Trump: Either Incompetent, or a Traitor

Author: Perette Barella
Date: 2017–05–16

It’s been reported this week that at a meeting last week, Trump gave secrets to the Russians. Trump has since tweeted that as President, it was his call and his right to do so. Thus, it is confirmed that he indeed leaked the secrets.

It has unfolded that the secrets originated from a third party, an ally nation’s intelligence agency. By his actions, Mr. Trump has told the world that this administration can’t be trusted with their secrets. While it sounds like the content of this bit of intelligence perhaps should have been given to the Russians, doing so without buy-in from the intelligence agencies ensures they will think twice before sharing next time. Because Trump gave this secret away unilaterally, we will be told less and our intelligence will be a little more blind. That’s bad for our intelligence agencies, and everyone downstream of them, including Mr. Trump.

The implication of Mr. Trump’s tweet is that he did it intentionally. But to cover all the cases:

  • If it was his intent, and it was within his powers as President to release the secret, doing it unilaterally nevertheless exhibits egregious judgement on his part given the damage it will inflict on our intelligence gathering.
  • If it was his intent, and it was not within his powers as President to release the secret, then his actions were treasonous.
  • If it was not done with intent, and he just blurted it out without thinking, it demonstrates incredible recklessness in discharging his duties.

But if his initial actions aren’t enough to judge, we can look at his defense: that it was his right to do so.

Over a decade ago, I learned something important about power: A good leader knows what powers he has, but also when not to use them. I learned this after watching leaders unilaterally make decisions that effected others, and then not understanding why others were upset: after all, they had the authority! This is exactly the behavior Trump is demonstrating, but he’s not running a rinky-dink little BDSM organization: he’s running the country.

Mr. Trump does not look forward and consider the side-effects of his actions. Perhaps as a businessman, it’s not something he needed to worry about. But as leader of the free world, that is unacceptable. And if that’s not bad enough, by making the I’ve-got-authority argument, Trump demonstrates he still doesn’t understand what he did wrong. Even after the fact, he doesn’t get it, and he’ll make the same mistake again.

Based on all this, Mr. Trump is unfit for service. I’m not keen on Pence, given his anti-GLBT stance (and all the other problems). But Trump has now demonstrated he cannot be trusted to lead the USA. Trump needs to be removed.

Perette is registered Dem, but is better described as a moderate. She likes a lot of the the Democratic ideals, but recognizes that they’re often unrealistically optimistic. She likes the Republican fiscal ideologies about controlling spending, but dislikes their nosing into her bedroom and life choices. In the 2016 election, she voted Libertarian.