Retired Adm. William McRaven — who is a former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command and oversaw the 2011 raid that culminated in the death of terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden — has endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. McRaven, who has repeatedly spoken out against Donald Trump in the past, says that he has already voted for Biden in his home state of Texas, where early in-person voting opened up recently. Over 4.6 million Texans have already voted, and in polls in the state, the presidential race is very close.
McRaven revealed his decision to vote for Biden in an article for the Wall Street Journal. Although he did not use Donald Trump’s name in the article, the target of his ire was obvious. McRaven characterized the current state of the U.S. government as fundamentally unsustainable, arguing that the current chaos allows for a shift away from a global perception of U.S. leadership. McRaven insisted that “the world no longer looks up to America,” somberly adding that the world has been “witness to our dismissiveness, our lack of respect and our transactional approach to global issues.”
‘Truth be told, I am a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, small-government, strong-defense and a national-anthem-standing conservative. But, I also believe that black lives matter, that the Dreamers deserve a path to citizenship, that diversity and inclusion are essential to our national success, that education is the great equalizer, that climate change is real and that the First Amendment is the cornerstone of our democracy. Most important, I believe that America must lead in the world with courage, conviction and a sense of honor and humility.’
“Courage, conviction and a sense of honor and humility” have all, of course, been rather absent from the Trump administration. Donald Trump has repeatedly used the machinations of the federal government for the benefit of himself and those allied to him. For example, he commuted the prison sentence of his ally Roger Stone, who had been found guilty of an obstruction of justice scheme meant to hide attempted outreach to allies of Russian intelligence services. Elsewhere, Trump has derided NATO, the Paris Climate Accord, allied countries like France and Germany — and the list goes on.
Fundamentally, Trump has turned the U.S. into a spectacle. The status of the U.S. with Trump in charge seemed well exemplified by an incident at a United Nations General Assembly. Trump claimed during a speech that he had done more for the U.S. than almost any other president — and laughter rang out through the room.
‘Now, the world no longer looks up to America. They have been witness to our dismissiveness, our lack of respect and our transactional approach to global issues. They have seen us tear up our treaties, leave our allies on the battlefield and cozy up to despots and dictators. They have seen our incompetence in handling the pandemic and the wildfires. They have seen us struggle with social injustice. They no longer think we can lead, because they have seen an ineptness and a disdain for civility that is beyond anything in their memory. But, without American leadership the world will indeed be transformed, just not in the way we hope.’
The good news is that Trump may be out of office soon. With two weeks until Election Day, Biden maintains significant polling leads.