Given Trump’s success in finding people who subordinated every virtue to him, people who pledged personal loyalty to him above all else, and culling out those who refused, what character of persons remained within the lame duck administration at its end?
Did those loyalists who resigned in disgust in the immediate aftermath of Jan. 6 just miss the signs?
As Chris Hayes reiterated during his July 22, 2022 show, we’ve known who and what Trump was since before he announced his candidacy in 2015. The campaign spotlight and that on his presidency simply confirmed the depth of his evil and revealed new details, many occurring in real time. The Jan. 6 hearings have also exposed details, but no one should be surprised at the depth of Trump’s depravity and lawlessness or his inciting a violent insurrection as a final attempt to stay in power after his Big Lie campaign that began well before the election and all else failed.
With Trump the focus of applied power turned away from serving its constituents to amassing, consolidating, protecting and preserving itself. Trump attracted and recruited people who willingly subordinated every virtue to him, many of whom were investigated for abuse or misuse of office. It’s a rather long list. If people didn’t exhibit sufficient loyalty to him or give him what he wanted, others stepped in who would, and Trump welcomed them. The December 18, 2020 “unhinged” Oval Office meeting among “team crazy” in which participants claimed the election was tainted by, among other things, Venezuela and Nest brand thermostats hooked up to the internet, is a perfect example.
Those within the administration who refused to relent didn’t last and were replaced with persons of lesser self-respect, backbone, and integrity, weakening institutions and reducing the likelihood that Trump would ever be held to account for his own abuses — which was the point. What happened to people in his administration who were, predictably, unwilling to exercise moral courage and maintain personal integrity? They received a paycheck and were praised on Twitter and Fox. Some were promoted. The people who willingly compromised…