Friday, October 30, 2020

Not Everyone A Coward

It now has been over six weeks since we learned that

Olivia Troye, who worked as homeland security, counterterrorism and coronavirus adviser to Vice President Pence for two years, said that the administration’s response cost lives and that she will vote for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden this fall because of her experience in the Trump White House.

“The president’s rhetoric and his own attacks against people in his administration trying to do the work, as well as the promulgation of false narratives and incorrect information of the virus have made this ongoing response a failure,” she said in an interview.

Troye is one of the most important GOP figures to break with Donald Trump and endorse Joe Biden in this campaign.  There are relatively few who have done so. One other who has done so is Trump '16 campaign official Jessica Denson, described here as an actress and journalist, who was involved in the campaign with outreach to the Latino community.  Denson- with other staffers from the 2016 campaign- has filed a lawsuit(s) to free herself from a non-disclosure agreement.

In an interview earlier this week, CNN's Jake Tapper played a clip from a Republican Voters Against Trump ad in which Denson stated "the campaign was a vile, self-serving branding exercise for one man and his family." She told Tapper

I have seen that this campaign continues to go out brandishing a Bible and an American flag and claiming that they have anything to do with freedom but I've lived firsthand that they have- they have nothing to do with freedom. They've worked very much against free speech and democracy. 


Denson is particularly peeved at the treatment she and other women received in the campaign and generally blasts the Trump campaign and Trump himself. Troye, a national security professional, was especially disturbed at the response of the President to the work of the coronavirus task force and the disregard Trump has exhibited to the mounting number of deaths.

While Troye is unusually motivated by principle, both she and Denson have done what few others have. They responded to the greatest threat to the nation, possibly to the world, in the best way possible: resigning, criticizing the Administration, and endorsing President Trump's opponent.

It is courageous, made more so by the failure of others in the campaign or Administration who have failed this moment.

Dr. Anthony Fauci comes to mind, or at least to mine yesterday, when I contrasted the timid Fauci with Miles Taylor. But even more egregious is the behavior of  Dr. Deborah Birx, the other immunological expert in the high reaches of the federal government and aside from Fauci, the most recognizable scientist in Washington.

Birx lately has been on a junket recommending masks and social distancing. That's good, though recently she visited Bismarck State College and stated “It starts with the community, and the community deciding that it’s important for their children to be in school, the community deciding that it’s important not to infect the nursing home staff who are caring for their residents – for North Dakotans – every day,”

It shouldn't escape our attention that she placed responsibility upon the people by avoiding even indirect criticism of Donald Trump, even to the point of an implicitly suggesting that the residents of North Dakota are unaware of the importance of their children being in school.

Perhaps the  road tour will bear some fruit, helping at the margin to curb slightly the number of coronavirus infections, just as Dr. Fauci's credibility with the American people may convince a few individuals to practice sensible avoidance measures. However, Fauci and Birx (the latter, assuming she'd prefer Trump not to be re-elected) are playing a dangerous game. They are betting that they need not speak out against the one candidate who believes Covid-19 "is what it is" because he will be defeated anyway by the opponent who would like to see fewer people die.

If all goes well, Fauci will win his bet, and Birx too, if she wants Trump to lose. But even if they do, we should remember that while they accomodated this regime and enabled Donald J. Trump, there were former Homeland Security Chief of Staff Miles Taylor, Olivia Troye, Jessica Denson, and a few others who sacrificed something for country.


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