John Bolton will feel no loyalty because Trump didn’t do everything his National Security advisor wanted. Bolton may help stop Trump from being re-elected if he spills his guts on the record.

First published in September 2019.

When you’re riding 90-plus percent approval within your own party, why should a primary challenger concern you?

Is three the lucky number for a former National Security advisor who will talk publicly some inside baseball as to what the President is really like behind closed doors?

At least three state Republican parties have cancelled their primaries next year. Yet, there are four announced candidates for the presidential nomination. President Trump has always polled more than 90 percent approval from Republicans. I challenge you to name two of the other three men who’ve announced for the nomination. I’ll wait.

Okay, that’s my point – Trump has little to worry about from those three. But, he does having something to worry about if they draw some votes. It will show he’s not a “unanimous” choice and anything less than perfect would destroy his self-perception that he is perfect, just like Mary Poppins.

Do primaries cost state parties money? Yes, they do. But we live in a democracy and while political parties are free to hold or not hold primaries, in this case it looks like just one more box checked on Trump’s way to a dictatorship. Remember when we read “the party” ran various dictatorships in the world? The Republican Party could lose that second word and be “The Party” if they keep up their kowtowing to Trump.

He portrays great confidence publicly. He never admits a mistake. He says his presidency is the best ever for Blacks and Hispanics though I doubt the residents of Puerto Rico would agree; he’s talked more about the horrible conditions in the Bahamas – and they are horrible conditions – than he has about the conditions in Puerto Rico.

And, he has been protected by his appointees who even after they leave office basically maintain their silence (with one or two not very credible exceptions).

Which brings us to John Bolton who, until recently was Trump’s NSC advisor. That has been an important role in past administrations. The NSC advisor is the one who is supposed to be the honest broker and manage the inter-agency process for presidential decision making in foreign policy. And, there is the problem. There is no inter-agency process in this administration. Trump has been clear that he doesn’t trust the “deep state” he thinks exists only to disrupt his presidency. He trusts only those sycophants who tell him how handsome he is and how perfect his brain is.

Whoever replaces Bolton will have a non-job. He or she will not have the President’s ear and he or she will not manage an inter-agency policy-making process.

Bolton though is the type who just may talk about the inner workings of this Administration. He will feel, I’m guessing, no loyalty to a President who even at the end claims he fired Bolton while Bolton says he resigned. And he will feel no loyalty because Trump didn’t do everything Bolton wanted.

Bolton has never been well liked in DC. He is an ideologue with sharp elbows. Reportedly, though, he has been good for reporters throughout his many years in Washington, including his Trump years – giving background information to them almost in real time. He, too, has a big ego. And he wants to “control the narrative” on his service in this administration, likely the pinnacle of his career.

The hope is he doesn’t wait until writing tell-all book to spill his hawkish guts. We need to know now, before the next election.

Bolton has been getting credit for being the one inside voice who probably has kept us from caving into Kim-Jong Un. He probably was the one keeping Trump from getting fully into Putin’s bed, at least as far as we know. He probably stopped that ridiculous Taliban at Camp David idea.

If you really did do those things, please, Ambassador Bolton, help stop this would-be dictator from being re-elected. Spill your guts on the record.🔷

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[This piece was originally published on The Screaming Moderate and re-published in PMP Magazine on 14 September 2019, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: Flickr/The White House/Shealah Craghead. - Donald Trump and John Bolton in the Oval Office. | 31 January 2019. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)