Walter Shaub @waltshaub former Director of @OfficeGovEthics now with @CREWcrew personal account - views are my own Jan. 01, 2019 2 min read

I think Brooks is right. I don’t know if the end will come in 2019 or in 2020, but the end is coming. The only question is what will end. As we get closer to the core of the problem, the corrupt president and his enablers in Congress and elsewhere will fight more furiously /1

against America for their short-term partisan goal of holding onto power at any cost. The fact that we’ve reached the point where we’re having to prepare for this inevitability should be the alarm that wakes some of his complicit enablers from their mesmerized state, but /2

2018 taught us that the ability of the compromised politician to rationalize is great. We must hope that enough of our institutions hold — not all of them will — and that enough of the American people recognize the clear and present danger and are willing to pay a cost to /3

stand up for democracy. We’ve got to hope the culture of the military is strong enough that its leaders and member would refuse to follow illegal orders. In 2018, we saw Trump’s willingness to use the military to stage a political stunt at the border immediately before an /4

election. We also saw his willingness to abruptly withdraw the military from Syria, against the guidance of his advisers, to distract from his unraveling political situation. Would he dispatch them to disperse a crowd or shut down an election? Would they comply with /5

such a lawless command? I’d like to think our military personnel would remember their oath to serve the people and obey the constitution. The incidents involving the recent tweet out of U.S. Military Command and the soldiers seeking his signature on campaign paraphernalia were /6

not encouraging, but so far they seem like isolated incidents. Our military has a long tradition or respecting civilian authority. Members of the military can prepare for the coming crisis by remembering their oath. Civilian Feds do the same. They should ask themselves at what /7

point do patriotism and basic morality compel them to put their oath before the whims of the politician in charge or his appointees. Above all else, military and civilian members of the United States government have a duty to place loyalty to the Constitution, laws and ethical /8

principles above the private gain of individual politicians and political parties. Much the same is true for the citizens of this nation. Freedom is ours to lose. Enemies of that freedom include not only foreign powers but also domestic actors who would supplant democracy with /9

authoritarian rule. Lawful peaceful protest comes at a cost that we must be willing to pay. The unfortunate reality is that the costs and risks are not borne equally, but they must be borne or we could lose more than we can imagine. The question we should ask ourselves is /10

whether our contribution matches our love of country and the ideals of democracy. Could we give more time or more money? Do we have a plan in case a lawful peaceful mobilization is necessary. I think Brooks is right: The wolves are coming. The question is: Are we prepared? /11

(In #4 “members” should be plural, and in #7 the word “can” is missing from “Civilian Feds can do the same.”)

You can follow @waltshaub.


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