Resistance From Within – What does it mean that the White House isn’t all on the same page?


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On September 5th, 2018 an editorial was published to The New York Times titled, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration”. The author, remaining anonymous, was cited as a senior official in the Trump administration, whose identity is only known to The New York Times. In this article, the author explains how they, and a number of other senior White House officials, have been working to thwart many of President Trump’s impulsive and uninformed decisions.

The resistance is made up of a group of senior level White House officials, meaning they are individuals who work directly with and for the president. However, the label “senior level official” is a general term; senior level official could mean a cabinet member secretary or top aids in the White House like a chief of staff or a deputy chief of staff.

In the noteworthy op-ed piece, the author explains that the president, while elected by the Republican party, shows no affinity for the modern conservative beliefs, for example, little government regulation in the economy.

In addition to the movement away from traditional conservative ideologies, President Trump, as described by the author, makes decisions impulsively. The author notes that meetings will often veer off topic, so much so that top senior officials will work at great lengths to keep the president from making spontaneous decisions.

The anonymous writer explains that there are two paths working in the executive branch in regards to foreign policy: Donald Trump and the executive branch. For example, when Donald Trump refuses to condemn Russia for punishing former spies, the national security team silently held Moscow accountable.

The author finished their editorial by recalling a closed-door discussion about the 25th Amendment, a fast-track way to impeach a president. Those close to the president can determine if the president is too physically or mentally unfit to make executive decisions by utilizing this amendment.

The op-ed has caused chaos in the political world. President Donald Trump has vehemently denied it, calling it “gutless”.

Those on the political left have also been unsure whether or not this was a good idea. David Leonhardt from The New York Times has pointed out that by releasing this news, the “resistance” will have a harder time defying the Trump Administration. Other critics of Trump have also been skeptical of the NY Times Op-Ed. Trevor Noah, host of “The Daily Show” highlighted the danger of the op-ed in one of his segments, stating, “there’s a secret group of people within the White House actively working to curb President Trump, which is wild, because this means this whole time we’ve been dealing with the watered-down version of Trump”.

While this Op-Ed is commendable, and the author makes great risks in releasing this inside scoop, if it’s purpose was to give the Democrats a reason to breathe at night, then he fell short of that. Additionally, because the author went public with their actions, Trump, his cabinet, and his most trusted allies in the administration will be more alert for the inner resistance