Earlier this month, the New York Times published an op-ed essay written by someone they described as, “A senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us, but, per the request of the author, refuses to disclose his or her name.” In this essay, the author described people throughout the administration, both in senior positions, including cabinet members, and in other agencies, that are “putting the country first.” They are doing this by getting in the way of Trump’s agenda and whims and by keeping some of his more outlandish statements within the administration. Leaders of agencies are said to be working to insulate their departments from the president as much as possible. According to the author, “the root of the problem is the president’s amorality,” in that he continues to act how he sees fit without a care about the American people or values that he is there to represent. The author goes on to state that, if Trump threatens the health and safety of the nation too much, Congress would be willing to start the process of impeachment. The idea of impeachment has been tossed around since Trump’s inauguration, but by Democrats, not by people within the administration. This statement gives hope that real change could happen. The author continues to build up the hopes of many by reassuring readers that there are “adults” in the room when Trump makes ridiculous claims, and that those “adults” plan to keep those claims from leaving the Oval Office. However, some would say that there should not be a need for “adults” in the room to make sure that the leader of our nation behaves himself. That being said, to quell the fears of those who are against a “deep state”, the author mentions the “steady-state,” in which the “adults” are not controlling everything that happens without the approval of the people.
While President Trump is known for taking criticism and opposition exceptionally well, he was quick to take to Twitter to call for the name of the author to be released. He did so with the instruction that this was a threat to national security. The New York Times, as expected, refused. With Trump calling for the exposure of the author, others are already theorizing about their identity, some claiming the author to be the Vice President himself. However, as far as I can see, there were no laws broken, none even hinting at specific policies that would lead to the conclusion that national security is at risk. One of the most fundamental parts of the American belief system is the freedom of speech and expression. Without the veil of anonymity, the author would lose his or her job and could face unknown persecution by Trump and his followers. Even though the president is leading many to hate the press, the job of the press is to get information out to the public, even when if it is not flattering, or even hurtful.
Conspiracy theories and anonymous authors aside, the author did bring up some points at the end of their piece that are worth noting. The author states their belief that we, as a nation, have “sunk low” with Trump in his departure from American values, and also mentioned that our discourse has been damaged. The author calls for not only senior officials but all citizens to go beyond political lines to put our country first. The author reminds us that, above all other labels, we are all Americans and should stand together for the success and prosperity of the nation.