U.S. Generals are raising the alarm

dandyfopp

U.S. Generals are raising the alarm

https://medium.com/@rmoore.acorn/u-s-generals-are-raising-the-alarm-d98807702c31


Sept 16


Our military has leaned strongly Republican. By law, active military are constrained from political action. Most retired officers are highly politically aware but strive to be non-partisan, and are often not aligned with either party.


The fact that so many top-ranked former Generals and Admirals have gone on record to speak out against Donald Trump underscores the gravity of the threat he represents to our democracy and, ultimately, what it means to be American. Below are warnings from a number of these retired, highly respected military commanders.


Admiral William McRaven

Former Commander of U. S. Special Operations Command


“As Americans, we should be frightened — deeply afraid for the future of the nation…. Trump is actively working to undermine every major institution in this country.”


Oct 17 2019: We “have seen the assaults on our institutions: on the intelligence and law enforcement community, the State Department and the press…. seen our leaders stand beside despots and strongmen….seen us abandon our allies and have heard the shouts of betrayal from the battlefield…. one retired four-star general… shouted, ‘I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!’… If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us? If we can’t have faith in our nation’s principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military?”


“As Americans, we should be frightened — deeply afraid for the future of the nation. When good men and women can’t speak the truth, when facts are inconvenient, when integrity and character no longer matter, when presidential ego and self-preservation are more important than national security — then there is nothing left to stop the triumph of evil.”


Aug 16 2020: “Today, as we struggle with social upheaval, soaring debt, record unemployment, a runaway pandemic, and rising threats from China and Russia, President Trump is actively working to undermine every major institution in this country. He has planted the seeds of doubt in the minds of many Americans that our institutions aren’t functioning properly. And, if the president doesn’t trust the intelligence community, law enforcement, the press, the military, the Supreme Court, the medical professionals, election officials and the postal workers, then why should we? And if Americans stop believing in the system of institutions, then what is left but chaos and who can bring order out of chaos: only Trump. It is the theme of every autocrat who ever seized power or tried to hold onto it…. Our institutions are the foundation of a functioning democracy. While they are not perfect, they are still the strongest bulwark against overzealous authority figures. The institutions give the people a voice; a voice in the information we receive, a voice in the laws we pass, a voice in the wars we fight, the money we spend and the justice we uphold. And a voice in the people we elect.


General James Mattis

Retired U. S. Marine Corps General / Secretary of Defense for President Trump


“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who…tries to divide us.”

“The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer’. Our American answer [was] In ‘Union there is Strength’”


“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort…. The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer’. Our American answer [was] In ‘Union there is Strength’…. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite.”


Lt. General John Allen

Former Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan


“June 1, 2020. Remember the date. It may well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment”


“I never believed that the Constitution was under threat until recently…. The slide of the United States into illiberalism may well have begun on June 1, 2020. Remember the date. It may well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment…. There is no precedent in modern U.S. history for a president to wield federal troops in a state or municipality over the objections of the respective governor.”


General Michael Hayden

Retired Air Force four-star general, Former Director of the National Security Agency, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency


“It is imperative that we stop Trump’s assault on our nation’s values and institutions and reinstate the moral foundations of our democracy.”


“We are profoundly concerned about the course of our nation under the leadership of Donald Trump. Through his actions and his rhetoric, Trump has demonstrated that he lacks the character and competence to lead this nation and has engaged in corrupt behavior that renders him unfit to serve as President.


In contrast, we believe Joe Biden has the character, experience, and temperament to lead this nation. We believe he will restore the dignity of the presidency, bring Americans together, reassert America’s role as a global leader, and inspire our nation to live up to its ideals. While some of us hold policy positions that differ from those of Joe Biden and his party, the time to debate those policy differences will come later. For now, it is imperative that we stop Trump’s assault on our nation’s values and institutions and reinstate the moral foundations of our democracy.”


(From a letter signed by 73 former national security officials who served President Reagan, Bush 41, Bush 43, Trump, or as Republican Members of Congress)


General Barry McCaffrey

Retired U.S. Army General, awarded 3 Purple Heart Medals for wounds received in combat, 2 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 2 Silver Stars for valor.


“We are dealing with a lawless President who has no allegiance to our Constitution or values. We have never encountered such a terrible man in the Presidency.”


“We are dealing with a lawless President who has no allegiance to our Constitution or values. Trump is igniting a fire of violence. He is sowing division.”


“Trump is involved in massive and constant abuse of power. His every instinct is extortionist. How can Republican Senators abide by his thuggish behavior. We have never encountered such a terrible man in the Presidency.” Aug 19


General John Kelly

Retired U.S. Marine Corps general who served as President Trump’s Chief of Staff


“No president ever is a dictator or a king.”


“I think an awful big concern is that the partisanship has gotten out of hand. The tribal thing has gotten out of hand. We don’t look at each other as fellow Americans … we look at each other as opponents. We don’t talk to each other. We yell at each other…. The separation of powers is very, very, very important. No president ever is a dictator or a king.”


“I think we need to look harder at who we elect. I think we should look at people that are running for office and put them through the filter: What is their character like? What are their ethics?”


Admiral James Stavridis,

Retired U. S. Navy admiral / Former supreme allied commander of NATO


“This is really a collision between order and rule of law and increasing anarchy…. you start to feel that needle moving from The Federalist Papers toward the island in the Lord of the Flies."


“This is really a collision between order and rule of law and increasing anarchy, which we see evidenced with this piece that you just mentioned, but also, Mika, you know, David Ignatius said a moment ago the Attorney General’s special position.”


“I’ll give you two others, Secretary of Defense and the head of the CIA. Those three positions are so central to these institutions, and when we have to worry about whether an inspector general is going to be overridden in one of those three positions, you start to feel that needle moving from The Federalist Papers toward the island in the Lord of the Flies.”


General Colin Powell

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State


“We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the President has drifted away from it… This is not the way the system is supposed to work.”


“We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the President has drifted away from it…. The first thing that troubled me is the whole birthers movement…. And then I was deeply troubled by the way in which he was going around insulting everybody, insulting Gold Star mothers, insulting John McCain, insulting immigrants…. that is dangerous for our democracy. It is dangerous for our country….“


“This is not the way the system is supposed to work…. the President…needs to understand the Constitution, understand the restraints on him and his authority, and talk openly with his military authorities about what is the right thing to do, and not fire them when he doesn’t get the answer he likes.”


General Stanley McChrystal

Former Commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) / also served as commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan


“I don’t think [Trump] tells the truth… I think he is, [immoral].”


“I don’t think [Trump] tells the truth… I think he is, [immoral]… Am I really willing to throw away or ignore some of the things that people do that are — are pretty unacceptable normally just because they accomplish certain other things that we might like?… If we want to be governed by someone we wouldn’t do a business deal with because their — their background is so shady, if we’re willing to do that, then that’s in conflict with who I think we are. And so I think it’s necessary at those times to take a stand.”


Admiral Mike Mullen

Retired U. S. Navy Admiral / Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff


President Trump “gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife.”


“[Trump] laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces.”


General Wesley Clark,

Four-star U.S. Army General / Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander


Donald Trump is “concerned with self-preservation and little else.”


“According to The New York Times, Russian operatives offered bounties to the Taliban and organized criminals to kill American troops…. Trump’s response to bounty, even if not briefed, was weak… [his] first reaction was not, ‘How can I protect the troops?’ It was, ‘How can I protect myself?’”


“As is so often the case with President Trump, the welfare of the nation and of our troops did not come up. This is not what leadership looks like. These are not the actions of someone who serves — or even cares about — the troops to whom he has a duty. These are the actions of a man concerned with self-preservation and little else.”



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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

Let’s try to keep this at the top shall we?

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

General Colin Powell

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State


“We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the President has drifted away from it… This is not the way the system is supposed to work.”

———

I was quite taken with Gen Powell as a teen in the 90s. I felt sure I was watching our first Black President.

I was sad and disappointed when he seemed to completely lose his way over WMDs, and the most distressing part for me was that he also seemed sad and disappointed.

I would dearly love to believe that he has found his center again, but in any case perhaps he learned a little something from last time.

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kadefol

Good that military brass are speaking against him. It seems many devout republicans feel the same and have left what is now basically the trump party, as evidenced by the Lincoln Project and Republicans Against Trump. They didn't sign up for what trump is doing, and they don't want it.

Which is why the inaction and tolerance of quite a few of the house and senate repubs in regard to trump's illegal actions and behavior is so disappointing and unacceptable. They won't speak against him because they either agree with him, or they are afraid of him. Neither option should be acceptable in our elected officials.

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jmm1837

I think perhaps the Generals, having had face to face dealings with Trump, know who and what he is, and how he really regards the military. I'll bet not one of them was surprised by the article in the Atlantic.

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Iris GW

There's a pattern to who is speaking out against him. If only we could figure it out ....

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

Well thank goodness Donald was too stupid or too arrogant to court the generals.

Because if they were on his side the US would be in much deeper trouble, I’m afraid.

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Kathy

Lawless is the summation of Trump. Nothing about him is truthful or normal.

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ohiomom

You have to understand, the people who support and will continue to support the twit in chief want the constitution destroyed. They do not support what our founding fathers fought a war to achieve, they want a form of government like there is in Russia, North Korea and China ... they DO NOT want a democratic republic.

So no matter what he does or says they are with him ... because that is who they are.

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dandyfopp

Donnie right where he belongs.



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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

Those Generals are preparing us. Once trump loses the election and refuses to leave they will do what's right for the country and assist trump to the door.

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Annie Deighnaugh

From your fingers to God's ear, vgkg!

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socks(10a)

Is the cult paying attention? I don’t believe they are. Too busy following dear leader on twitter except when Hannity comes on for their daily brainwashing. Narrow minded and uninformed.

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tvq1

I'm just here waiting for the "LOLs" and the "Funny" comments to start. I would think this would give the Trumpers food for thought. But maybe not--critical thinking skills and all that............

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

I suppose it was easy enough to write off one prominent General as a Patriot in Name Only or a Never-trumper.

But that list is extensive and the thoughts are specific, the men listed have vast experience with multiple administrations and foreign leadership, and there can be no question of their loyalty to the United States or their willingness to back up a controversial President.

Why has not a single person who supports Donald commented here? At least to explain why this isn’t important to them?

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mudhouse

I see no reason why any American, Generals or Admirals included, wouldn't have their own opinion about any president or presidential candidate. Any Trump supporter's now had four years of being told their preferred candidate was nothing short of a disaster for the country. That hasn't made me lose sight of the importance of everybody's ability to vote for the person they think is best. I respect that.

My question is, why do people on the left keep needing Trump supporters to respond to what's been the norm since Trump came down the elevator, as if it was a new development?

I've got no problem with the people in the OP expressing their thoughts about Trump. Those people have served their country. Why shouldn't they speak out about what they believe, even if I disagree with them? It's a sign that we live in a free country, and confirmation that free speech is crucial.

Also, that intelligent people can have entirely different viewpoints on the same topic, without being stupid or evil. (I've been saying that for years.)

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dandyfopp

Have to stop expecting the cult to stop acting like a cult.


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mudhouse

dandyfopp: Have to stop expecting the cult to stop acting like a cult.

Sorry to let you down, dandyfopp. Maybe start viewing your fellow Americans as people with opinions that are different than your own, and not ignorant cult members who are incapable of thinking for themselves, or having any kind of characteristics you might actually approve of.

That would be a good thing for the country.

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dandyfopp

You haven't let me down, mudhouse.

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mudhouse

Okay, good to know.

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maifleur03

If a group of people follow blindly what a leader tells them it is a cult. Seldom do the members of a cult realize that they belong to one. Few of Jim Jones's followers did not drink the Kool-Aid and they did not die.

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mudhouse

maifleur, how can you tell the difference between people who agree with a leader's policies, and people who are following a leader blindly?

Were Obama's supporters loyal because they agreed with his world view and policies, or because they were in a cult that worshiped everything he did?

We try to win our political arguments by demeaning the other guy's beliefs as less valid than ours, and insisting that people who disagree with us must not have arrived at their conclusions on their own.

The beliefs that elected Trump in 2016 existed long before he announced his candidacy. The concerns about foreign policy, involvement in endless wars, weak immigration policies, overzealous government regulation, tax policies, infringements on free speech and more already existed in the hearts of minds of many Americans.

Even if you personally didn't have the same concerns, that doesn't mean they didn't exist in the minds of the voters who elected Trump. People voted for Trump because of his policies.

Referring to people as cult members is demeaning.

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bleusblue2

mudhouse -- I don't know anybody who WORSHIPPED everything Obama did. His supporters objected -- and still comment --when he failed to carry out what they had anticipated. There was never a HINT that he should be impeached. There are voters, Black and White are felt that Obama let them down -- he is not worshipped but he is still respected.

But look at Trump -- what did he promise? And what did he deliver? Supreme Court Justices -- and that satisfies the Trump voters. The rest of his swagger has been division and hatred of those who didn't vote for him. You don't hear a peep from his fans. All those Justices and I'll bet the majority of those whooping and hollering at the rallies will never feel the effect of the Supreme Court Decisions that ensue. The Trump fans ARE a worshipping cult because they don't feel a bit of disappointment in his presidency as long as he can ramp up their emotions. What a testament.

Mudhouse -- opinions are respected. But there is no plausible basis for the "opinion" that Trump has been an honourable President who protected the Constitution and the people he was elected to lead -- Republicans AND Democrats, Red AND Blue States. That is a matter of Fact.


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Annie Deighnaugh

I see no reason why any American, Generals or Admirals included, wouldn't have their own opinion about any president or presidential candidate.

Then you're missing the point that Generals and other military brass tend to stay out of public politics because they are there to serve the Constitution and the nation regardless of who the CIC is. What is not normal is that so many of them have chosen to speak out so forcefully against the president with whom many of them are familiar and have worked closely. It is not normal for them to publicly say what a danger the president is to national security. It is not normal for a general to resign in protest against actions a president has taken. It is not normal for so many members in intelligence to take a stand against the president with public warnings.

It's not simply a matter of disagreeing over policy positions...rather they are flashing red lights about how dangerous he is to our national security.

trump is a threat to national security and they are doing their best to warn us of that.

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mudhouse

mudhouse -- I don't know anybody who WORSHIPPED everything Obama did. His supporters objected -- and still comment --when he failed to carry out what they had anticipated.

We'll never know, bleusblue, how Obama's supporters would have responded if they'd watched the president they supported be framed with baseless allegations of made-up crimes, be subjected to a pointless two year investigation, to a faux impeachment, and to non-stop slandering by the American mainstream media. (Can you try to cast your mind there, even for a minute?)

If they had, I believe their support for Obama would have been every bit as staunch as the support you see for Trump. We are driven back into our corners hard when the candidates and policies we care about are under assault. Policies matter; they're the things that determine the direction of the country we leave to our children.

The Trump fans ARE a worshipping cult because they don't feel a bit of disappointment in his presidency as long as he can ramp up their emotions.

Emotions are present on both sides, and it's emotions that cause us to reject the idea that anyone's political viewpoints are based on sincerely held beliefs that may have as much validity as your own. It's much more comforting to pretend the other side is comprised of inferior people who are lacking in intelligence or morals.

It'll be comforting right up to the point of leading the nation to violence, because that'll be all we have left. If we refuse to believe the other side has any valid viewpoints to add to the national conversation, we can no longer talk to each other.

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bleusblue2

"We'll never know, bleusblue, how Obama's supporters would have responded if they'd watched the president they supported be framed with baseless allegations of made-up crimes,"

Mudhouse -- you put a lot of thought into this -- I shouldn't have even looked at the computer just now -- I'm off for the day -- but let's start with this one.

Obama has been out for almost four years. Still no charges of anybody who worked with him or for him. Obama's supporters would surely have been upset with baseless charges.

With Trump the obvious crimes are out in the open -- not made up. Start with that payoff to Stormy -- I guess you aren't tired of hearing the list repeated. I'm off for the day. The President's crony Roger STone and his ilk were charged and convicted right out in the open -- are you saying that conviction was based on nothing? So start there too.

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mudhouse

I understand you're off for the day, bleusblue, no problem.

I'll be honest, I don't care one bit about Stormy or Stone, because those stories have nothing to do with Trump's policies. No doubt people are tired of seeing me type this, but it's just true: I support Trump because of his policies, and because he's been able to make progress on issues I care about, and that I think will benefit the country.

Stormy/Stone...I really don't care; I have not followed the ups and downs of those stories, and no doubt you and others know much more about all of these events than I do. They have nothing to do with jobs, foreign relations, immigration, taxation, energy independence, education, and other issues that matter more (to me.)

I realize typing that leaves me open to comments about my own lack of moral character from some (mudhouse how can you not care about xyz) but at this point, I'd rather be honest. People can think what they want.

Regarding Obama: to me, I see clear allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Obama's administration. But that's an aside, and thanks for considering that Obama's supporters would have been upset with baseless charges; that's the point I was trying to focus on.

What seems like hard-charging evidence of absolute criminal activity to one side also seems like outrageous baseless charges to the other. And both sides are equally convinced their viewpoint is more accurate. That's where we are.

Sometimes I try to pull myself up one rung of the ladder to try to see things from both sides, even if it's just for a few minutes. The downside is people can misunderstand, and think you've abandoned your side. The upside is, sometimes it's nice to have a view without somebody's fist in your eye. :-)

I just worry about our ability to keep talking with each other, across the country.

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

mudhouse

3 hours ago

maifleur, how can you tell the difference between people who agree with a leader's policies, and people who are following a leader blindly?

———

I’ll jump in on this one if I may.

People who agree with a leader’s policies generally still find areas where there is not agreement. No leader achieves 100% consensus even among people who like their leadership and policies, unless there is a troubling lack of independent thought among those who are led.

Being human, Donald Trump makes mistakes. He even commits egregious errors; we all do. When people who are clearly interested in discussing ideas and debating are unwilling to say “hey that wasn’t the right thing” it starts to look as though they are not only unwilling. It starts to look like they are unable to identify flaws in his policies or their implementation. Maybe they are unable because they are brainwashed, maybe because of pride, maybe obstinacy. Who knows.

When experts with decades of experience working with a vast number of various leaders who had widely varying personalities and policy goals suddenly reverse the habits and training of decades to say “this guy is a problem the likes of which we’ve never seen” and the guy’s followers believe that’s no big deal I think we’ve moved beyond policy differences and opposing political opinions.

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batyabeth

"why do people on the left keep needing Trump supporters to respond to
what's been the norm since Trump came down the elevator, as if it was a
new development?
"

Mudhouse, I"ll try to answer. What's been the norm since T came down the elevator is the problem here. Norms of checks and balances between branches of Gov't, norms of POTUS briefings and intelligance data, norms of appointments of qualified people to agencies they actually know something about, norms of integrity and basic decency towards the press (athough every pres had their struggles with the press, none have behaved as T has), and many many more norms of US government have been comletly turned on their heads - and yes, not just norms but laws (emoluments, and many others) have been broken. "People on the left" are not the bad guys here, whining for T supporters to respond when T repeatedly shreds the norms and laws of his office. Many many people on the right, Republicans in good and of many decades standing, are appalled, and say so finally. When you (the generic you) stay quiet, don't respond, accept it all quitely as if it is all just new norms, you are literally normalizing what is, in no matter, shape or form, normal.

Such normalization of the previously completely unacceptable and even illegal behavior DEMANDS response. Unless of course, you are pleased with the new morms. Unless you are more invested in the person in the WH above ALL else, like the office. The person changes every 4 or 8 years......the office has standards. Our Constitution is designed so the office stays stable, although the person changes.

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mudhouse

miss lindsey: People who agree with a leader’s policies generally still find areas where there is not agreement. No leader achieves 100% consensus even among people who like their leadership and policies, unless there is a troubling lack of independent thought among those who are led.

Two things; first, I think people have been driven back very hard into their respective corners because of our wide political differences. There are real differences. We disagree about education, gun ownership, immigration, foreign policy, environmental policy, and more. And when people are driven back into their corners, they are much less likely to expose any corner of ambiguity to the advancing opponent. In a war-like atmosphere, honesty about even the smallest disagreement or misgiving is quickly seized by the other side as a weakness in the argument that can be exploited...with the goal of proving the entire viewpoint is without any merit whatsoever.

Second, here in our own forum, it really does very little good to admit anymore that there are parts of Trump's policies or personality that I disagree with. I've done it numerous times, but it doesn't stick in people's memories, and a few days later, people are saying "...and I've never seen one single Trump supporter ever say one bad thing about him, ever!"

I used to go back in past threads and provide excerpts and links, when asked for proof. But I've given up on that too, because it doesn't stay in anyone's mind.

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jmm1837

What concerns me here is this: you have some very senior military people , who, by their very occupation and mindset, are more inclined to conservative than liberal political views, and many of whom have had personal dealings with Trump, describing him as a danger to American security, and not one of his followers has any response that runs deeper than a shrug of the shoulders and a dismissive "everyone's entitled to his opinion." The military coming out with these sorts of comments is unprecedented but it isn't enough to generate so much as a question mark in the minds of Trump supporters. That is worrisome. The right is so determined to Make America Great Again that it is refusing to hear the message that Trump is actually destroying what Made America Great In The First Place..

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

Mudhouse, beyond that which was simply an answer to a question you put, I’m still wondering why in the world you think that that list of prominent Generals speaking out forcefully against a sitting President for the first time EVER in American history isn’t significant?

How is it that it doesn’t make you go “hmmm, maybe these guys know more about the situation and Donald Trump the man than I do”?

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maifleur03

mudhouse you proved the point of what I wrote above. There is apparently nothing that Trump does that would be disagreed with.

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

“In a war-like atmosphere, honesty about any misgivings is quickly seized as a weakness to exploit.”

Uff da. Juxtaposed with the “libruls” thread this sentence is telling. It makes me sad. Conservatives shouldn’t have to be so damn scared of looking weak all the time.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

I don't care one bit about Stormy or Stone, because those stories have nothing to do with Trump's policies.

Stone has everything to do with how Trump carries out his directives.

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Kathy

It is obvious Republicans aren’t concerned Trump has surrounded himself with criminals and those who do the dirty work he cannot touch personally.


At the moment he has Barr to cover for his dirty deeds ruing Barr’s own reputation in the process.


It’s all about the policies. If the Constitution and laws are ignored in the process, it’s still all about Trump’s policies.


How one can ignore the damage he is doing yo the country in spite of a tax policy that benefitted the wealthy is beyond me.


Other than that he has only broken things. Even farmers might never make up for what they lost if he hadn’t thrown trillions of our tax dollars at them. Money that could have done so much more if he actually knew how to negotiate a deal.

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mudhouse

I’m still wondering why in the world you think that that list of prominent Generals speaking out forcefully against a sitting President for the first time EVER in American history isn’t significant?

The "Generals revolt!" story isn't new to American history. For example, in 2006, at least (?) six retired generals objected to how Bush and Rumsfeld were handling the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. In 2010, Obama fired General McChrystal for speaking out against his administration. Truman fired General MacArthur over disagreements about the Korean War.

So this isn't the first time that prominent military leaders have spoken out against a sitting president. But if you mean this is the first time this particular group of military leaders has spoken out against a sitting president, I go back to my statement above: they have the same right as anyone else to voice their opinion about the president.

The whole country is in disagreement right now over a range of very crucial issues. I'm not surprised that military leaders have a range of opinions about Trump's policies, just as the rest of the American population does. Why would military leaders be more monolithic as a group, in regard to their viewpoint on issues, than the rest of us? That expectation doesn't make sense, to me, but maybe it does to you.

And the fact that this group of military leaders is speaking out against Trump doesn't mean that no military leaders support Trump.

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jmm1837

As I recall, those generals disagreed with the military strategy of the day. I dont recall any of them describing a sitting President as a threat to American security and the constitution.

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lisaam(7a)

mudhouse, I don't agree with much of what you say but you seem to be the pro trumper who can best communicate without resorting to nonsense and I respect that a lot

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

I see a very clear distinction between generals objecting to policy and military plans and generals saying the sitting president is an security risk who is actively seeking to undermine the institutions of the United States.

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mudhouse

batyabeth: What's been the norm since T came down the elevator is the problem here. Norms of checks and balances between branches of Gov't, norms of POTUS briefings and intelligance data, norms of appointments of qualified people to agencies they actually know something about, norms of integrity and basic decency towards the press (athough every pres had their struggles with the press, none have behaved as T has), and many many more norms of US government have been comletly turned on their heads - and yes, not just norms but laws (emoluments, and many others) have been broken.

While I don't agree that Trump has broken laws, I agree that some traditional norms of presidential behavior have been broken (hello, Twitter.) But he system of checks and balances is still working; Trump has briefings and access to intelligence, and qualified people are being appointed to government offices. The fact that some appointees haven't come from traditional circles for government positions can be a good thing. Government gets bogged down with layers of procedures and regulations that waste money and stifle the country's progress. I think the occasional introduction of non-political outsiders to government is a good thing (and that includes Trump.) Thinking outside of the box doesn't have to be a skill that only exists in business; it can be valuable in government as well.

The behavior of much of the press for the last four years has shredded what little respect most of the American public had for them. Trump's treatment of the press is commensurate with the unprecedented lack of respect and decency they show Trump and his administration; frankly, I'm among those who cheer for his handling of the press.

batyabeth: "...Many many people on the right, Republicans in good and of many decades standing, are appalled, and say so finally. When you (the generic you) stay quiet, don't respond, accept it all quitely as if it is all just new norms, you are literally normalizing what is, in no matter, shape or form, normal.

Such normalization of the previously completely unacceptable and even illegal behavior DEMANDS response. Unless of course, you are pleased with the new morms. Unless you are more invested in the person in the WH above ALL else, like the office. The person changes every 4 or 8 years......the office has standards. Our Constitution is designed so the office stays stable, although the person changes.

Last month, Pew Research said that over the course of Trump's presidency to date, an average of 87% of Republicans have approved of Trump’s handling of the job. Of course some Republicans disagree (Republicans aren't a monolithic group, either) but by far the greatest majority of Republicans support Trump.

Trump's behavior hasn't been illegal, but it's very unpopular with the left. An average of only 6% of Democrats have approved Trump's handling of the job since he was elected. I take the objections of the left as sincere, but the fact is, many millions of people are supportive of what you see as damaging new norms. Personally, I think the claims of damage to the office or the Constitution are probably distractions from a deeper objection: changes to national policies that the left completely disagrees with. That's just my guess.

I'm not invested in the person in the White House. I'm invested in the policies enacted by the person in the White House, because those can affect the future path of the country for years to come. As you point out, the person changes every 4 or 8 years. Legislation, national policies, trade agreements, and judicial appointments can last much longer.

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HU-400972298

mudhouse, so many are focused solely on Trump or Biden and completely ignore seats won, and who really affects the vast majority of their lives- their local elected officials.

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Iris GW

I'm not invested in the person in the White House. I'm invested in the policies enacted by the person in the White House

A fair point, but Trump has actually damaged the standing of the US in the world by his actions. The person is more than just the policies enacted.

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jmm1837

"I'm invested in the policies enacted by the person in the White House, because those can affect the future path of the country for years to come"


Not being an American, I'm primarily interested in two policies.

One is the response to the pandemic, and on that, Trump has no visible policy except to undercut whatever Democratic governors might do. The outcome has been a death rate five times greater than Germany's, even though Germany had less warning, a more densely populated country and an older demographic.

The other policy is foreign policy and on that, Trump has seriously damaged long-standing alliances while cosying up to some of the worst of the worst (Kim, Putin, the Saudis) in defiance of history and common sense. The rest of the world has lost confidence in the US as a trustworthy partner when it comes to battling the totalitarianism threatening us all.

Those two policies will indeed affect the future path for years to come: it is likely to take quite a few years before allies regain trust in the US, if they ever do. And certainly, the decline in democratic values has not gone unnoticed either.

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Kathy

Trump has appointed numerous unqualified judges to the courts simply because they were conservatives.

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mudhouse

mudhouse, so many are focused solely on Trump or Biden and completely ignore seats won, and who really affects the vast majority of their lives- their local elected officials.

I agree. I hope people pay attention to what's happening at their local level too. I know I vote on issues more than personalities, at both the local and federal level.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

completely ignore seats won

We in California are very aware of the formerly secure Republican Congressional seats that flipped in 2018.

Daryl Issa is struggling in his current come-back campaign to win disgraced Duncan Hunter's seat in Congress.

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Annie Deighnaugh

I support Trump because of his policies, and because he's been able to make progress on issues I care about, and that I think will benefit the country.

But that leaves out the issues that aren't "policies" because they haven't been an issue in the past that are now coming to the fore under trump's presidency such as

  • nepotism
  • emoluments, domestic & foreign
  • vote rigging and suppression including now interfering with the USPS
  • foreign interference in the election


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mudhouse

Annie, I know you follow the allegations you listed closely. Personally, I'm not concerned about unproven allegations; they've been a dime a dozen since Trump declared his candidacy. Scandalous books, unsourced rumors, repeated hoaxes, the wasteful two year Mueller investigation based on false allegations, the ridiculous faux impeachment, and more. When one allegation is defeated or disproven, the left brings up more. It'll never stop; I choose to let others spend their days delving into those.

In spite of this, Trump is keeping his promises to work on the issues his supporters care about. That's where my focus remains, and why he has my vote.

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Annie Deighnaugh

mudhouse,

These are not "unproven" allegations and should not be dismissed out of hand. For example, we *know for a fact* that trump has appointed his daughter and SIL as senior advisers in the WH and that they were unable to get security clearances through normal channels.

There is no evidence that he has truly separated from his businesses and instead there is evidence that he has tried to push the US govt to favor his businesses including trying to get the G-7 meeting at his own failing hotel.

We now have a judge's ruling against the USPS for purposely slowing down the mail especially in critical swing states before the upcoming election:

A federal judge in Washington state on Thursday granted a request from 14 states to temporarily block operational changes within the U.S. Postal Service that have been blamed for a slowdown in mail delivery, saying President Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy are “involved in a politically motivated attack” on the agency that could disrupt the 2020 election.

Stanley A. Bastian, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, said policies put in place under DeJoy “likely will slow down delivery of ballots” this fall, creating a “substantial possibility that many voters will be disenfranchised and the states may not be able to effectively, timely, accurately determine election outcomes.”

“The states have demonstrated that the defendants are involved in a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service,” Bastian said in brief remarks after a two-and-a-half hour hearing in Yakima, Wash. “They have also demonstrated that this attack on the Postal Service is likely to irreparably harm the states’ ability to administer the 2020 general election.” Source: WaPo

And we have guilty pleas and convictions of many people involved in the trump campaign including manafort, stone, flynn, papadapoulus, gates, cohen, and nader, among others. Those are not allegations.

Moreover we have a president who flouts the law by ordering his people to ignore subpoenas, who is an unindicted co-conspirator in a felony, and who has broken other laws including impoundment. His undermining of the system of checks and balances by fighting subpoenas in court where his lawyers declare that a president is above the law and cannot even being *investigated* while in office, let alone indicted is the very definition of a king. He has politicized the AG with pushing prosecutors to go after his enemies while getting his criminal loyalists a pass on jail.

These are not policy issues in the traditional sense, but are essential to the very nature of our government. These critical issues should not be ignored or dismissed out of hand. Our most fundamental freedoms depend on the electorate paying attention as the president creates an imperial presidency to the detriment of us all.


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mudhouse

Okay Annie, I'll just say I disagree.

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Iris GW

These are not policy issues in the traditional sense, but are essential to the very nature of our government.

The points that Annie makes would have conservatives shrieking in alarm should any Dem president be doing those same things. And many Dems would be horrified as well.

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Annie Deighnaugh

And another critical nontraditional policy issue has come to the fore: the role of science in the health of our people.

We now have reports that the CDC is being undermined by the administration who is putting out guidance that has not been sourced, vetted or reviewed by CDC scientists under their letterhead with materials that contradict CDC findings and recommendations.

We also have the head of the CDC testifying one way with the president then declaring he was confused, misunderstood, etc. as what he had to say undermined the president's "rosy picture" he wants to create for his reelection chances.

This little choice is costing countless American lives...currently losing people at 1,000 per day.

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Annie Deighnaugh

When one allegation is defeated or disproven, the left brings up more.

What's happening is the people speaking out about trump are his own insiders, his own appointees, people who have worked with him and for him and even his own family.

Believe me, the dems aren't given that kind of access to trump.

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jmm1837

I don't think a single one of those generals is on the left.

So, how do you respond to: "We are dealing with a lawless President who has no allegiance to our Constitution or values. Trump is igniting a fire of violence. He is sowing division.”

Or: "Today, as we struggle with social upheaval, soaring debt, record unemployment, a runaway pandemic, and rising threats from China and Russia, President Trump is actively working to undermine every major institution in this country."

That's pretty heavyweight criticism from pretty heavyweight observers.

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bleusblue2

mudhouse

Okay Annie, I'll just say I disagree.

~~~~

too easy mudhouse --the president said to vote twice to "test" the system. That's a fact.

do you "disagree"?

Attorney General Barr, his accomplice, said he doesn't know whether it's legal to vote twice. That's a fact.

do you "disagree"?

You seemed a lot more thoughtful than that. You read a list of illegal activities, all documented, and you "disagree." I suppose that I gave you too much credit. No nuance there.

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mudhouse

I don't think a single one of those generals is on the left.

So, how do you respond to: "We are dealing with a lawless President who has no allegiance to our Constitution or values. Trump is igniting a fire of violence. He is sowing division.”

McCaffrey served in Bill Clinton's cabinet, and is an analyst for NBC and MSNBC. There's nothing in McCaffrey's statement that I agree with, but like any American, he has the right to express his own opinions.

Or: "Today, as we struggle with social upheaval, soaring debt, record unemployment, a runaway pandemic, and rising threats from China and Russia, President Trump is actively working to undermine every major institution in this country."

I don't agree with McRaven, either. He's been very vocal about his criticism of Trump in recent years, and has written some scathing editorials in the New York Times and the Washington Post. He has the same right as anyone to his opinions.

We all get to vote.

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mudhouse

You seemed a lot more thoughtful than that. You read a list of illegal activities, all documented, and you "disagree." I suppose that I gave you too much credit. No nuance there.

bleusblue, Annie and I have had some very long conversations over the years, and I suspect we both have a pretty good feel for where we are in our thinking. We disagree with each other on many points. Our viewpoints on Trump are nearly polar opposites, and that's unlikely to change.

I try to spend enough time here to explain my thoughts as respectfully as possible, but sometimes there's a limit to how much time I want to spend typing out things that won't make any difference in the long run. That seems reasonable if I disagree with almost everything in a long post. It's just a choice I make, and my reply to Annie was meant to be more courteous than no reply at all.

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jmm1837

Mudhouse- you are rejecting the accusations on the basis of who said them, rather than disputing the actual accusations being made. That's a failure of logic all too common among Trump supporters.

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jmm1837

There was an article today on an Aussie news website, musing about voting patterns in the US, and the impact of Covid on the election. Contained within the article was this observation, which I think is quite relevant to this and many other threads:

"Americans like to say that they're above partisan politics. Roughly a third of Americans identify as independent voters, rather than declaring allegiance to one political party.
And yet the average number of voters who cast ballots for different parties in successive races is less than 10 per cent.

If you look at the national polls, there are three big issues that Americans say are the determinant factors on how they vote: healthcare, the economy and the pandemic.

But what those polls miss is that Americans are already wearing partisan glasses when they decide how to feel about those issues...

They're not deciding how to vote based on how the issues might affect them. Rather, the way they feel about an issue hinges on what party they affiliate with."

In other words, rather than look objectively at the science behind Covid, or the racism situation, or foreign policy issues or climate change, and deciding which party's policies best match their views, they are adopting their party's views as their own. That's not an approach I've ever followed myself, but I don’t think Canadians or Australians identify as closely with a political party as Americans do. And it perhaps explains why it is almost impossible to detach people from the views they've adopted, no matter how many facts you might throw at them.

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batyabeth

Mudhouse thank you for your posts. I do really want to understand your thinking. But one comment caught my eye. You said all of the allegations are unfounded and T has never been found guilty becuse he's never actually been charged. And therefore the left is wallowing in unfounded accusations about actions that haven't been proven. Right?

Well, right off the top of my head, if the Atty General and the DOJ have decided that T can't be investigated while he's in office, just HOW is T's innocence or guilt supposed to be established? Of course everything hasn't been proven in a court of law......his administration has blocked any such proof from being put forth. Ignoring FEDERAL subpoenas, refusing to testify, refusing to allow the (independent) judicial system to do discover that truth. It is disingenuous to say that nothing has been proven legally when all legal channels to prove something have been utterly shut down. The president is not above the law. The law is not to serve the man, but the office and the country as a whole. When the man refuses to allow the law into his house, it is he that is the problem, not those who are calling for the law to be administered.

Tonight is the New Year, Rosh HaShana. The entire country is in lockdown for three weeks as there have been over 4-5000 new cases every. single. day. for weeks. I hope for all of us here at HT to be blessed with health, patience, a sense of humor, and resilience.

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Annie Deighnaugh

To clarify a couple of things:

a) Gen. Wesley Clark is a democrat who ran for president in 2004.

b) mudhouse has said negative things about trump in the past.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Whereas mudhouse sees the left throwing charge after charge at trump and nothing sticks so he must be innocent; I see trump emboldened to commit even more crimes and abuse his power with impunity, as he is protected by his authoritarian control of the DoJ and his political control of the Senate.

However, as the election approaches, the reality of over 1,000 Americans dying each day, millions still losing their jobs each month, our nation's divides deepen into violent clashes, and our election systems are being attacked domestically and by nefarious foreign actors with little to no federal response to any of these challenges, more and more trump voters are turning against him. His presidential "coattails" are instead a millstone for the party.

The only question is if enough can vote for Biden to overcome trump's election rigging. So much rides on it for our nation.

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mudhouse

Mudhouse- you are rejecting the accusations on the basis of who said them, rather than disputing the actual accusations being made. That's a failure of logic all too common among Trump supporters.

Jmm, the left likes to assume they know why Trump supporters hold the beliefs they do, and I notice that they usually discount any possibility that Trump supporters are capable of legitimately assessing his performance and forming their own conclusions. I can generously interpret that as an unintended slight (although it's pretty constant.)

I do not share McCaffrey and McRaven's assessment of Trump. That's why my viewpoint isn't changed by the OP author's gathered-up statements of these military leaders.

I understand the point of the thread, and the OP's article in Medium. The author believes that intelligent people should pay attention to the dire warnings of accomplished individuals who see Trump as a threat to the nation, because of their qualifications as military leaders, which are inarguably stellar in most cases.

The odd thing is, that would be the exact failure of logic you're accusing me of above: adopting opinions on the basis of who said them, instead of considering whether or not I agree with the actual accusations being made.

I'm unaffected by articles like this because I stubbornly hold the (sadly unpopular) view that it's completely possible for intelligent and decent people to hold entirely opposing viewpoints on the same topic.

I read here because I want to understand why people think differently. I consider opposing viewpoints, especially when I know the person posting to be intelligent, thoughtful, or well informed. But I see no reason to abandon my own personal viewpoint, based on my own years of observation and thought, because somebody I respect has arrived at a conclusion that differs from mine.

Is that what you do?

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mudhouse

There was an article today on an Aussie news website, musing about voting patterns in the US, and the impact of Covid on the election.

Jmm, in that article, Emily Olson makes statements that hinge on the same issue.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/coronavirus-is-the-2020-us-election-issue-but-its-not-changing-the-way-americans-see-donald-trump/ar-BB199z5m

Olson writes: They're not deciding how to vote based on how the issues might affect them. Rather, the way they feel about an issue hinges on what party they affiliate with.

Of course, Olson is welcome to her viewpoint, but I find the same theme disappointing. She focuses on party line, and seems to discount the possibility that most Americans are capable of considering and voting based on the issues they care about.

I read Olson grew up in California. I wonder if she's aware of how generally unpopular the current Republican Party is with many staunch Trump supporters, and how much Trump's election was a repudiation of more traditional Republican candidates? And that the Republican party, to Trump's dismay (and mine) didn't bother to update their 2016 platform for 2020? I can't speak for Democrats, but I believe Trump supporters are voting on the issues, and Trump's policies, a LOT more than they're voting for party. I hardly know what the GOP stands for, as a party, but I know what Trump stands for.

I agree more with Gadarian's comments, further on in the article, who wrote that Americans' political beliefs are nearly impossible to separate from their core values. I think we're seeing some disagreement over pretty basic values (the importance of family, and how we should educate our children, as two examples.) I think the realization of those differences is at the core of what's driving our current divide.

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bleusblue2

mudhouse

You seemed a lot more thoughtful than that. You read a list of illegal activities, all documented, and you "disagree." I suppose that I gave you too much credit. No nuance there.

bleusblue, Annie and I have had some very long conversations over the years, and I suspect we both have a pretty good feel for where we are in our thinking. We disagree with each other on many points. Our viewpoints on Trump are nearly polar opposites, and that's unlikely to change.

I try to spend enough time here to explain my thoughts as respectfully as possible, but sometimes there's a limit to how much time I want to spend typing out things that won't make any difference in the long run. That seems reasonable if I disagree with almost everything in a long post. It's just a choice I make, and my reply to Annie was meant to be more courteous than no reply at all.

~~~~

~~~~

Mudhouse -- even after being on this site for a long time I am still in process of getting a handle on who is who. Up to now I've considered you a thoughtful poster. I was not aware that Annie and you are kind of steady partners in debate. That said, my question was how can you say "I disagree" when a fact is presented? I understand the typing thing -- I have it with my "computer eyes" AND typing, and sometimes generally just feel like giving up.

For example -- here are two of Annie's statements to which your reply was "I disagree."

ANNIE SAID

mudhouse,

....< >...

These are not "unproven" allegations and should not be dismissed out of hand. For example, we *know for a fact* that trump has appointed his daughter and SIL as senior advisers in the WH and that they were unable to get security clearances through normal channels.

There is no evidence that he has truly separated from his businesses and instead there is evidence that he has tried to push the US govt to favor his businesses including trying to get the G-7 meeting at his own failing hotel.

~~~~~~

Those are facts, not baseless allegations. "I disagree" doesn't cover that. You could have written instead -- "I'm tired of the discussion."

Annie may know where you stand but it looks like she's still asking you what you think.

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

And of course, it’s always possible that a person has/is willing to modify their opinion when presented with new information, right?

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mudhouse

batyabeth: You said all of the allegations are unfounded and T has never been found guilty becuse he's never actually been charged. And therefore the left is wallowing in unfounded accusations about actions that haven't been proven. Right?

Happy Rosh HaShana, batyabeth!

No; I told Annie I wasn't concerned with unproven allegations. I have no way of knowing if any are unfounded. I didn't say all are unfounded, either, and I never said that Trump's never being charged is why he's never been found guilty. (That seems to be your belief.)

Annie has posted long and hard enough about these issues for me to be convinced she's sincere in her concerns. I didn't say the left was wallowing. We can all pursue the issues we think are the most important.

Trump's challenge of subpoenas (during the impeachment, for example) are part of the system of checks and balance between the branches of government; the same system I think you expressed concern about, up thread. It seems to still be working.

I agree the president isn't above the law. On the rare occasions I've tried to research any of these issues, they either seem to come down to hearsay I find unconvincing, or down to legal arguments, and I assume those can and will be settled in court, if valid.

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Ziemia(6a)

I'm thinking that the point of the OP - and the point for the generals' statements - is not to change the minds of Trump supporters - here (HT) or elsewhere. I'm thinking it is more to show that diverse Americans who typically are silent about endorsing or giving warnings are not being silent about Trump as president. They are talking about negatives (& dangers) associated with his approach to leadership.

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mudhouse

Annie: Whereas mudhouse sees the left throwing charge after charge at trump and nothing sticks so he must be innocent;...

Annie, my comment above to batyabeth may further clarify my thinking on the allegations you mentioned against Trump. Also, I have no problem admitting that the unfolding events of the last four years have only increased my skepticism. I haven't hidden my thoughts on the Mueller investigation and impeachment. I still see both as efforts to remove Trump from office using opinion, hearsay, and even falsified and fabricated evidence.

Two days ago, the FISA court released a new opinion, indicating that all four of the Carter Page applications were corrupt upon origination, instead of just the second and third renewals. Information and events are still unfolding.

Annie: ...I see trump emboldened to commit even more crimes and abuse his power with impunity, as he is protected by his authoritarian control of the DoJ and his political control of the Senate.

I understand this is your viewpoint. Maybe you have somewhat the same frustration I do, which is that our thoughts about Trump are so far apart, it's hard to find much of a bridge. It's like we're viewing two entirely different people, and not one man. I think that may be even more true than when we had some of our longer back-and-forth conversations several years ago.

I thought we both made a pretty concerted effort to try to figure out why we saw Trump so differently. I don't agree with your conclusions that he's abusing power, creating an imperial presidency, or breaking laws. I also don't blame Trump for the lives lost to Covid19, but I assume you arrive at your conclusions the same way I arrive at mine, after reading and consideration. So it seems a little arrogant (and unproductive) for me to tell you those conclusions must absolutely be wrong, because they're not the same as mine.

I'm okay with disagreements. Differing viewpoints are rough or even dangerous when they lead to open conflict in the country, or violent riots. If we can avoid violence, I think the open airing of disagreements is the best way for people to try to sift through opinions, with the hope of bringing the best parts of those observations to the table. That's why we have elections. We air our differences, argue it out, and then let the people choose the path forward for the next four years. I'm good with that.

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

I think we all agree that differing viewpoints are equally important and it’s pleasant to discuss them respectfully with an aim at understanding, even when we know no agreement will be reached.

Regardless of all that, these generals speaking out against the President* as a person as they did is unprecedented. It’s notable. Its very lack of precedent and notability makes me hold it in higher regard than if any single person on this forum says the same opinion. They saved their voices for when it truly mattered.

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lurker111

Generals gathered in their masses

Just like witches at black masses

Evil minds that plot destruction

Sorcerers of death's construction

I don't see my uncle on that list. Did those clowns say something?

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jmm1837

Mudhouse - the way I see it, we have a group of experts in the military and intelligence, representing both sides of politics, identifying what they see as major problems with Trump and his administration. They talk about Trump's unwillingness to listen to professional, expert advice on military and intelligence matters; they talk about his efforts to weaken the defence and intel institutions, not to mention the courts and the medical experts, by sowing public distrust in them ; they all talk about his willingness to ignore laws and constitutional rights, and point out his disdain for peaceful protest; and several of them refer to his contempt for soldiers, their families, and trusted allies.

Now which of the accusations can you say is false, and why? Why are the generals wrong? As just one example, they're certainly not wrong about his unwillingness to listen to advice from the generals, the state department, the scientific community or to read briefing notes. He has made it clear on multiple occasions that he thinks he has a better grasp on all these areas than the professionals do. So, is it that you don't believe what the generals and many others are saying (and what Trump himself has said), or is it that you think it doesn't matter?

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adoptedbyhounds

"The beliefs that elected Trump in 2016 existed long before he
announced his candidacy. The concerns about foreign policy, involvement
in endless wars, weak immigration policies, overzealous government
regulation, tax policies, infringements on free speech and more already
existed in the hearts of minds of many Americans."

I couldn't agree more. Dems still don't get it. They continue with the insults, as if American citizens are failing in their duties to their leaders, and not the other way around. As if our system is inherently evil, because we can choose a presidential candidate who stands with us, and makes better arguments than they do. As if we owe something to them (the politicians) and the world. As if protecting our sovereignty is a character flaw, even as we watch them try to sell us out.

Democrats spent the past four years trying to undo an election, and making their contempt for middle America clear. I'll be at the polls in person on election day. I expect to wait in line a long time. My country, and my family are worth it.

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jmm1837

At least some of those problems have been exacerbated by Trump.

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mudhouse

jmm1837: They talk about Trump's unwillingness to listen to professional, expert advice on military and intelligence matters; they talk about his efforts to weaken the defence and intel institutions, not to mention the courts and the medical experts, by sowing public distrust in them ; they all talk about his willingness to ignore laws and constitutional rights, and point out his disdain for peaceful protest; and several of them refer to his contempt for soldiers, their families, and trusted allies.

...So, is it that you don't believe what the generals and many others are saying (and what Trump himself has said), or is it that you think it doesn't matter?

Jmm, the answer is neither.

I don't agree, but I have no need to think the generals are being insincere. Of course these issues matter, or I wouldn't vote, or spend time reading and thinking about them.

I absolutely don't agree that Trump refuses to listen to military or intelligence experts, or that he wants to weaken the country's institutions, or that he ignores laws and constitutional rights. I don't agree that he refuses to listen to the scientific community. I don't agree that he has disdain for peaceful protest, or that he has contempt for the military. I don't think any of those things are true about Trump. That's not my perception of Trump, at all.

What you keep missing is this, so one last time: I think it's possible (and fairly common) for capable and intelligent people to look at the same situation and have two entirely different perceptions. It's completely possible for generals, you, and others to have a sincere belief that all of the above are true about Trump. I have no need to denigrate the character or capability of people who disagree with my personal viewpoint. I can vote, just like they can. I can speak, just like they can. In a free country, they can express their opinion as freely as I can express mine. I want it to work that way. That's how I try to see people.

Not everyone needs to grab their political opponent, tumble them into a bar ditch, and stick a fork into their eye to defeat their ideology. Not everyone needs to prove the other guy is wrong in order to believe their own viewpoint is right. Some people recognize that others can and will have a different opinion, and that doesn't affect the respect we have for them as human beings, even if we don't share their viewpoint in the slightest.

Sorry, but I've run out of ways to try to explain it. That's the best I can do.

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mudhouse

adoptedbyhounds: I couldn't agree more. Dems still don't get it. They continue with the insults, as if American citizens are failing in their duties to their leaders, and not the other way around. As if our system is inherently evil, because we can choose a presidential candidate who stands with us, and makes better arguments than they do. As if we owe something to them (the politicians) and the world. As if protecting our sovereignty is a character flaw, even as we watch them try to sell us out.

Democrats spent the past four years trying to undo an election, and making their contempt for middle America clear. I'll be at the polls in person on election day. I expect to wait in line a long time. My country, and my family are worth it.

Just putting a "like" on this wasn't enough; I wanted to repeat it. Thank you for posting it.

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Iris GW

and making their contempt for middle America clear

Wrong.

False.

Fake news.

Your perception (both of you) that that is true is just plain WRONG. We have seen middle America suffer in numerous ways under Trump's administration: from increased tariffs because of his China 'war', to insufficient healthcare (where's that new plan?), to a tsunami of covid, and now massive unemployment (again because of lack of leadership to stem the tsunami). Sorry I can't think of everything, but middle America is not better off thanks to Trump.

And we're not trying to undo an election. We're trying to bring information to light about the man who was elected, including how he got elected. Your repeated lies that we're trying to undo his election convince no one but his followers. More people can see what really happened and what kind of monster is degrading America on a daily basis. The world is appalled. Sorry that you can't see that. But that doesn't mean it's not true.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

When unprecedented criticism of a president is being voiced by a number of persons with years of experience in the government and military, these are not normal times.

Discounting the mounting number of voices expressing their negative experiences with Trump concerning his fitness to govern -- negative experiences so serious that they have shaped their decisions to publicly state their concerns -- is not a mere difference of perceptions but rather willful discounting of the multiplying voices of canaries in the White House coal mine.

Again we are in unprecedented territory.

And for the time being, the majority of Americans share these negative feelings.

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Annie Deighnaugh

abh, while clearly your post has struck a chord for some, it hasn't for me at all for many reasons.

Primarily because, as we have seen you post before, that somehow anyone who disagrees with trump is *not* a "real" American. That democrats aren't "middle America" or that only "middle America" can be "real Americans".

That they don't support America's sovereignty when instead it is fear of our loss of sovereignty that motivates many protests given the spate of evidence that trump is serving putin's interests, not America's.

It is not that democrats view the "system is inherently evil" but rather that trump is doing evil to our system by undermining the USPS when vote by mail will be more ubiquitous than ever, allowing and doing nothing to stop the russian interference in our election, and actively -- illegally -- seeking foreign help for his reëlection efforts.

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jmm1837

Mudhouse - I understand that you don't agree with the assessment of the generals. And I understand that you feel two different people can look at the same situation and perceive it differently. That is often true, but certainly not always so.

My issue is not with different "perceptions;" my issue is with different "facts." You say that Trump does in fact listen to the scientific community. I see him criticising Fauci for being alarmist when he predicted 200,000 deaths, and I see him telling the world that Redfield has it backwards on masks and vaccines. I see him spruiking an unproven remedy in hydroxychloroquine, which certainly wasn't a science-based recommendation. And I see him claiming a vaccine will be ready in three weeks when none of his scientists, and not even Big Pharma, agree. Now I see that as "not listening to the scientific community."

You disagree with my view. So I want to understand what facts your perception is based on.

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

“I absolutely don't agree that Trump refuses to listen to military or intelligence experts”

Unless you’re a military or intelligence expert who’s been in the room with him you have no basis for any opinion on this whatsoever.

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mudhouse

You disagree with my view. So I want to understand what facts your perception is based on.

Oh. The "facts" request.

Jmm, look at how subjective these topics are. Let's try this one: does Trump listen to Anthony Fauci, or not?

If you say, it's a fact that Trump doesn't listen, do you mean Trump never listens to any of the epidemiologists? He never meets with Fauci, Birks, Redfield, and others? Well, that's not true, so maybe you mean he doesn't meet often enough with them. How often should Trump meet, to be able to say it's a fact that Trump listens? Twice a week? How often does Trump need to include Fauci in pressers, to prove he listens?

Or do you mean, it's a fact that Trump doesn't listen because he fails to pass Fauci's information on to the public accurately? Fauci said:

“I didn’t get any sense that he was distorting anything,” Fauci said. “In my discussions with him, they were always straightforward about the concerns that we had. We related that to him. When he would go out, I’d hear him discussing the same sort of things.”

Or do you mean, it's a fact that Trump doesn't listen to Fauci because doesn't repeat Fauci verbatim? If Fauci talks about 200,000 deaths, and Trump says, "we're rounding the corner," does that mean that Trump is contradicting Fauci? Is he challenging Fauci? Is he ignoring him? Does that prove he's not listening? Trump is the president; he can communicate however he likes, whether you approve of what he says or not.

Fauci and Trump have two completely different jobs. Fauci presents scientific information. Trump communicates with the public, as President Trump, not as epidemiologist Anthony Fauci. But if Trump uses his own words and says something in a way that's different from Fauci's characterization, is it a fact that Trump didn't listen to Fauci?

We could do this for every topic in your list. This is why I have no interest in chasing "proof" that your "facts" are right, and my "facts" are wrong, or vice versa. Because it's a fool's errand to pretend that issues like this can be settled as facts. They're subjective. We can both have our own valid reasons for our own perceptions, and still disagree.

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

The generals are saying that Donald doesn’t listen to them.

He says that he doesn’t listen to them.

Why would anyone form the opinion that he listens to them?

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jmm1837

Mudhouse - I never said Trump doesn't meet with the experts: I said he doesn't listen to them.

This is Dr. Fauci a few weeks ago, disagreeing with recent statements by Trump:
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/11/us-coronavirus-data-is-disturbing-dr-fauci-says-in-disputing-trump.html

Trump has publicly criticised Fauci about projections for the spread of the pandemic and Redfield about the utility of masks, and the timing of a vaccine. He has made wildly inaccurate claims to bolster his political stance: kids are practically immune, 99% of covid cases are "totally harmless," the US has one of the lowest mortality rates from Covid in the world. I could go on. It is a fact he has said and done these things. It is a fact that they fly in the face of actual science. Whoever he is listening to, it isn't the experts.

He is not merely rewording scientific briefings: he is ignoring or outright disagreeing with them. Well, he is entitled to state his own opinions but he is not entitled to claim them as facts. There is now clear scientific evidence that masks reduce transmission. That is not subjecive. Nor is there anything subjective about the very high case numbers, hospitalisations, or the high crude mortality rates in the US. Trump is entitled to argue that they don't matter in the greater scheme of things, but not to argue that these facts don't exist.

And that applies to many of the points being made.

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mudhouse

It's hard to think of a worse communication style to communicate clearly about scientific matters than Donald Trump's. It's a terrible fit for him, because he uses hyperbole as often as he breathes, and he speaks unclearly, using six words when clarity requires a dozen. Trump has always used exaggeration to make points. He knows a short exaggerated statement sticks in people's minds, and gets repeated in news stories and tweets. It helped him win.

Having the right speaking style to communicate about the science of a pandemic isn't normally on our presidential checklists. Obama would have easily avoided many of the communication snafus that fill our daily news. Bush might have invented a word like "pandememic," but he'd have fared better than Trump in terms of communicating more clearly. But Covid's here, and Trump is president.

I don't agree that Trump ignores science. He presents information from the epidemiologists, and he's also disagreed and questioned some points along the way, but I think that's his job.

I don't want a president who doesn't question what the "experts" tell him. The "experts" at London's Imperial College were predicting 2.2 million American deaths. Remember that? I do. Remember the WHO saying Covid showed no clear evidence of human-to-human transmissible to humans? Remember when masks weren't necessary, because they didn't really help? The "science" of how humans can best survive Covid is constantly changing, and so is our understanding of what factors put us most at risk, and what factors we can control to try to save as many lives as possible.

I'd be a lot more frightened by any president that thought it was improper, risky, or rude to challenge or even argue out the consequences of any information presented by his team of experts. Presidents hear the information presented, and chart out a course for the country. That course involves hard decisions. The path that reduces lives lost to Covid could increase lives lost to economic disaster. It's the president's job to balance these concerns.

It's Fauci's job to present the science as accurately as he can. It's not Trump's job to parrot the science; it's his job to challenge and present information in the way he think best benefits the nation. It's not Fauci's job to give people any degree of hope; he'd be a failure as a scientist if he let that concern affect his statements.

But it is Trump's job to give people hope.

People can disagree with the way Trump characterizes information, and they can vote somebody else in who they think would do a better job. But Trump, as president, has the right to decide how to frame the information presented to him at each part of the crisis. I think part of that decision involves what he thinks will help the country.

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Ziemia(6a)

And some named people who worked in the WH on this issue have said Trump says few words that demonstrates understanding. A wise man would recognize he is not the best explainer and would rely on those who are. And not tell them they are wrong when they are right.

MH, you like his style if leadership. Style includes process and decisions.

Most American voters in 2016 didn't approve of his style. We will know in a few weeks what the current views are.

And who here is saying Trump does not have the right to say what he says?

Trump's lies don't have to be believed or respected just because he is president. He is not entitled to being trusted or believed.

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mudhouse

Ziemia, I agree you have the absolute right to interpret Trump's comments as you see them. Trump has earned my trust and I believe he's the right person to lead the country for another four years.

When I think of the Democrats regaining control of the White House, I have the same feelings of fear for my country that some the generals in the OP have expressed.

So here we are. Both sides think the other will lead the country into disaster. (What an election.)

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Ziemia(6a)

It's a matter of what most Americans see and want. Yes, it's a representative democracy but still a democracy.

ETA

Of the votes cast in 2016 for president (~135.5M), Trump had the confidence of about 46% of us voters.

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Annie Deighnaugh

But Trump, as president, has the right to decide how to frame the information presented to him at each part of the crisis.

In other words, lie and make things up. Nice spin.

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

“When I think of the Democrats regaining control of the White House, I have the same feelings of fear for my country that some the generals in the OP have expressed.”

They expressed concern about a specific man based on his specific words, attitudes, and actions.

Despite decades in service to leaders of all political ideologies they expressed no fear about a particular political party or that party’s general ideology or platform.

Mudhouse you’re expressing general fear about anyone who is called “Democrat.”

Can you show knowledgeable experts with similar experience who are giving similar warnings about any particular person on the Democratic ticket, to help us understand your great fear of the Dems?

I believe there a point at which a person must defer to the greater knowledge of another. I don’t substitute another’s judgement for my own often, but when confronted with such a bold and unequivocal statement from people in a position to know (when I am not) it behooves me to heed their warning.

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bleusblue2

mudhouse

......< >...

I don't want a president who doesn't question what the "experts" tell him. The "experts" at London's Imperial College were predicting 2.2 million American deaths. Remember that? I do. Remember the WHO saying Covid showed no clear evidence of human-to-human transmissible to humans? Remember when masks weren't necessary, because they didn't really help? The "science" of how humans can best survive Covid is constantly changing, and so is our understanding of what factors put us most at risk, and what factors we can control to try to save as many lives as possible.

~~~~

Communication style? No. The President and the experts meet out of the spotlight. He may question what they say but when he leaves that meeting he should be ready to present informed statements about what is going on and what efforts will help the situation. Repeat: He communicates to the country what the problem is and what is needed. The message must be clear. The President doesn't "listen to the experts" and then go out and tell Americans that he doesn't agree with them so do what you like.

It is really really twisting to present Trump's lack of leadership and confused challenges to expert opinion as "commuication style."

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

The warnings in the OP article do not revolve around objection to his pandemic response or his divergence from experts.

The warnings revolve around:

-the steps Donald is taking to destroy America’s relationships with her traditional allies while building friendships with countries that function contrary to a healthy democracy

-the undermining of American institutions that are designed to keep her democracy intact

-the misuse of federal troops in order to subvert the rights of Americans

-the overall impression that he is attempting to set himself up as a leader who is above the law, a king or despot

Read what they wrote, argue against what they wrote with evidence of your own. If you have any.

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mudhouse

Can you show knowledgeable experts with similar experience who are giving similar warnings about any particular person on the Democratic ticket, to help us understand your great fear of the Dems?

I think the Dems are leading the country in the wrong direction, and I think it will harm the country's future as a whole. I have no idea who would really be running the country behind the scenes if Biden wins, but I don't think it will be Biden. Thus my general use of the word Democrats. Odd situation, I agree, to not be able to use a the specific name of the official candidate for the opposing party; but that's where we are in 2020.

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deegw

I have a conservative friend in the DOD who participates in conference calls with Trump. He and many of his colleagues believe that Trump is incompetent and dangerous.

It's anecdotal and also evidence.

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Ziemia(6a)

Well, Trump is a tool (of some powerful people) which is partly why his comments often differ from policy.

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Ziemia(6a)

Back to the OP - there must be other generals (retired) that have come out in support of Trump... Anyone have that info?

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

Yeah, see, there is nothing you can point to that shows an immediate and specific threat from any Democratic Party candidate or from the Party platform.

People with vast experience who are in a position to know point to specific and immediate danger from Donald Trump.

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Kathy

It’s odd the conservatives cannot see the destruction Trump has done to our institutions yet they fear Democrats. I can only surmise they listen to RW talk shows and conspiracies. Scorched earth and loss of lives will be Trump’s legacy.

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

In any case, fearing that Biden will be a puppet president for some dark shadowy unknown figure requires one to presume his guilt in advance and try to predict the future.

According to these generals Donald Trump is a threat right now.

Get rid of the imminent threat, then take any future threats as they come up.

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Muskokatana

am i on houzz

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

Muskokatana

9 minutes ago

am i on houzz

———

Yes, you sure are!

Welcome to Hot Topics :-)

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jmm1837

I am afraid I completely disagree with Mudhouse's view of the President and his role. It is not his job to challenge the science: he doesn't have the knowledge education or, frankly, the intelligence. Let other scientists challenge the science, as they have been doing all along. (That's why we knew, in mid January, that the virus was in fact human to human transmission). It's Trump's job to understand the science, as best he can, and to decide what the plan will be to address the challenges it presents.

The problem has been, of course, that Trump has never understood the science, as was perfectly obvious during the Jonathan Swan interview, not to mention his unwillingness to join in promoting the use of masks as their effectiveness has become obvious. And because the science presents a scenario with dire economic implications, he has consistently downplayed the risks the disease presents. He has never been able to perform the most important role of a President - to develop a national strategy to cope with Covid, and to lead the country in the fight.

It is quite clear from this discussion that Mudhouse and the right do understand that Trump has publicly questioned and challenged experts on Covid, and has in fact ignored chunks of their advice. They see it as his job and are fine with that. By extension then, they see it as his job to do the same thing with the military and intelligence advice he is being given. Where does that leave US foreign and defence policy and delivery? No one looking at this objectively would argue that ignoring and rejecting expert advice is good for the country, but it apparently doesn't worry the right because they're going to go along with anything Trump/the GOP does. Which proves the point made above: that independent thought has been surrendered to party loyalty.

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Nana H

"Which proves the point made above: that independent thought has been surrendered to party loyalty."

jmm, that is it in a nutshell. Perfectly said. Party politics has taken over from the basic values of integrity, honesty and truthfulness.


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mudhouse

jmm, I still arrive at very different conclusions from yours, but I appreciate the exchange, and your willingness to consider my comments.

Many in this thread have expressed concern that the warnings of military leaders should be considered as signs that there are serious problems with Trump as president. I think you made a comment that this type of comment from the military was unprecedented.

Nancy points out that the leaders' negative experiences with Trump have been so serious they shaped their decision to publicly state their concern.

Annie sees the statements as flashing red lights about how dangerous Trump is to our national security, and she points out that generals and other military brass tend to stay out of public politics.

I've made the point that there's no reason for military leaders to be monolithic in their opinions of any president, and that there have been instances in the past, on both sides of the political fence, with disagreements between military leaders and presidents.

Recently, 235 retired military leaders signed this letter supporting President Trump for reelection. They cite Trump's commitment to military spending, border enforcement and law enforcement among their reasons. The list includes retired Army and Air Force generals, and Navy Admirals, and they all believe that Trump is the best candidate for president.
https://cdn.donaldjtrump.com/public-files/press_assets/235-military-leaders-endorse-president-trump-final.pdf

If the conclusion is that the comments of the eleven military leaders in the Medium article represent the only correct assessment of Trump's performance among the military, do we assume that the 235 retired military leaders who signed this letter are being insincere?

How do we explain these 235 signatures? Why would so many retired military leaders be willing to support a man who poses a risk to national security, and who threatens our very institutions?

The generals in the Medium article in the OP are only a portion of the military, and their opinions should be considered along with the opinions of other military leaders who strongly support Trump.

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

Interstellar (edit: interesting, but “interstellar is one of the most amazing autocorrects I’ve ever had) letter mudhouse. Thanks for sharing it.

It says a lot about Obama (who is not running) and some non-specifics about the alleged Democratic platform that aren’t backed up with sources, and very little about the policies they approve of that Donald has put forth or implemented.

It is also completely without context. Have these people worked with Donald, spoken to him, advised him? To whom did they send this letter, and when?

The language is oddly focused on typical far right wing talking points.

Where did you come across it?

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Ziemia(6a)

MH, on that list, have any held positions such as:

#Former supreme allied commander of NATO

#Former Secretary of Defense

#Former Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan

#Former Director of CIA

#Former Chief of Staff for the President

#Former Secretary of State (for GOP president)

etc

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

There is also an apples to oranges situation here.

The OP generals are warning of a clear and present danger, an imminent threat to American security.

Mudhouse’s quoted generals are making a political endorsement.

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Kathy

It is interesting that letter signed by the 235 military said Obama and Biden made military cuts when those were done by The GOP with mandatory 10% cut each year under sequestration.

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jmm1837

"If the conclusion is that the comments of the eleven military leaders in
the Medium article represent the only correct assessment of Trump's
performance among the military, do we assume that the 235 retired
military leaders who signed this letter are being insincere?"

I have never said the opinions of the 11 are "the only correct assessment of Trump's performance." What I have said is that they have raised very valid points about Trump's lack of respect for expert opinion, be it military, foreign policy, intelligence or and science.The evidence is there, publicly available, that he has done so, not least in Trump's own statements.

No one on the right, including the 235 generals, has actually submitted any evidence to the contrary. This includes the 235. Had they countered with their own experiences of Trump listening to and
learning from the experts, I might have granted them credence. As it is, they have simply lined up behind Trump.

The ability to look at facts objectively and dispassionately and independently, and to make decisions based on those facts, is disappearing, replaced by selecting a side and adopting its assessments even when those assessments gloss over or ignore the facts. I stand by my earlier opinion.


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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

235 retired military leaders signed this letter supporting President Trump for reelection

How many of the 235 worked directly under Trump -- as in had personal contact with the man through briefings, etc.?

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mudhouse

It says a lot about Obama (who is not running) and some non-specifics about the alleged Democratic platform that aren’t backed up with sources, and very little about the policies they approve of that Donald has put forth or implemented.

Really, a lot about Obama? He's only mentioned once, and linked with Biden. But you're right, Miss Lindsey, the letter is short enough that I should have included it so others can read it:

The 2020 election affords the American people an urgently needed opportunity to affirm their devotion to the Constitution of the United States, and to the American way of life. As senior leaders of America’s military, we took an oath to defend the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. At present, our country is now confronted with enemies here and abroad, as well as a once in a century pandemic. As retired military officers, we believe that Donald J. Trump has been tested as few other presidents have, and is the proven leader to confront these dangers.

It can be argued that this is the most important election since our country was founded. With the Democratic Party welcoming socialists and Marxists, our historic way of life is at stake.

During the Obama/Biden administration, America’s armed forces were subjected to a series of ill-considered and debilitating budget cuts. The Democrats have once again pledged to cut defense spending, undermining our military strength.

The Democrats’ opposition to border security, their pledge to return to the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, their antagonism towards the police and planned cuts to military spending will leave the United States more vulnerable to foreign enemies.

President Trump’s resolute stands have deterred our enemies from aggression against us and our allies. The proposed defense cuts by the Democrats will, in our professional judgment, create a potentially perilous situation for the United States during a time of great external and internal threats to our Nation.

For these reasons, we support Donald Trump’s re-election. We believe that President Donald Trump is committed to a strong America. As president, he will continue to secure our borders, defeat our adversaries, and restore law and order domestically.

We urge our fellow Americans to join us in supporting the re-election of Donald Trump for President.

(Adding, miss lindsey, I had to really read your post a few times to catch that you tried to type "interesting" and got autocorrected to "interstellar" instead. I agree that's a pretty cool autocorrect!)

The article in the American Military News says the letter was signed by eight four-star generals/admirals and 42 three-star generals/admirals.

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cait1

The language is oddly focused on typical far right wing talking points.

Since when did electing people devoted to the Constitution of the United States and the American way of life become 'far-right'?

I notice how it was completely ignored that the dems are now the party of socialists and Marxists, which it is with its 'progressive' narrative, 'progressive' being the American version of Fabian Socialism.

Which party instituted the graduated income tax, number two on Marx's list of the 10 Planks of communism? The dems.

Which party centralized credit and instituted a central, private bank, the FRB, number 5 on the list? The dems.

Which president instituted the greatest amount redistribution of wealth schemes? FDR, a dem.

Redistribution of wealth is not a part of any American founding principle at all but a scourge shoved on the producers by malevolent leftists and unAmerican forces. The Marxist way is that everyone must be equally poor and leftists won't be happy until that is achieved. Leftist don't want the USA, they want the USSA.

It’s odd the dems cannot see the destruction their policies have done to our country yet they fear Republicans who want to pull back on some of the devastation they have wrought. Kinda like watching buildings burn and Molotov cocktails get thrown around and calling it peaceful.

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jmm1837

"" Since when did electing people devoted to the Constitution of the United States and the American way of life become 'far-right'?


Since when did electing Donald Trump equate to electing people devoted to the Constitution of the United States?

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

“Since when did electing people devoted to the Constitution of the United States and the American way of life become 'far-right'?”

Far right wing talking points, using frw verbiage:

-The 2020 election affords the American people an urgently needed opportunity to affirm their devotion to the Constitution of the United States, and to the American way of life.

-Donald J. Trump has been tested as few other presidents have

- the Democratic Party welcoming socialists and Marxists

-our historic way of life is at stake

-The Democrats’ opposition to border security, their pledge to return to the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, their antagonism towards the police and planned cuts to military spending

-President Trump’s resolute stands have deterred our enemies from aggression against us and our allies.

-our Nation (the capitalization of “nation” here is the tip-off)

-restore law and order domestically

I won’t argue against these point by point because it’s not the purpose of this thread and because I suspect we’ve all memorized the counterpoints anyway. My problem in this case is not with the opinion—which these folks are certainly entitled to—but to the manner of expression. This is the same far right wing propaganda that I grew up with. I recognize it like I recognize my name.

The FBI has made it crystal clear that far right wing factions are operating within the United States Armed Forces and police departments. These alarm bells shouldn’t be taken lightly.

However, this issue (of an endorsement of a candidate) is distinct from a warning about an ongoing threat to the United States and should be discussed in a separate thread imo. (Thank you mudhouse for some links.)

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mudhouse

Well, I disagree it needs a separate thread. The title of this thread is, US Generals Raise the Alarm. There are eleven cited by the author, raising an alarm about what they think about Trump.

I'm adding this to the thread: 235 US generals and admirals endorse Trump. Obviously, if they're going to vote for him, they're not raising an alarm. It sounds to me like they're clearly raising an alarm about voting for Biden, and what that would mean for our country.

Seems pertinent to me.

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mudhouse

Good grief, Miss Lindsey, this isn't far right wing propaganda. It's senior retired US military leaders, listing issues they're concerned about.

I hate to break it to you, but lots of people are concerned about what they see as threats to the American way of life, including values that they see as the foundation of the country. Among those is a respect for law and order. There's nothing on that list I disagree with.

Capitalizing the word Nation is far right wing verbiage?


https://letterslibrary.com/writing-tips/capitalization-rules/

What an interstellar reaction!

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

What I understand so far is that the high-ranking military men who are warning the public about Trump are addressing the issues of character and ability to lead.

The *retired* high-ranking military men who are endorsing Trump have not worked for or with him, are not questioning Biden's character and ability to lead, and are afraid of cuts to the military budget. (Do they not remember when the GOP was crying for budget cuts and agreed to sequester funds from all US government budgets during the Obama administration?)

I see two very different issues being addressed by the two groups of military men; one group concerned about character and ability to lead, the other possible budget cuts. to the military.

Comparing the dissenting military men to the retired group is comparing apples to oranges in terms of their concerns.

I wish the Democrats would slash the military budget, but they, like the Republicans, can't wait to hand over billions whether justified or not.

*

I wonder if any of the 235 are sitting on boards of defense contractors, or are working as lobbyists for defense contractors. There's a revolving door between military contractors and retired high-ranking military men who just happen to *always* be in favor of increased Pentagon budgets, and lobbying for their company to supply the weapons, aircraft, ground vehicles, and whatever else is up for bid.

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

mudhouse I highlighted 8 phrases that are unique and common to the frw propaganda and literature I grew up around. The capital N on its own probably wouldn’t be significant. As part of that list, it tweaked my brain.

You don’t see it. I wouldn’t expect you to unless you too have been immersed in it.

I don’t think you would lie about not recognizing it.

I wouldn’t lie about what I can identify.

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mudhouse

Nancy: What I understand so far is that the high-ranking military men who are warning the public about Trump are addressing the issues of character and ability to lead.

...I see two very different issues being addressed by the two groups of military men; one group concerned about character and ability to lead, the other possible budget cuts. to the military.

Nancy, the open letter signed by hundreds of senior military leaders talks about more than budget cuts. It also says Trump has been tested and is the proven leader needed to confront enemies here and abroad:

"As retired military officers, we believe that Donald J. Trump has
been tested as few other presidents have, and is the proven leader to
confront these dangers.

...President Trump’s resolute stands have deterred our enemies from aggression against us and our allies."

You really don't think the above addresses Trump's ability to lead? I sure disagree.

**********************

The *retired* high-ranking military men who are endorsing Trump have not worked for or with him

Yes, the military has clear precedents about active duty personnel steering clear of partisan politics. But are you implying the only people who can accurately assess Trump's leadership ability are those who've had personal contact with him?

Because if so, only an extremely tiny percentage of the millions of Americans voting in the November election will be making an informed decision, including over two million people serving in the military.

Trump's been Commander in Chief for four years, and I don't believe that over two hundred senior US military leaders are endorsing Trump because they're not privy to "insider" information supposedly possessed by the eleven generals gathered up by the OP author.

It's absolutely more likely that US military leaders are individuals who consider Trump and arrive at their own personal conclusions, just as any other group of American voters does.

Personally, I think that's much more believable than the idea that only those who have personal contact with Trump can recognize terrible shortcomings that represent a dangerous threat to the country.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

You really don't think the above addresses Trump's ability to lead?

Very generalized and brief statement of support regarding abilities while the critics have listed specific examples of Trump's lack of leadership ability -- specifics in which they have been witnesses or have direct knowledge.

The unanswered -- and quite important -- question is how many of the *retired* military men are involved with defense contractors vying for Pentagon funds. Those men have a direct financial interest in having an increased Pentagon budget.

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studio10001

' Individuals who consider Trump and arrive at their own personal conclusions' would be beyond challenge - had they written their own personal opinions, rather than sign a letter that had been constructed for them. I am reminded of a NYC physician whose 'personal conclusion' was that 45 was ' the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.'

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mudhouse

studio10001: ' Individuals who consider Trump and arrive at their own personal conclusions' would be beyond challenge - had they written their own personal opinions, rather than sign a letter that had been constructed for them.

Studio (or anyone!): Can you help me understand what's beyond challenge, if the military leaders has written out personal opinions, instead of signing a letter?

With an open letter, is it easier to challenge the sincerity of the signers' belief? Or their knowledge of the topic?

A personal opinion (with more detail) is more helpful for understanding someone's viewpoint. But I don't understand why somebody's beyond challenge, when they write a personal opinion.

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Ziemia(6a)

Of those 235 retired military signatories - I recognize none of the names and am unfamiliar with their service specifics or activities since retirement.

And, I have no idea what % they are of all the retired similar military leaders. (The FBI has identified some neo-Nazi types among the military....so, who knows who they are?)

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studio10001

The voracity of your quoted statement can be challenged, mud, because the individual opinion is assumed, and because it only requires acquiescence to the opinion of another, rather than being stated outright and thereby leaving no doubt as to the exact personal thoughts of the subject addressed - which this letter did not accomplish, unless they are the Borg. I have no doubt these folks think the Republican candidate is preferable, and that is as 'personal' as the opinion was. As mentioned above, the emphasis on budget cuts as easily defines the letter's purpose and overarching opinion. I understand that you may not see a difference between the two, but others here do.



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mudhouse

Because the individual opinion is assumed, and because it only requires acquiescence to the opinion of another, rather than being stated outright and thereby leaving no doubt as to the exact personal thoughts of the subject addressed - which this letter did not accomplish, unless they are the Borg.

Thanks for the reply Studio. Out of curiosity, do you feel the same way about the open letter supporting Biden, signed by 81 Nobel laureates, that Annie pointed out in a recent thread?

https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/5988199/81-nobel-laureates-endorse-biden#n=18

Of that list, are the only Nobel laureates "above challenge" the ones that published a personal statement? Meaning, do you have similar doubts about the level of support of the Nobel Prize winners without published comments, unless they, too, are the Borg?

****************

Don't get me wrong; I've posted before that "open letters" are misused when people try to make the case that "x" number of signers proves a preponderance of opinion. The only thing an open letter demonstrates is that those particular signers agree with the content of the letter; that's it.

So I'm not saying the open letter with 235 military leaders endorsing Trump demonstrates anything about the percentage of support Trump has among senior military leaders. I'm not questioning the sincerity of the 11 military leaders in the OP article, either.

I'm saying the opinions of those 11 anti-Trump military leaders don't demonstrate that Trump is a threat to our democracy and country (as the OP author says) or that there's general agreement about that conclusion among the US military. At best, the article only demonstrates that eleven generals may believe he is.

The open letter I posted shows that at least 235 other US generals and admirals disagree, unless you folks really believe that decorated military leaders, who've spent their lives in service to the country, would endorse a threat to democracy because of concerns about funding cuts.

I don't see how that's even remotely possible.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

I'm saying the opinions of those 11 anti-Trump military leaders don't demonstrate that Trump is a threat to our democracy and country

This is an opinion many do not share, and have given the reasons why Trump is a threat to our democracy and country.

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jmm1837

I guess I'd say that the 235 are doing the same thing that too many people do. Focus on one issue they see as a threat to America - budget cuts - to the exclusion of all the other issues that together present a much greater potential threat but do not affect their short term interests. Spending big on the military is not going to keep America safe if it involves ignoring or rejecting the advice of experts in intelligence and military strategy, not to mention international relations. Allies who have traditionally supplied military and other support will not be so ready to provide troops, logistics or bases if relationships continue to sour. And that's just the military issues, never mind all the other concerns. And it doesn't even include the bounty issue, which is quite an interesting ommission for a bunch of military men, come to think of it.

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bleusblue2

nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

I'm saying the opinions of those 11 anti-Trump military leaders don't demonstrate that Trump is a threat to our democracy and country

This is an opinion many do not share, and have given the reasons why Trump is a threat to our democracy and country.

~~~~

What is ignored here is that "anti or pro" Trump, military officers don't easily challenge their superiors. The 11 officers did not start out anti trump. They have been up close and heard it all from the inside. They had to make a big step away from the reserve instilled by their military training in order to give this public objection. That's a lot different than military men who have never met the president adding their signatures to a petition.

Why wouldn't it this shake the supporters even a little teeny tiny bit?

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AITG

Maybe they should consider getting a tattoo of nixon and dress up like comic book supervillians.

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studio10001

I think the comparison is a good one, mud; in both instances, the comments are general, and more of an advertisement than any indication of specific knowledge. We are led to rely on the authority of their organization, and not their individual experience, to trust their endorsements.

As to believing whether patriots would endorse a threat to democracy - of course I do. I read on this site that democracy IS the threat to our country.

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mudhouse

bleusblue2: What is ignored here is that "anti or pro" Trump, military officers don't easily challenge their superiors. The 11 officers did not start out anti trump.
...Why wouldn't it this shake the supporters even a little teeny tiny bit?


Because it's simply not true that the 11 officers didn't start out anti-Trump; not by a long shot.

The majority of the generals in the OP article (at least seven out of eleven) were already making negative public comments about Trump at or before the start of his first term in 2016.

McRaven: 5 Times McRaven Has Lambasted Trump: "McRaven has taken issue with Trump's policies and demeanor throughout his presidency, writing several striking opinion columns and criticizing him in interviews." Weeks after Trump's inauguration, McRaven criticized Trump's travel ban, and characterized his comments about the press as "the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime."
https://www.businessinsider.com/william-mcraven-against-trump-navy-seal-presidency-2019-10?op=1

John Allen: Endorsed Hillary and spoke at the 2016 Democratic Convention, describing the country under Trump as "a dark place of discord." Told ABC: "So what we need to do is ensure that we don't create an environment that puts us on a track conceivably where the United States military finds itself in a civil military crisis with a commander in chief who would have us do illegal things."
https://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/john-allen-donald-trump-226479

Hayden: "Retired four-star General Michael Hayden was arguably one of the most prominent critics of Donald Trump's run for president...signed a letter in September 2016, warning that Donald Trump was a "risk" to the country's national security."
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/2016-race-general-michael-hayden-donald-trump-presidency-national-security-concerns/

McCaffrey: Wrote in the Seattle Times in 2016 that Trump was an ‘abusive braggart’ unfit to lead our Armed Forces."
https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/donald-trump-is-an-abusive-braggart-unfit-to-lead-our-armed-forces/

Stavridis: vetted for Hillary's VP; wrote in 2016 "the policies that Donald Trump makes plain he intends to pursue will create enormous uncertainty in the world, and the attendant ills will create enormous difficulties for our nation."
https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/07/21/the-certain-trumpet-donald-trump-new-york-times-interview-baltics-russia-nato/

Powell: voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. In an email confirmed by an aide, Powell wrote: "Trump is nuts. Everybody wants me to speak out, but I will pick the time and place for maximum effect like I did in 2008 and 2012. Right now, Trump is his worst own enemy."
https://www.cnn.com/2016/10/25/politics/colin-powell-hillary-clinton-endorsement/index.html

Clark: In 2016, he said: Trump “doesn’t do his homework,” appears to be “totally consumed by self-interest” and, "with business connections all over the world, won’t release his tax returns," and “We can’t have someone as our commander in chief and president who doesn’t understand American values and whose character isn’t suited to the awesome responsibility of that office.”
https://www.stripes.com/news/former-admirals-and-generals-warn-trump-is-dangerous-to-military-and-country-1.430242?fbclid=IwAR3u-zuF_5dwlbl8QzWcdBqDZ3-D_bRdaV9KV66O7a5My6K065Z8QmLhpZ8

I'm unable to find any 2016 statements about Trump for the other four generals, either positive or negative.

It's clear that the majority of those quoted in the Medium article started out with a negative opinion. They didn't change their minds after working with him "up close" and "inside"; they started out with negative opinions in 2016 or before.

Further, from my reading, I don't think it's correct to assume that all of these generals have worked with Trump in some capacity during his first term. Some are simply making public comments. That's their right, of course, but I think some in this thread may have fallen into the incorrect assumption that all of them have worked with Trump, and that experience changed their opinion about Trump.

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mudhouse

studio: I read on this site that democracy IS the threat to our country.

Well, that statement's confusing to me, but maybe I need to try to get around to more threads here.

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miss lindsey (She/Her)(8a)

"the policies that Donald Trump makes plain he intends to pursue will create enormous uncertainty in the world, and the attendant ills will create enormous difficulties for our nation."

How prescient.

“Everybody wants me to speak out, but I will pick the time and place for maximum effect like I did in 2008 and 2012. Right now, Trump is his worst own enemy."

Shows great wisdom when a person knows how to save their voice. I remember mentioning that waaaay up thread. Gen Powell added another tick back up in my estimation.

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cait1

studio: I read on this site that democracy IS the threat to our country.

Mudhouse: Well, that statement's confusing to me, but maybe I need to try to get around to more threads here.

The only reason I can think of as to why that would be written is because the united States are a body formulated as a Constitutional Republic and NOT a democracy. So yes, democracy IS a threat to our country. Marx and Lenin extolled democracy as the first step toward a communist state.

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bleusblue2

mudhouse

bleusblue2: What is ignored here is that "anti or pro" Trump, military officers don't easily challenge their superiors. The 11 officers did not start out anti trump.
...Why wouldn't it this shake the supporters even a little teeny tiny bit?


Because it's simply not true that the 11 officers didn't start out anti-Trump; not by a long shot.

The majority of the generals in the OP article (at least seven out of eleven) were already making negative public comments about Trump at or before the start of his first term in 2016.

{Mudhouse lists negative things Generals previously said about Trump -- }

~~~~

You make a point -- some Generals did not like Trump and said so. And so did Republicans, Senators and Representatives who are fawning over him now, hoping to hold on to the base. Trump was always perceived to be a dangerous loose cannon, unfit to govern.

I'll take back my statement that they weren't "anti-Trump." I maintain that the Generals would not be coming out strongly against him if Trump had proved his worth. The Military expected to serve and advise the superior officer. We all hoped he would be Presidential, respect the office and the Institutions. The Generals saw him up close and it would be reprehensible if they had not come out to report what they saw.

...Why wouldn't this shake the supporters even a little teeny tiny bit?


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studio10001

No need to travel, mud, cait was ready with it - and she is not alone by a long shot.

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jmm1837

"Marx and Lenin extolled democracy as the first step toward a communist state."

Funny how the only countries that went communist were not democratic in the first place. Countries that were democratic to begin with somehow have managed to live with socialism for the better part of a century without ever turning remotely communist.

In any case, if democracy is a threat to the US, then the US doesn't stand for what I always thought it did. Why would anyone want to live in an authoritarian state? Might as well be back in the USSR.

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mudhouse

We all hoped he would be Presidential, respect the office and the Institutions. The Generals saw him up close and it would be reprehensible if they had not come out to report what they saw.
...Why wouldn't this shake the supporters even a little teeny tiny bit?

Because we obviously don't share your perception of Trump, bleusblue, and I doubt many of us care a bit if he meets somebody else's definition of presidential, as long as he continues to make good progress on the issues and beneficial policies he ran on.

Trump has shown no disrespect for the office; he's stood up for it. The people who've shown disrespect for the office and institutions are those who weaponized portions of the intelligence community, and used falsified evidence to mislead the FISA court, in an attempt to remove a sitting president. The people who showed disrespect for the office and institutions are those who used blatantly partisan tactics to conduct the most shameful sham impeachment in the history of the country.

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cattyles

Holy cow. The deep end is bottomless.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Trump has shown no disrespect for the office

Fawning over the killer Saudi king MBS, son-in-law Jared rattling his tin cup in SA, Bahrain, and Abu Dhabi to meet his mega balloon payment on 666 Fifth Avenue brings no respect to the White House.

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studio10001

It sounds as though you are saying that progress defines respect of office. I could not disagree more strongly.

The issue of disrespect comes to the crux of my own criticism of 45. This president has broken his oath of office repeatedly in the name of progress. He has been found guilty by the Supreme Court of doing so, failing to uphold the constitution in matters of immigration, violating the Administration Procedural Act - I won't belabour the point w a list of losses, but these cases are attempts to manipulate, rather than follow the laws pertaining to the executive branch.

The view of victim vs manipulator seems to a be a fundamental difference in opinion between supporters and non supporters, though, and as you have said elsewhere - I am happy to take it up at the polls.

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AITG

"Trump has shown no disrespect for the office"


And yet he was impeached.

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studio10001

She knows. It doesn't matter.

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AITG

Didn't matter to Herman Cain.

...until it did.

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cait1

He has been found guilty by the Supreme Court...

ROFL No. It doesn't work like that. There's no such thing as 'guilty' when it comes to SCOTUS rulings. I really can't stop laughing at this erroneously descriptive narrative.

The Administrative Procedure Act requires the govt to say why its doing something and SCOTUS considers DACA to have two parts and Duke only gave one reason for one part instead of one reason for each part.

I also dislike Roberts being characterized as 'conservative'. He's not. The 5 court leftists ruled against the decision to end DACA mostly because they're leftists, though Duke should have been better prepared.

DACA is a travesty. The Office of the President doesn't have the Constitutional authority to create laws.

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cait1

And yet he was impeached.

By the dems of the House then acquitted by the Repubs in the Senate. ROFL

Kabuki theater.

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mudhouse

Impeachment should matter; that's the problem with what the Dems did.

The same people who applauded the willingness of the House Dems to absolutely trample the historical and important precedent of non-partisan fairness in impeachment proceedings will now decry the "ugly exercise of raw power" in the filling of the vacant SCOTUS seat.

Both sides need to buckle up, and in the months to come, try hard to remember the advice that Ginsberg attributes to Scalia: attack the idea, not the person. "Some very good people have some very bad ideas."

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maifleur03

I see little difference in the letter posted by mudhouse than a reference letter for a prospective employee or those letters that are to collect signatures for some type of bill to be placed on the ballot. Neither really need the signers to do more than scan the document.

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bleusblue2

mudhouse

Impeachment should matter; that's the problem with what the Dems did.

The same people who applauded the willingness of the House Dems to absolutely trample the historical and important precedent of non-partisan fairness in impeachment proceedings will now decry the "ugly exercise of raw power" in the filling of the vacant SCOTUS seat.

Both sides need to buckle up, and in the months to come, try hard to remember the advice that Ginsberg attributes to Scalia: attack the idea, not the person. "Some very good people have some very bad ideas."

~~~

"Both sides need to buckle up, and in the months to come, try hard to remember the advice that Ginsberg attributes to Scalia: attack the idea, not the person. "

How about the President starts following that advice.


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