"Right now, it’s the diplomats and spies in the cross-hairs of the Trump administration. They are the ones seen as the most disloyal to the Trump agenda. But there’s no reason why that skepticism cannot also someday extend to the general officer corps—which to be fair is already bloated and presents a ripe target for any budget hawks out there. So military officers are fooling themselves if they imagine there is not a cost to becoming a political actors and thereby politicizing their former institutions.
There is also a cost, of course, to not speaking out. There is a cost to standing by and watching the president assault the media and the judiciary when coverage and decisions do not go his way. There is a cost to watching the president and his allies stoke the worst fears and hatreds directed at the most vulnerable among us—the poor, the refugees, the religious minorities—and not speaking out in their defense.
The devil, Eliot Cohen acidly wrote in these pages, collects on an installment plan. And the liberal values that America’s founding fathers harvested from the Enlightenment and wrote into its national DNA will not disappear in a day but rather one executive order—or tweet —at a time. For that not to happen, Americans will need men and women to stand up for them, and will all need to accept the cost for them doing so."