Retired US Navy Adm. William McRaven, the Navy SEAL who oversaw the raid that eliminated terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, is accusing President Donald Trump of not only undermining the United States Postal Service, but every major US institution.
“Today, as we struggle with social upheaval, soaring debt, record unemployment, a runaway pandemic, and rising threats from China and Russia, President Trump is actively working to undermine every major institution in this country,” McRaven wrote in an op-ed published in The Washington Post.
He argues that the president is planting “seeds of doubt” in the minds of the American people about the efficacy of key institutions, to include the intelligence community, law enforcement, the media, the military, the courts, election officials, medical experts, and postal workers.
“If Americans stop believing in the system of institutions, then what is left but chaos and who can bring order out of chaos: only Trump,” he writes. “It is the theme of every autocrat who ever seized power or tried to hold onto it.”
Amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the US Postal Service has emerged as an important focal point ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Trump has claimed that mail-in voting will lead to extensive voter fraud, and he has even suggested withholding funding from the Postal Service, sparking concerns that he is trying to stoke fears about voting systems that have been free of widespread fraud.
“Our institutions are the foundation of a functioning democracy. While they are not perfect, they are still the strongest bulwark against overzealous authority figures,” McRaven writes.
“As Trump seeks to undermine the US Postal Service and stop mail-in voting, he is taking away our voice to decide who will lead America,” he writes. “It is not hyperbole to say that the future of the country could depend on those remarkable men and women who brave the elements to bring us our mail and deliver our vote.”
McRaven has emerged as an unlikely and outspoken outspoken critic of the president. Last fall, the retired admiral wrote an op-ed in The New York Times arguing that “our republic is under attack from the president.”
“If this president doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office,” he wrote at the time.
McRaven, who has written bestselling books on leadership, to include “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life … And Maybe The World” and “Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations,” served in the US military for 36 years before he retired in 2014. He was the chancellor of the University of Texas system for three years.