Richard Greene

The NYT op-ed writer who criticized President Trump is a traitor plain and simple

The official who wrote the anonymous New York Times op-ed column about the Trump White House failed in his duty to serve the country.
The official who wrote the anonymous New York Times op-ed column about the Trump White House failed in his duty to serve the country. AP Photo

As a former senior official in the George W. Bush administration, I’ve been giving a lot of thought about how someone who serves in such a position has declared his or her disloyalty to the president.

Before I continue let me say, again, that I do not see myself as some kind of apologist for President Trump.

During the entirety of the Republican primary season leading to the 2016 election, I never identified Trump as my preference among the 17 candidates in that race all the way up to his triumph over all the others.

The next few minutes is not about him. It’s about the gutless writer of the New York Times anonymous commentary that the paper shamefully agreed to print.

Actually, doing so fully exposes the leftist news organization as pursing everything it can think of — ethics be damned — to remove the president from the office he was awarded by 63 million free Americans.

I just cannot imagine anyone who feels as the writer does continuing to accept a paycheck for work he or she is not actually performing.

By the writer’s own admission, he or she has assigned to himself or herself a job very different than the one that is his or her actual duty to perform.

President Trump said that the administration is “totally prepared” for Hurricane Florence. “We are ready as anybody has ever been,” he said during a briefing on Sept. 11.

This is really inconceivable to me. Allow me, as a first-person witness to the high calling of serving a president and the country that elected him, to explain why.

When President Bush asked me to accept a position attached to his White House, I was eager to fully understand his assignment so I could try and deliver, to the best of my abilities, outcomes consistent with his policies.

The opportunity to work for and serve the United States of America was an extraordinary privilege for which I was honored to accept.

Here’s what he said he wanted me to do: First, to follow my moral compass. Second, to work hard. Third, to do the right thing. And, finally, to remember who was the boss.

I immediately responded that I wouldn’t have any problem with that last part, to which he replied: “No,” as he touched his chest, “it’s not me. It’s the people out there who are counting on us to get this right.”

Those instructions, simple as they appear, were really very profound. Such were the guiding principles that would inform my every action.

If there had ever come a time when I felt like I could not deliver on his expectations for any reason at all, then that would be the day I would, as promised, do the right thing.

I would have resigned. Anything else would be to dishonor not only the president, but the nation as a whole.

The writer of that Times commentary is a traitor to the president he or she is honor bound to serve, and the country.

Saying he or she was proceeding to protect us from a president he or she doesn’t respect is an arrogant expression of self-importance that is as contemptible as it is absurd.

None of the 325 million of us is in need of the protection of this person or any others like him or her, no matter how many their number or where they work in the administration.

No, we can take care of ourselves.

If we feel that any of the many complaints about the president expressed in that screed trouble us whatsoever, our solution is where it has always been.

It’s not via the hatred of so much of the national media, the opposing party, fiction written to enrich their authors, or Robert Mueller’s unelected team of investigators.

It’s at the ballot box. Where it belongs.

In the meantime, I hope the traitor can be identified and, along with The New York Times, relegated to the trash bin of history.

Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor, served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency and lectures at UT Arlington.

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