Retired Navy Admiral William McRaven, who served as head of US Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014 under Barack Obama and led the mission that neutralized Osama bin Laden, ripped President Donald Trump for working to dismantle the United States Postal Service in order to steal the election in November.
In a blistering Sunday op-ed in The Washingon Post, McRaven likened Trump’s crusade against mail-in voting – and every other fundamental American institution that Trump has left in shambles – to The Postman, a movie in which a drifter saves the United States by protecting the USPS from a would-be autocrat seeking to destroy it so that he could hold onto power.
Although the film was a flop, McRaven’s editorial encapsulates the old adage: sometimes life imitates art.
Like in the movie, “we struggle with social upheaval, soaring debt, record unemployment,” and “a runaway pandemic,” McRaven wrote. Our reality, however, includes “threats from China and Russia,” he said.
Then McRaven gave Trump a lashing:
“President Trump is actively working to undermine every major institution in this country. He has planted the seeds of doubt in the minds of many Americans that our institutions aren’t functioning properly. And, if the president doesn’t trust the intelligence community, law enforcement, the press, the military, the Supreme Court, the medical professionals, election officials and the postal workers, then why should we? And if Americans stop believing in the system of institutions, then what is left but chaos and who can bring order out of chaos: only Trump. It is the theme of every autocrat who ever seized power or tried to hold onto it.”
These institutions, McRaven explained, are the “the foundation of a functioning democracy” and “strongest bulwark against overzealous authority figures,” which “give the people a voice; a voice in the information we receive, a voice in the laws we pass, a voice in the wars we fight, the money we spend and the justice we uphold. And a voice in the people we elect.”
Thanks to Trump’s wrecking ball-style of governance, McRaven fears that Trump’s efforts to cripple the USPS during a presidential election is “taking away our voice to decide who will lead America” and “that the future of the country could depend on those remarkable men and women who brave the elements to bring us our mail and deliver our vote.”
As a country, we must “ensure” the USPS has “every resource possible to provide the citizens of this country the information they need the ballots that they request and the Postal Service they deserve.”
Thus, McRaven implored the American people to treat Trump as the grave threat he poses to our democracy.
“At the end of The Postman, our hero’s grown daughter unveils a statue of her father and praises the mail carrier’s courage and perseverance for saving the country,” McRaven concluded. “The reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes hated the movie, stating that ‘The Postman would make for a goofy good time if it weren’t so fatally self-serious.’ Well, maybe it’s time we all got a little self-serious, before Trump’s actions are fatal to our institutions and our democracy.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.