Donald Trump is now the president-elect, but he sure as hell isn’t acting like it. He is acting like someone in the early stages of forming a very dangerous dictatorship. After all, the first thing that happens when autocracies start is confidence and trust in institutions are damaged beyond repair in the opinion of the public. Trump has already done that with the media, which is known as the “Fourth Estate” when it comes to our democracy’s checks and balances. Now, he is working to do the same with our intelligence community, likely because he fears that the reports that the Russians hacked into our political process in an attempt to win him the White House will undermine his presidential validity.
Well, this is all extremely alarming to anyone watching, and one very important person has weighed in: Ex-CIA Acting Director Michael Morell. He says, first of the hacks:
“We need to see this for what it is, It is an attack on our very democracy. It’s an attack on who we are as a people. A foreign government messing around in our elections is, I think, an existential threat to our way of life. To me, and this is to me not an overstatement, this is the political equivalent of 9/11, it is huge and the fact that it hasn’t gotten more attention from the Obama Administration, Congress, and the mainstream media, is just shocking to me.”
Morell is right, of course. Likely, Obama and his administration are not being more vocal here because they don’t want to be seen as trying to throw doubt on the election results or to appear to be undermining the tradition of a peaceful transfer of power. However, this is not the time for diplomacy. This is the time to recognize and sound the alarm that this electoral process was not fair, that we have a dictator in the making about to take office, and that the very fabric of our republic is under very grave attack.
Morell then turned his attentions to Trump, who has sown doubt in the findings of the intelligence community, by calling their findings, quote, “ridiculous.” He says that Trump’s insane response was “not a good sign,” and goes on to rail him further, saying that the intelligence officers have the job of going into briefings with the president to provide him or her “with an objective, unbiased view of what’s going on in the world, and why it matters to them, and why it matters to the country.” Morell continued:
“Right now that special relationship is being undermined.”
“A President does not need to agree with everything the Agency says. But a President does need to listen and to do so with an open mind. He or she should not be publicly critical of the institution because it undermines that relationship, it undermines that trust you were talking about, it undermines the Agency’s ability to do its job.”
Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty Images