More Republican officials are voicing their concern over the possibility of Donald Trump becoming president. In an open letter, fifty former Republican national security experts warn that a Trump presidency would be a disaster for the country. Among the signatories of the strongly worded rebuke are officials who served under Republican presidents from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, including former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and CIA and NSA chief Michael V. Hayden.
Among the harshest criticism the letter brings against Trump is that he does not have the experience necessary to be the country’s chief executive. The signatories write, “From a foreign policy perspective, Donald Trump is not qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief. Indeed, we are convinced that he would be a dangerous President and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.” This criticism of Trump has been a major part of the so called Never Trump Movement, whose supporters take particular offense at Trump’s suggested policy of having the military kill the families of terrorists. In addition to being un-American, those who question this policy point out that doing so would only encourage terrorists to take action against the United States, putting Americans in danger and threatening the country’s interests overseas.
The letter goes on to suggest that Trump does not possess the moral character to be president, writing, “Mr. Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be President. He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world. He appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws, and U.S. institutions.” Concerns over Trump’s ethics have dogged him throughout his presidential campaign. From criticizing the wife of Texas Senator Ted Cruz to mocking a disabled person to inciting a public feud with a Gold Star Family, many of Trump’s opponents question his morality.
For his part, Trump has shrugged off the criticism levied against him in the letter, saying that it is nothing more than the product of the Washington elite trying to hold onto power. Nevertheless, many question how many more hits Trump can take from the leadership of his own party. With Republican officials defecting to the Democratic Party daily or simply saying they will not vote him, many political commentators believe that the viability of Trump’s bid for the presidency seems to be in jeopardy.