Discover more from The Warning with Steve Schmidt
The hour of choosing has arrived
PLUS: An update on the Newsom-DeSantis debate
Perhaps it is best to start by looking back at the moment immediately before Donald Trump descended via escalator in Trump Tower into the 2016 presidential race on June 16, 2015.
Two thousand nine hundred and seventy-two days have passed since then, and the end stage of a great American travesty and tragedy is at hand. What lies beyond it is unclear because behind us is a vast wreckage field where shards of shattered trust and the jagged edges of obliterated integrity lay scattered. The American people have lost faith in their society, and become estranged from the nation’s most important institutions. They disdain the media, politics, politicians, political parties, powerful tech companies, billionaires, corporations and a system where there seems to be one set of rules for people at the top, and one for everyone else.
Trump’s rise is a symptom, not the cause, of America’s current cancer. A man like Trump simply does not get elected to the presidency of a stable and healthy country. He is a marker of decay and a catalyst for it. His presidency was a vicious cycle of degradations, national humiliations, collaboration, betrayal, failure and incandescent cowardice. It has led us here — to this epic hour where the citizens of the United States must make a decision for the future that will either begin an era of renewal and reform, or one that cripples American democracy and murders the republic born in 1776. Whatever the choice may be, it will be made by this generation of Americans on the eve of America’s 250th anniversary of independence.
Maybe we wouldn’t have gotten here if there wasn’t so much arrogant disdain for the achievements of our ancestors and the magnificence of their most noble acts. There has never been a just or perfect era in America’s story. Instead, there has been the opportunity for progress and the expansion of justice handed to each generation of free citizens who can all claim the legacy of America’s founding. The unfolding story of American liberty is among mankind’s greatest achievements. Understanding the story and knowing the details is essential to its survival and continuation. Let us talk about George Washington. Washington is America’s most important and wisest teacher. His lessons were about humility. There is great strength through authentic humility. America should remember this:
This painting by John Trumbull of General Washington resigning his commission hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol. Notice the chair larger than the rest draped with a cloak. It symbolizes Washington’s act of resigning from his position of power. Turnbull considered this to be amongst the “highest moral lessons ever given to the world.”
Washington entered the chambers of the Maryland State House where the Congress of the Confederation had convened for a highly scripted ceremony that had been meticulously planned down to the last detail. The date was December 23, 1783, and Washington had come to lay down his power. He could have been Caesar. Instead, he became president six years later when his country called him to service again. Washington could have been a tyrant or a king. He chose a different path because of the magnificence of his character.
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The great tragedy of this moment is that Trump’s delusions simply needed to be repudiated with the truth. Yet there was none to be found on a vast desert of MAGA cowardice, where the essence of the American system was left undefended lest it piss Trump off. The fear of mean tweets is all it took to undo the act of humility that made the nation spring to life.
When Trump sent his mob to reverse Washington’s submission to Congress and make him dictator, they paraded past the old painting of George Washington. The criminals who attacked on Trump’s orders smeared excrement on the walls of the Capitol and urinated on the floors of the US Senate and House. They desecrated America’s capitol and founding with treachery and venom. It was a despicable act, and it was created by Trump. It was his moment. His actions were a declaration of repudiation against what Washington fought to create. Shameful doesn’t begin to describe it.
We the people must not tolerate it any longer. It is time to move on to a new era and leave Donald Trump behind. There is no way to support Trump and maintain loyalty to America. They are antithetical propositions and the hour of choosing has arrived. Soon we will know.
Newsom-DeSantis debate update
Following up on yesterday’s essay on the Newsom-DeSantis debate, many asked if I would keep you apprised of the event date and details. I will be sure to do that!
A Newsom spokesperson said in a statement to ABC News that "DeSantis should put up or shut up. Anything else is just games." His office also sent a memo to Fox News and Sean Hannity outlining his proposed debate parameters, location options and suggested dates. Yesterday, Politico reported that DeSantis responded with parameters of his own.
For more of my thoughts on what promises to be must-watch viewing, click below. Or, if you’d prefer to read the transcript, you can do so here.