What any given person thinks about Trump is hardly a source of useful criticism. The proper focus of criticism is Trump, His Inner Circle, Principal Surrogates, and Media Defenders and this includes Trumpism Down to the Local Level.
Predictably, these Trumpists think that if they leave his employ, perhaps they might recover from the stain of serving him. Kirstjen Nielsen is such a person, as one reads Nielsen’s allies are trying to “rehab her image for life after Trump”:
Just days after she announced plans to resign as Homeland Security secretary, Nielsen and her allies are working to rehabilitate her reputation, arguing that she’s not the heartless villain depicted by liberal critics already pressuring big companies not to hire her.
A reply to the story’s authors, Andrew Restuccia and Daniel Lippman: They think it’s merely a matter of liberal critics? Those of us who are libertarian or conservative – the very stuff of Never Trump – know that never means never.
If Nielsen wants rehabilitation, she will have to seek forgiveness, through a complete acknowledgment of her immoral actions, and seek that forgiveness directly from those families and children she has so grievously wronged.
If she does not seek this forgiveness, by admitting her cruelties, then she’s deserving of nothing. In any event, meaningful forgiveness is not for anyone to give, but would come from those who have been injured. The rest of us, as ordinary men and women – removed from the harm she’s done – have no meaningful forgiveness to offer her. As Nielsen’s brutality toward families and children has affected thousands, the task of receiving acceptance from so many will prove a time-consuming one.
(In a religious context, ‘Nielsen and her allies’ are looking for forgiveness without genuine repentance. There’s nothing in traditional theology that substitutes repentance with a public-relations campaign from right-wing image consultants.)
Wrong while in office, still wrong now.