cour­age this, an el­i­gi­bil­ity re­quire­ment for the sec­re­tary of de­fense was that an ac­tive mil­i­tary per­son must have been re­tired seven years be­fore be­com­ing el­i­gi­ble for the po­si­tion. Even know­ing this, Mr. Trump has nom­i­nated a four-year re­tired Marine gen­eral, James Mat­tis. Trump just de­cided that this re­quire­ment does not ap­ply to him. He has tried to es­tab­lish his author­ity over gov­ern­ment ac­tions with­out any author­ity. He will gov­ern by Twit­ter.

Nu­mer­ous of his state­ments have been out­right lies, ex­ag­ger­a­tions, provo­ca­tion or oth­er­wise un­wise. His cab­i­net se­lec­tion process has been like a game of mu­si­cal chairs. He who re­flects the most at­ten­tion to Trump is the prime can­di­date of the day. If any of his recorded ex­ag­ger­a­tions are ques­tioned, his de­fense is that “I never said that,” then he seeks im­me­di­ate ret­ri­bu­tion on the ques­tioner. He does not at­tend se­cu­rity brief­ings be­cause he does not need them. He al­ready knows bet­ter than any­body else. How do I know; he told me. He has his own opin­ion of how things are done. and woe to any­one who might ques­tion them.

It ap­pears to me that, ac­cord­ing to our CIA, we have been hit by another Pearl Har­bor-type sneak at­tack. With­out fir­ing a shot, Rus­sia, and the Repub­li­cans, have scored a big ad­van­tage over con­trol of the U.S. gov­ern­ment by ma­nip­u­lat­ing our elec­tion, not by back­ing Trump, but by spread­ing false in­for­ma­tion about Hil­lary Clin­ton. I can’t help but won­der why. Could it be that Trump is not quite as smart as he claims, and that he is eas­ier to ma­nip­u­late to the Rus­sian ad­van­tage? Trump’s sim­i­lar­ity to and de­clared ad­mi­ra­tion of Vladimir Putin is fright­en­ing. Trump might be a vic­tim of his own ego.

This leads me to all the folks who voted for Trump: What kind of a per­son are you? Af­ter see­ing his be­hav­ior so far, do you still think this is the per­son you want for your pres­i­dent? He might have won the bat­tle, but I guar­an­tee we will lose the war.

If this let­ter goes be­yond South­ern Mary­land, it may be my last. Trump’s pay­backs are hell. His Sec­ond Amend­ment ad­vo­cates may be of­fended.

Wil­liam C. Watts, Leonard­town

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