Two generals who worked with Trump are warning us about Trump: General Milley and General John Kelly. They know who Trump is when he is behind closed doors because they both worked closely with him when he was president.
General Milley had some important things to say in his retirement speech. Without naming Trump directly, he called him out as a wannabee dictator and warned America not to succumb to Trump and Trumpism. If Trump is re-elected, we will lose our democracy. Milley knows this first hand. He worked with Trump and Trump tried to use him during the Black Lives Matters protests by having Milley accompany him to Lafayette Square where Trump held a bible upside down and claimed the protesters were violent when they were, instead, peaceful protesters who were subjected to violence that Trump called for to make it seem like he was saving our country from a left-wing uprising.
Trump has always been about the image not the substance. That day at Lafayette Square, General Milley was being used by Trump to falsely portray to the world that the military stood by him. But when Milley understood how he was being manipulated by Trump, he broke away, leaving the scene that day to avoid that image of military backing for Trump’s actions. He later apologized for allowing himself to be used by Trump as a symbol of alliance between Trump and the military as Trump ordered the attack on peaceful protesters.
General Milley is retiring, but the speech he delivered needs to be heard or read by all Americans. He is warning us about the danger if Trump becomes president again. We could lose our democracy if Trump gets re-elected.
Here is what General Milley said.
“Today is not about anyone up here on this stage…. It’s about something much larger than all of us.
“It’s about our democracy. It’s about our republic…. It’s about the ideas and values that make up this great experiment in liberty. Those values and ideas are contained within the Constitution of the United States of America, which is the moral North Star for all of us who have the privilege of wearing the cloth of our nation.
“It is that document…that gives purpose to our service. It is that document that gives purpose to our lives. It is that document that all of us in uniform swear to protect and defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
“That has been true across generations, and we in uniform are willing to die to pass that document off to the next generation. So it is that document that gives ultimate purpose to our death. The motto of our country is “E Pluribus Unum,” from the many, come one. We are one nation under God. We are indivisible, with liberty for all. And the motto of our army, for over 200 years…has been “This We’ll Defend,” and the “this” refers to the Constitution….
“You see, we in uniform are unique…among the world’s armies. We are unique among the world’s militaries. We don’t take an oath to a country. We don’t take an oath to a tribe. We don’t take an oath to a religion. We don’t take an oath to a king or a queen or to a tyrant or a dictator. And we don’t take an oath to a wannabe dictator. We don’t take an oath to an individual.
“We take an oath to the Constitution, and we take an oath to the idea that is America, and we’re willing to die to protect it.…
“Those who sacrificed themselves on the altar of freedom in the last two and a half centuries of this country must not have done so in vain. The millions wounded in our nation’s wars did not sacrifice their limbs and shed their blood to see this great experiment in democracy perish from this earth. No. We the United States military will always be true to those that came before us. We will never, under any circumstances, turn our back on our duty….
“From the earliest days, before we were even a nation, our military stood…in the breach, has suffered the crucible of combat, and has stood the watch and defended liberty for all Americans. Each of us signs a blank check to this country to protect our freedom. The blood we spill pays for our freedom of speech. Our blood pays for the right to assemble, our due process, our freedom of the press, our right to vote, and all the other rights and privileges that come with being an American….
“We the American people, we the American military, must never turn our back on those that came before us. And we will never turn our back on the Constitution. That is our North Star, that is who we are, and that is why we fight.”
General JOHN KELLY, Chief of Staff for Trump, also spoke out about the danger of Trump regaining power
John F. Kelly, the onetime chief of staff to former President Donald J. Trump, confirmed on Monday some of Mr. Trump’s most startling comments about service members and veterans, reeling them off in a statement in which he said his onetime boss had “contempt for our democratic institutions, our Constitution and the rule of law.”
“A person that thinks those who defend their country in uniform, or are shot down or seriously wounded in combat, or spend years being tortured as P.O.W.s are all ‘suckers’ because ‘there is nothing in it for them,’” he told CNN.
He went on: “A person that did not want to be seen in the presence of military amputees because ‘it doesn’t look good for me.’ A person who demonstrated open contempt for a Gold Star family — for all Gold Star families — on TV during the 2016 campaign, and rants that our most precious heroes who gave their lives in America’s defense are ‘losers’ and wouldn’t visit their graves in France.”
The mention of “a Gold Star family” was a reference to Mr. Trump’s 2016 attacks on the parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq, which he made after they criticized him. Four years later, he suggested that Gold Star families might be to blame for infecting him with the coronavirus.
The attitude he described also matched an account last month from Gen. Mark A. Milley, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said Mr. Trump had chastised him for choosing an Army captain who lost a leg in Afghanistan to sing “God Bless America” at a ceremony because “no one wants to see that, the wounded.” (NYT)
Kelly told CNN Trump was “a person who admires autocrats and murderous dictators. A person that has nothing but contempt for our democratic institutions, our constitution, and the rule of law.
“There is nothing more that can be said. God help us.”
God help us.
But we better help ourselves too. This next election will be the tipping point for America.
Get ready to get out the vote to make sure Trump doesn’t get back the presidency. The effort to ramp up for the election of 2024 is starting now. In Republican led states there are undemocratic voter rules masquerading as voter protection rules that have been passed by state legislatures that have removed former voters from the lists of registered voters in areas that typically elect Democrats. Many voters have no idea they have been removed. They need to be re-registered to be able to cast a ballot in 2024.
If you live in or near states with Republican state legislatures, you can help keep our democracy by volunteering to register voters. It is a very simple but effective way to help our country continue to be a democracy. Every voter should have the right to cast their ballot. Sneaky tricks to disenfranchise voters in cities –because that is where the electorate tends to vote for Democrats– can be countered with robust voter registration drives. All of us can help with that.