By Maj. Gen. Jerry R. Curry, US Army (Ret.)
In spite of the fact that Donald Trump is a very successful author, national and international businessman, a star of television and the news media, is a real estate and construction mogul, a most prolific builder of hotels and golf clubs, and the Republican Candidate for President of the United States, he is still viciously criticized by the political elite of both parties, especially by the elites of his own party. They should be ashamed.
In his biography of Churchill, Martin Gilbert could just as easily have been describing Donald Trump when he wrote, “Yet despite his long experience and wide ranging achievements, Churchill’s career had been punctuated by criticism, hostility and disappointment. His dynamic personality and outspokenness had gained him many enemies. For every quality he possessed, these enemies alleged strong defects. He was frequently accused of a lack of judgment. Critics pointed to a series of episodes to uphold these accusations … These accusations were emotive, and widely believed as a matter of faith, rather than of fact or of evidence …”
Churchill’s abilities, combined with his open, energetic and assertive personality, inspired jealousy as well as trust and affection. Even those who most admired and supported him, could at times give way to a sense of doubt.” These Churchillian observations could just as accurately have been made about Mr. Trump this morning at breakfast.
Yet in spite of all the criticisms and vitriol being heaped upon Mr. Trump by Washington’s political elites, he has neither wavered nor sold his soul to the devil of Washington politics. Instead he has remained faithful, true and honest to his conscience and to the American people. To Mr. Trump, being truthful and doing one’s duty are traits that the American people admire, respect and don’t find often enough in their political leaders. At least, as Churchill once said, “He has the comfort of knowing that he has spoken the truth and done his duty, which cannot be said for his critics.”
Donald Trump’s critics have sworn an oath pledging to support, vote for, and work to elect which ever republican candidate the American people choose, not just the one the political power elites approve of. Now the people of America have spoken and Donald J. Trump is their choice. Honest, decent citizens of integrity will have no problem proclaiming that they took the oath and will honor it no matter how distasteful it turns out to be. For the American people faithfulness to Duty, Honor, and Country will always top political expediency and convenience.
As was the case with Mr. Churchill, Trump has many faults and short cominings, especially when speaking extemporaneously, and he is at his best when speaking that way. But the Washington political elites expect perfection from Mr. Trump. Such perfection can be defined as acting and speaking in a way that the political elites approve.
But the tens of thousands of average American voters who stand for hours just to get a fleeting glimpse of Mr. Trump or to hear him speak a few words are not looking for perfection. They are looking for inspiration, honesty and an American future, a man with the drawn sabre screaming, “Follow Me!” Only a man with the gifts of a Trump can seize the spirit of such a moment and lead the masses to it.
Let’s be honest, it is past time to put all pettiness behind us, to firmly grasp the reins and spur our mounts on to victory. That should be Mr. Trump’s one and only focus. The nation cannot have his attention diverted by the harping demands of the political elites of either party, most especially by the republicans. As Churchill once said, “He will at least have the comfort of knowing that he has spoken the truth and done his duty.”
Jerry Curry is a retired Army Major General, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Carter administration; Acting Press Secretary to the Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration; and Administrator of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration in the Bush Sr. administration.