The men and women who work for Trump, as political appointees especially, took a pledge to we, the people, not he, The Donald.


First published in September 2020.


It is well past time that the men and women who work for President Trump, as political appointees especially, speak publicly and with their names attached, about what has really been happening the last nearly four years.

They each took an oath. Here it is:

“I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

Nowhere does that oath say the appointee must be loyal to whoever the President may be. It says he or she is pledging to support and defend the U.S. Constitution “... against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC (emphasis mine).” It is a pledge to we, the people, not he, The Donald.

Nearly 200,000 of our fellow citizens – grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, black, white, brown, gay, straight – are dead because of the coronavirus. A good portion of those deaths could have been avoided if Donald J. Trump (who also swore an oath to the Constitution, but we know that his word means nothing) spoke the truth to America and the world.

He says he didn’t because he didn’t want to cause a “panic.” Fair enough, but an experienced leader like Mr. Trump claims to be knows there are ways to tell the truth without giving away the store. And without lying.

He clearly was more worried about sending the stock market into free fall. He keeps talking about 401ks and IRAs tanking if it wasn’t for him.

Fact is, the market will do what the market will do.

The market is not the economy. It doesn’t matter what the President does really. The markets discount for bad news and plan for good news. Hell, look at the market in the past two days – days it was confirmed the President of the United States withheld information that could have saved thousands of lives. The market is up as of this writing.


But back to those people appointed to political jobs. Let me speak to them:

Are you proud of what you’re doing?

Do you go home at night and call your parents to tell them the amazing things you are doing? Or brag to you spouse or partner?

You may be proud of your work at Labor or Commerce or other agencies especially if it has nothing to do with Donald Trump. But everything you do accrues to Donald Trump’s legacy. Do you enjoy working for a man who withheld information – and lied about other information – that could have saved lives?

You all, if you have any conscience at all, should resign in mass and talk to the world about what you know about the corrupt operation of government under Donald Trump.

If you’re in your 20s or 30s you should know: You have to earn a living when this President is out of office. And your resume will show that you worked for the man who, among other things, stood by while thousands of the folks he was sworn to protect and defend died. And you chose to work for him. Honestly, I wouldn’t hire you. But I guess OAN or Fox or a right-wing billionaire might.

Now you can say it’s easy for me to say that since my career is behind me and I don’t need another job. Let me tell you something, I’m no saint, but I could not continue working for this man, and convince myself that I’m not doing anything wrong. I would be contributing to so many wrongs. And you know something, it was easy for me to say. It just takes a little character (and I do have a little character, I like to think).

Donald Trump is big on saying anyone who committed what he thinks is a criticism or affront to him commits “treason.” Fact is, there is no treason if we’re not at war… but let’s assume he’s right that acts against the people of America are treasonous even if we are not at war. He’s as guilty of it as anyone in history. And so are you if you continue working for him and keep your mouth shut.

History will record other horrible things we don’t yet know about that he has done as President, I have no doubt. It will come out – tomorrow next week, next year, in 10 years. But hard to imagine too many things more deadly than his decision to keep quiet about what he knew about the virus.

Trump has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. / Flickr – The White House

This man is smiling right now because he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. If you read the criteria for who can nominate someone – here if you’re interested – you will see that the nominators are a large group of people throughout the world. Truth is, almost anyone can be nominated if you grease the right palm. Not that I’m suggesting Donald Trump would do that. No man who stood by while his fellow citizens die from a virus that he knew was deadly but said the opposite would do that, right?

I don’t read a lot of “political” books figuring if you tell me the author’s name and I can predict what he’ll write (as can most of you). But I am reading Michael Cohen’s book right now, Disloyal – the former fixer for Donald Trump, the man convicted of lying and sent to jail for it. I get all the reasons you may not think him credible, that’s up to you.

But in reading his book so far two things stand out to me: One, his wife and children never wanted him to work for Donald Trump. He did anyway. They wanted him to quit, and he didn’t. And, he admits in this book what a failure of character that was. He went in knowing what he was buying into. He admits lots of things that would take most of us years of therapy to admit. He did it in his prison cell.

Two, he says those who won’t speak out against Trump, including himself once upon a time, are not loyalists. They are cultists. Not unlike those cultists that drank the “Kool Aid” when Jim Jones told them to, knowing they would die because he said it was time. And they died freely.

House and Senate Republicans, and other elected Republicans, are Trump cultists. They fear his tweet, or his base abandoning them or just the attention he would give them they don’t want.

They are cowards. We know that. And history will record them as such.

The cultists fear Trump's tweet, or his base abandoning them or just the attention he would give them they don’t want. / Flickr – The White House

But, too, are his appointees cowards. The active service military folks I can understand because he is the commander in chief. Still they, too, have stood against some of his worst inclinations, like invoking the Insurrection Act so he could send our troops into “Democrat cities” clearly to help his re-election campaign.

The retired folks though I expect more from. Anytime I see Gen. James Mattis, Trump’s former secretary of defense, say something that Trump would prefer him not to say, my respect for Mattis increases. The same would be true if Gen. John Kelly, Trump’s former chief of staff, spoke up – now. It would be an act of patriotism, no question in my mind. As long as it’s truth. And, whatever it is they have to say, it should be before the election.

We, the people, deserve the truth. It is our lives that are at stake.🔷


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[This piece was originally published in The Screaming Moderate and re-published in PMP Magazine on 11 September 2020, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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