Strong Leadership In The White House Requires A Dedication To The Truth

Good policy can only be implemented after truthful discussion and debate.

A defensive mechanism used by children throughout the world has been elevated to the White House. While China warns the United States for proposing to place a missile-defense system in South Korea in response to North Korea firing four ballistic missiles, the leader of the free world fingered his predecessor of illegally wiretapping him in an early morning tweet ― followed by another tweet that the Terminator has been terminated. Proof of President Obama’s supposed wiretap has not been forthcoming or provided by the White House, Justice Department or FBI. The historic and unsubstantiated claim is an apparent attempt to deflect or provide cover for numerous scandals and setbacks that plague Trump’s administration in its infancy.

President Trump’s assertion comes after the revelation that Attorney General Jeff Sessions at best misled or at worst lied while testifying during his recent Senate confirmation hearing. Attorney General Sessions is the most recent Trump administration or campaign official accused of having had contact with Russian representatives. Administration or campaign officials implicated include past campaign manager Paul Manafort, son-in-law and White House Advisor Jared Kushner, son Donald Trump Jr., Secretary of State Tillerson, disgraced former National Security Adviser Flynn, Secretary of Commerce Ross, and former campaign advisors Carter Page and J.D. Gordon. Additionally, according to news outlets to include the Huffington Post, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, Trump had interactions with the Russian Ambassador last year at a campaign foreign policy speech event in which he discussed the easing of Russian sanctions.

Other administration falsehoods, scandals and obstacles include the rejection by a Federal Court of the Travel Ban (Muslim Ban), false claims of illegal voting, Iran missile tests, border walls, health care repeal and replace, South Korean Presidential political scandal, Iran, Syria, Mexico and continued Russian meddling in the Ukraine. Responses by the administration include putting Iran “on notice” (what?), suggesting additional nuclear proliferation with Japan and South Korea in response to North Korean threats, a reissued controversial travel ban of six predominately Muslim countries, threatening the Mexican President by “lightheartedly” implying a U.S. invasion of Mexico and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which could leave millions uninsured. Reminder: the administration has been in power less than one hundred days.

The election is over. An Electoral College victory. Trump has won. We still have a choice - fake news, alternative facts or accredited news supported by a set of facts. Falsehoods or truths. Either President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower or he did not. Trump saying it does not make it true. Being President of the United States does not make it true. The power, credibility and prestige of the Office of President of the United States is built on a foundation of truths. This administration fails daily to represent the truth. We should demand the facts as it relates to Russia. As it relates to our democratic, not autocratic, election process and Russian interference. Do not be a Russian pawn. Do not put party or self-interest ahead of country. Do not allow our free press to be handcuffed. Do not allow our country’s tradition of exceptionalism and freedom to be hijacked by fear and untruths.

This administration has thrown truth and debate to the wolves.

I am a combat veteran. I am a Gold Star family member. When I visit Arlington National Cemetery, I am reminded of the consequences of our elected leaders’ actions. I know of the sacrifices made to carry out policy believed to be in our country’s best interest. History displays policy proven detrimental and damaging to the country. Good policy can only be implemented after truthful discussion and debate. This administration has thrown truth and debate to the wolves.

The similarities between today and the past are profound. Trump: confident, ambitious, image sensitive, hair-conscious, uncompromising and flamboyant is a modern manifestation of General Armstrong Custer, Huey Long and William Randolph Hearst. The Republicans: blind by glory, a great victory won, hope for a set of flawed and outdated values make a last stand. A shaky foundation built on fear and alternative facts. Most follow without questioning the historically unpopular, unwavering and overreaching newly elected president.

We, as citizens, must stand in the way of the administrations unsustainable actions. Trump’s base may applaud. I fear for our country. America’s enemies are watching. Leadership will be tested. Will our country be pulled forward by a set of promises based on falsehoods? Or, will we demand truth, honesty and policy based on facts? Will this administration keep America great? Will this administration keep America safe? America deserves nothing less. If we do not fulfill our responsibility to ensure that we question power, demand truth and embrace facts, we will be responsible for the legacy of lies that have defined this administration to date. It is not acceptable for the President to use a lie as a distraction from a set of facts he disapproves. Jeff Sessions lied. Jeff Sessions is responsible. President Obama had nothing to do with it. To the Trump White House, for accusing President Obama of illegally wire tapping Trump Tower, a saying they may understand: liar, liar, pants on fire.