Miles Taylor spoke to Boston College students and professors virtually on Thursday about the importance of dissent and integrity, detailing his decision process around writing the New York Times op-ed about Trump’s inability to lead and his cabinet’s doubts of his capabilities.
Taylor warned listeners, “Be ready to put your conscience over the consequences.”
Still, he expressed the dire need for accountability within the U.S. to keep the country’s integrity alive.
Taylor faced consequences once he stepped forward as the anonymous writer of the op-ed. President Trump promised “bad things” for Miles Taylor at a rally, which Taylor called “a dog whistle… to his supporters that they should make bad things happen to me.”
Taylor went on to describe four different decision points related to his experience working in the White House and the process of his dissent.
First, Taylor decided to join Trump’s campaign to understand what was happening from the inside.
He saw it as either remaining on the outside or “[running] into a burning building.”
Early on, Taylor objected to Trump’s way of operating, with a large red flag being Trump’s desire to make a ‘Muslim ban’ in the country.
Next, once Trump was in office, Taylor knew he had to “speak up or stay quiet” once he was in the administration.
Taylor remembered, “Walking into the Oval Office was a clear reflection of his psyche,” describing the chaos of Trump’s administration. Even while he was still working there, Taylor spoke up internally, actively opposing the ‘Muslim ban’ which would prevent citizens from dozens of countries around the world from entering the United States.
Taylor’s last straw before writing the op-ed was Trump’s anger at White House flags being flown at half-mast to honor the late Senator John McCain, one of Taylor’s heroes.
He wrote about Trump’s incompetence, his misconduct while in office and people within the government who were not keen on Trump’s ideas.
Third, Taylor spoke about the feeling among staffers within the White House that they were “staying because he’s crazy.”
The family separations at the borders and Trump wanting to invoke the Insurrection Act, sealing the border to prevent any immigrants from entering.
Finally, Taylor wrote a “book-length indictment” on Trump to “write a character study of this man from the people who had seen him” following his leaving his job in Homeland Security.
He saw the people in office were an unreliable check of power against a person as power-hungry as the former president. Although he faced death threats, Taylor decided to step up as the anonymous writer to give his cause credibility.
Now, Taylor has formed an organization called REPAIR to return the Republican Party to its more central views and leaders.
Taylor said, “I really do believe what’s happened in the past few years has fundamentally threatened our democracy,” and is now working to mend the GOP’s standing in the country.
Though Trump lost the 2020 election, Taylor emphasized the importance of regaining a more balanced government and leadership moving forward.
“Democracy is of, by and for the people, we are in charge. Democracy is not broken, we are broken.”