Enemy Within

Nikki Haley, the former Governor of South Carolina and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, has written a book, “With All Due Respect.”  According to Haley she resisted the efforts of Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to undermine the policies of President Trump.  At one point Kelly told Haley that the President “didn’t know what he was doing,” and at another point Tillerson made the statement that if Trump followed through with his policies that “people would die.”  Both Kelly and Tillerson felt they knew what was best for the country and resisted the President’s actions out of necessity.  They opposed leaving the Iran nuclear treaty, leaving the Paris Climate Accord and moving the Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  When the President appointed Haley to her U.N. position he gave her the same consideration that he would have given to any Cabinet member.  Subsequently she was present at many Cabinet-level meetings and security briefings.  She was free to express her opinions with the President and supported the President with many of his unpopular decisions at the U.N.  She courageously stood up to leaders from nations where women were often silent and certainly not permitted to express strong opinions and statements.  She was loyal to the President, not to advance her own political career, but because he was her boss.  She also happened to share a similar philosophy on many of the major issues.  Kelly and Tillerson tried to enlist her support to resist the President but she refused to do so.  Haley felt that Kelly and Tillerson were appointed to carry out the policies of President Trump.  If they disagreed with the President then they should resign.  This president has faced an uphill battle from the time he announced his candidacy.  He has been hated by the media and “resisted” at every turn.  Now we discover that even within his own Cabinet two of his most “trusted” members were resisting his efforts.  If not for Haley’s support of the Executive Branch and the President’s role in our government we could have had a true “Constitutional crisis.”

I see similarities between the political struggles of Nikki Haley and Donald Trump.  Nikki has had to fight the discrimination of her Indian heritage, her female sex and her conservative philosophy.  Her work in the Trump Administration did not necessarily advance her political career.  Everyone associated with this president have been “blackballed” by the liberal Washington establishment.  Haley saw the need to serve her country and did an admirable job when given an extremely difficult task.  She was a highly successful governor of South Carolina and doesn’t need any help with her political career.  She is a principled, tough woman who will withstand the media’s slings and arrows.  The President is a businessman, not a politician and his knowledge of the job is still a work in progress.  It was the role of his Cabinet to assist him, not undermine his efforts.  I believe the President’s efforts are well-intentioned, but we can all use some help and guidance at times.  What we don’t need is an enemy within to begin a mutiny that could sink us all.  I hope Nikki Haley remains a part of the Administration in some capacity; she is a calming, competent voice in an angry sea.

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