Even though the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump may seem like a lifetime ago now, you may recall the litany of career national security officials who complied with congressional subpoenas to testify what they knew about Trump's now-infamous interactions with the Ukrainian President.
You likely remember the sense of duty these officials displayed in answering each question truthfully to the best of their knowledge, regardless of whether or not it hurt the President—even if he attacked them on Twitter or fired them for it.
Unlike most elected politicians, national security officials aren't loyal to a single party or President, but instead to keeping Americans—and often their allies—safe.
Keeping the United States safe is what informed over 80 career national security officials to take the rare step of endorsing a political candidate, a risky move that could allow Presidents and other lawmakers down the line to see them as loyal to a party, rather than to security.
In the online letter, they endorsed former Vice President and current Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden in the 2020 election, describing dismay for the directions in which the nation has gone:
"Our nation's foreign affairs are in disarray; our alliances frayed, and our national prestige declining. Our approach to both friends and enemies abroad has been chaotic and unprincipled. Our credibility as a nation has been lessened. And, perhaps most importantly, our place in the world as a source of moral leadership has nearly been lost. As a country, we are increasingly less secure and less safe."
For these national security officials, the threat posed by a second term under Trump was too great to keep silent:
"President Trump, and his approach to leadership at home and abroad, has created an existential danger to the United States, its place in the world, and the values we share. His reelection would continue this downward spiral, and will likely have catastrophic results. Democracy itself is at stake."
Like the national security officials who testified in the impeachment hearings against Trump, the majority of these officials served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Fourteen of them served under Trump himself.
Their political views are varied. Some of them are ex-Republicans, some of them are still Republicans, others lean Democrat, and others have been in the business so long that endorsing a candidate seems unnatural all together.
Few if any of them have been vocal about a presidential candidate in the past.
The rarity of so many national security professionals publicly endorsing a political candidate was lost on no one.
This is a BIG deal https://t.co/w3QbBAL9eH— Mike Madrid (@Mike Madrid) 1584590779.0
WOW! Major statement https://t.co/gr8yxwRL6r— Freckles 20 🦗 (@Freckles 20 🦗) 1584595149.0
National. Security. Professionals. https://t.co/sSH5ivOyHS— Susan Solomon (@Susan Solomon) 1584573704.0
Wow. This is stunning. Vote of no confidence. https://t.co/8YCRGHb6dS— Linda Hillemann (@Linda Hillemann) 1584575630.0
People thanked them for, once again, stepping up at a time they feel the nation is in danger.
They deserve medals. https://t.co/qiq9k6S4zK— (((ImageIn Light))) (@(((ImageIn Light)))) 1584586828.0
Thank you patriots!! @JoeBiden #BidenHarris2020 https://t.co/nT6l5a9Wfz— ⚖️NihikiNeko (@⚖️NihikiNeko) 1584576206.0
OMG. This is great. Thank you to those 80 people. https://t.co/Wl75lsufh1— ChristineP (@ChristineP) 1584577582.0
And many agreed that Trump is an "existential threat" to the United States.
Trump is clearly the United State's greatest threat. https://t.co/wwZAdboZJu— Flowing with the Chaos (@Flowing with the Chaos) 1584573934.0
A Clear and Present Danger to Democracy. https://t.co/hDRg3wio8c— Van Chase (@Van Chase) 1584576411.0
This should definitely be a sign https://t.co/CiepM6n3kO— Lisa Gleeson (@Lisa Gleeson) 1584591437.0
Despite their years of service, these signatories will almost certainly face accusations that they're members of a "deep state" working to undermine Trump's presidency and suppress everyday Americans. The President may even tweet insults at them himself.
You can only pick your side only if you're registered to vote.
Everything Trump Touches Dies by former Republican strategist Rick Wilson is available here.