• Josey Goggin

Defending Democracy

Late last night seventy-three former Republican National Security officials posted an open letter endorsing Joe Biden for President of the United States (NVA #2: Letters of opposition and support) to the Defending Democracy website.


Former Senators and Representatives of Congress, Ambassadors, counter-terrorism specialists, defense officials, State Department officials, Presidential Assistants, etc. all signed on. Some of the names are well known, others are less so. But all of them spent time entrenched in the day to day work of defending and protecting the United States international interests.


Letters of opposition and support fall under Formal Statements in Gene Sharp’s Methods of Nonviolent Protest and Persuasion. While often such letters take one stance or the other, i.e. letters to Congressional representatives opposing the dismantling of the post office, this statement stands both as a statement of support for Joe Biden, and as a scathing, point-by-point, opposition to Donald Trump.


Intended to raise “cause-consciousness” these national security specialists lay out a compelling set of grievances with Trump’s current national security strategy, or lack thereof, and his threat to the democratic ideals of the country (the cause). But they did not stop there. The final paragraph makes it clear this is not simply a statement of opposition, but also a clear call to vote FOR Joe Biden:


"To that end, we are firmly convinced that it is in the best interest of our nation that Vice President Joe Biden be elected as the next President of the United States, and we will vote for him."


By signing such a letter each official acknowledge the threat and the necessity of taking action in this moment. That they released it now, after the Democratic National Convention and before the Republican one, sends a crystal clear message. They are convinced, despite the myriad of policy position differences they hold with Joe Biden, that he is the superior candidate for President. Nothing that occurs next week in the GOP show will change these officials minds. The past three and a half years hold all the evidence they need.


At the end, the list of signers urge other Republican national security officials to join them in their effort. (The final facet of “cause-consciousness” is urging others to join your nonviolent opposition.)


Here’s hoping that list grows exponentially over the weeks ahead, and that it moves other Republicans to vote for Joe Biden.



Nonviolent methods employed:

2. Letters of opposition or support

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