What’s Going On: Anonymous column a disservice to America

Nearly two years ago, voters elected Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Using electoral votes as a barometer, he was elected by a fairly large margin despite assertions he was too impulsive, amoral, divisive, and not truly representative of Republican values.

Since then, political opponents have continued to levy those criticisms, but this week they were further asserted by a different voice: one inside President Trump’s own camp.

In an anonymous New York Times op-ed column, the author made those same aforementioned claims along with a few others, labeling Trump’s behavior as erratic, ill-informed, reckless and my favorite, half-baked.

Those comments neither surprise nor concern me. Trump has never hidden who he is and as such, is delivering exactly what he advertised during the presidential campaign.

What’s concerning is the author’s promise that his opinion is shared by others in the president’s administration while promising to thwart “Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”

Coupled with claims revealed this week in Bob Woodward’s new book dealing with Trump’s presidency, it’s apparent those appointed to help Trump are actively working to undermine his wishes.

Whether “working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations” as stated in the editorial or literally stealing documents from his desk as Woodward reported, it’s evident people who have been appointed are trying to undermine the efforts of someone who was elected.

And that’s wrong.

Anyone who knows me or reads this column knows I’m no fan of Trump or many of his policies. But he, with all his faults, was elected by the people. They chose him and all his shortcomings to lead this nation.

And if in fact he is guilty of all the criticisms levied at him by enemies and now apparently allies alike, then we as a nation will have to accept the consequences of electing a potentially ill-equipped president. This nation has survived poor leadership in the past just as it will survive poor leadership in the future. Anyone who truly believes Trump is somehow going to “destroy the country” is suffering from hysteria.

It’s important to note none of the alleged improprieties involve anything illegal, or blatantly dangerous. They just don’t meet with someone’s standards for acceptable behavior or actions.

And if that someone is the American voter, fine, they can vote him out in two years. But if it’s someone hired by President Trump, in good faith to serve him and his agenda, then that person needs to either shut up and do his or her job, or resign and criticize all they want from the sidelines. Write a book, go on a speaking tour, join the Democrats, run for office … that’s fine, but don’t lead, as the editorial’s author calls it, a resistance from within.

While on the surface I find it hard to believe I’m defending President Trump, in reality, I’m not. What I’m defending is the office of the presidency. In an era where political rancor is more divisive than ever, it should be no surprise that animosity extends within the parties in addition to the “opposition.”

As a result, we don’t want to open pandora’s box and start a precedent where a president can be sabotaged by his own administration for simply doing things they don’t like or approve.

The American voter should judge the actions of their elected officials; not the hired help.


Gregory Orear is the publisher of The Journal. His award-winning weekly column, “What’s Going On,” has been published in four newspapers in three states for more than 20 years. He can be contacted at gorear@nujournal.com.