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

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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.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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