Retired Adm. Paul Zukunft, who led the Coast Guard until June 2018, is among the hundreds of former top national security officials who signed a recently released letter endorsing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. In a new interview with POLITICO, he insisted that there’s been a serious undercut to Americans’ constitutional rights under the current administration.
‘I’ve seen an insurgency, if you will, on our constitutional rights and more power being centralized at the executive level that has really divided our nation. I am concerned that our constitutional rights are being infringed upon from within.’
That’s a very steep charge! There are some prominent recent examples of Trump’s threats to the basic rights of Americans. For example, he’s spent months winding himself up against “mail-in” and/or “universal mail-in” voting, which he claims is full of fraud. It is not — mail-in ballots have been used at high levels across the country for awhile, and there is no looming systematic threat from their continued usage. The evidence for Trump’s grandiose claims about some kind of Democratic “rigging” of the election is just not there. He’s pretty much pulling his claims out of thin air at this point.
More recently, Trump also refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the upcoming election, if he loses. He has previously refused to commit to the basic step of accepting the election results and acting accordingly, insisting that he’d wait and see what happened before making that determination — but that’s not how democracy works! Nobody appointed Donald Trump to be the arbiter of whether presidential elections are fair enough to be allowed to stand. That’s not his role and it will never be his role.
Speaking with POLITICO, Zukunft “described a chaotic administration often thrown off balance by an unpredictable leader,” according to the outlet, but the basic premise of this revelation isn’t exactly new. We can all see Trump’s endlessly belligerent, self-serving behavior, and it’s putting the basic stability of American democracy at risk in the name of Donald Trump’s ego.