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A Matter of Trust

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

In recent days, we have seen the latest evidence of just how difficult it's become for President Donald Trump to operate in this present-day hyperpartisan environment. Our commander in chief simply cannot fulfill the duties of his job to the maximum benefit of us all when he cannot trust the people in sensitive positions around him.


What sad days these are in America. Personal hatred of this president seemingly overrides the sense of duty felt by those whose livelihood actually comes from a federal budget paid for in full by our nation's citizens. Consider the latest headlines about a so-called whistleblower raising concerns about a phone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The headlines are ablaze with sensational speculation surrounding what should have been a confidential conversation between two heads of government. If the president cannot speak candidly with other world leaders without being undercut by subordinates who leak information to the media and file frivolous and politically motivated complaints with bloated bureaucracies, then the president is being restricted from doing the job that the American people have elected him to fulfill to the best of his abilities.

There was a time when commitment to God and country was more important than political preference, but it is increasingly apparent that those halcyon days have faded from view. Instead, we are muddling through a time in which cutthroat political moves are the norm and not the exception.


So, what should be the punishment for this nameless, faceless, spineless individual who has needlessly sparked a furor? What kind of accountability will he or she be forced to accept as consequence for these shortsighted and traitorous actions? That is what we'll need to see moving forward.

But I suspect the answer will be nothing -- or a mere slap on the wrist, far less punishment than is warranted.

The Democrats were quick to seize upon this nonissue and attempt to score political points. Appearing on Sunday television talk shows, Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the president will be investigated "come hell or high water" and vowed that impeachment may be the "only remedy."

How many times has the I-word been raised by the Democratic leadership and the members of their caucus? Whether or not it's warranted appears to be wholly immaterial and utterly secondary to the primary goal of tarnishing the legitimacy of President Trump. The Democrats want a lasting asterisk next to his name for generations to come as a way of undermining and calling into question the legitimacy of his presidency.

Successful leaders know that having a team of competent and capable people around them is the key to success. No matter how intelligent or talented any single individual may be, that's not enough to win the day. What any man or woman can achieve alone pales in comparison to the exponential results of a group aligned behind a common vision.


The antithesis of such a scenario is one in which infighting and backstabbing prevent forward progress. For the sake of all Americans, we cannot abide a situation whereby people turn to political machinations to advance the agendas to which they subscribe.

I worry the precedents that are being set by Democrats in order to assassinate Trump's character will redefine our political landscape. Open debate is American. Having your own opinion is fine. However, debasing our system of checks and balances by pursuing any and all means to distract the public and embarrass and attack our president are patently un-American.

President Abraham Lincoln famously warned, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." It's a sentiment and concept that speaks directly to today. The job of president is hard enough on its own merits, but when political motivations spark endless cycles of accusation and acrimony, the biggest loser is every one of us.

Lincoln uttered those poignant and cautionary words at a time when the fate of the Union was far from certain and America faced the very real possibility of being forever splintered into two warring entities. In the end, the Union was preserved, and the country found a way forward together in a spirit of reconciliation and hope.


We are at an inflection point once again, and it is my sincere wish that the very people who are supposed to be serving the public find a way to finally set aside their blind devotion to attacking Trump and instead dedicate their energy to doing their duty.

To find out more about Armstrong Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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