Spare Us Your ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis Worship

James Mattis and other generals have sent the political class into delirium with their Trump criticism, but there are better voices for this moment than the authors of America’s forever wars

Here come the generals.

A procession of decorated former U.S. military leaders has spoken out in recent days to gravely denounce President Trump and his unmistakably authoritarian response to the demonstrations against police violence and racial injustice sparked by the death of George Floyd.

James Mattis, a retired Marine Corps four-star general, accused Trump of shredding the Constitution with the violent removal of protesters outside the White House so that Trump could stage a photo op. Mattis, who was Trump’s first secretary of defense, said Americans were “witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”

John Allen, a retired Marine Corps four-star general and former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, warned that the “slide of the United States into illiberalism may well have begun on June 1, 2020,” the day of Trump’s crackdown and photo op. “Remember the date. It may well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment.”