Firing a Bunch of People Won’t Hurt Trump

The audience at Friday's Democratic debate stands to cheer after Joe Biden asked them for a round of applause for Alexander Vindman.ABC News

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

Here is the top story in the Washington Post right now:

For most of my readers, this sounds outrageous. Vindman himself won’t actually be hurt too much: he’ll return to the Pentagon a little earlier than planned, and in a few months he’s going off to war college. But his twin brother was also fired, even though he had nothing to do with the Ukraine affair. And Gordon Sondland is gone too, for making the fatal mistake of refusing to perjure himself to save Trump’s bacon.

But Trump himself wouldn’t understand why anyone is upset about this. He can hardly be expected to trust people who betrayed him. Right? And when Vindman was let go, his brother would probably harbor a grudge too. He had to make a clean sweep.

And here’s the key to all this: many of the kind of people who voted for Trump agree completely. Firing these people isn’t outrageous, it’s just common sense. Think about it. What kind of dope would keep people around who believed they were working for a guy who had broken the law? And in key positions, no less. It would be like keeping hand grenades with the pins half pulled lying around on your desk. Anybody with a lick of sense would get rid of them all.

To Trump’s base, this is the way any strong leader acts. You think it’s outrageous. They think you’re nuts.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate