What the Anonymous NYT Op-Ed Tells Us About the Trump Administration

The anonymous op-ed published in the New York Times concerning the Trump administration has caused waves both within and outside the White House. The anonymous writer refers to themselves as an “unsung hero” who is among the few within the Trump administration trying to protect the country by “preserving our democratic institutions.” They tout themselves as someone helping to insulate the country from Trump’s “erratic behavior” and bad decisions. This writer clearly thinks very highly of themselves and believes they are truly helping the United States.

It also seems like an attempt by an official to distance themselves from the decisions made by the Trump administration once it completely falls apart.

The writer refers to themselves as part of the resistance, but immediately does their best to separate themselves from the resistance of the “left,” saying how they want the administration to succeed but need to shield the country from Trump’s erratic behavior. They hold up many of the changes made under the Trump administration as “bright spots” and call the “effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military” successes that have occurred despite Trump’s leadership style. What this writer fails to mention are that many of these “successes” will harm women, people of color, immigrants, and lower-income families in the long run or have already harmed them.

They continue on by talking about things the general populace already knows about, such as Trump’s praise of dictators and reluctance to act on anything connected to Russia. They talk about how Trump needs to be forced to take action with regards to Russia, as if this wasn’t clear based on a lack of or delayed response to anything concerning them. What they speak of his public and private disparaging of the US’s allies like this is something new.

To put it bluntly, nothing concerning Trump in this op-ed couldn’t be figured out from simply watching his speeches or reading his tweets or really any interaction he has. But the constant mentioning of how there are those in the administration who try and alleviate the damage reads more like an individual trying to convince themselves that they aren’t like Trump, that they’re rational and just, that they’re a hero to the nation rather than someone who’s complicit in the decisions made by the administration. Though they mention Trump’s portrayal of the press as an “enemy of the people,” and how his impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic. It's good to see that someone within the administration acknowledges that, but they never actually talk about it. They also don’t mention the obvious racism and misogyny of Donald Trump that is rampant in public and is most likely just as bad or worse in private. And in the days after its publication, Trump reacted with anger and strong denial of everything written, as he does with almost everything that looks like it could be the slightest bit of criticism. This too is nothing new.

The New York Times op-ed does not show a divided administration. It shows an administration that is now working to distance themselves from the decisions it has made by saying that they’re responsible for holding back the apparent disaster that is Trump. At the same time, they’ve clearly forgotten that Trump is very open with his opinions and goals and pretty much always says exactly what he’s planning on doing. There is nothing radical or controversial about the op-ed. It’s someone trying to save their own skin in case everything goes south.