By Benjamin Solomon, Staff Writer
The White House announced on Tuesday that Rex Tillerson, the now former Secretary of State was out of a job. Apparently, Tillerson himself did not learn until hours later.
Some might rejoice at the removal of the former CEO of Exxon Mobile, who often attempted to be a moderate influence on some of President Trump’s foreign policy actions. On the other hand, some might lament his firing for the same reason.
Tillerson is leaving the State Department in a sorry state. There are hundreds of positions filled, including several important leadership roles.
It has often been embarrassed in recent months as it’s diplomats have had to defend outlandish and conflicting foreign policy issued by the president.
So maybe it won’t make a huge difference, since the State Department is already so undermanned.
But what is concerning about this is the way Tillerson was fired. President Trump announced Tillerson’s firing on television before letting him know. It’s a very rude thing to do, but this is not the first time Trump has done so.
The president fired former FBI Director James Comey in the same way. There is contention around Comey’s firing because he was investing interference in the election that Trump won, which might explain the president’s bold show of contempt.
This puts Tillerson on same level as James Comey, in terms of Trump’s opinions about him. This is despite what Trump said after the firing, when he claimed to still respect the intellect of the former Secretary of State despite their differences.
The fact that Donald Trump treats his employees so poorly shows the state of the White House’s internal workings. This is especially true considering that this treatment is often applied to people that Trump himself appointed, not just Obama holdovers like Comey.
Instead of keeping to internally discussing issues like differences of opinion, Donald Trump prefers to publicly insult and shame his employees.
This means that they must be communicating very poorly – as if Trump’s primary of negotiation is threat of embarrassment.
For example, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is often ridiculed by the president on television. This is usually because he recused himself from the election investigation and removed his ability to interfere on behalf of the president.
A regular president or politician would keep this private in order to preserve the illusion that things are going well, but Trump seems to think it a better idea to attempt to bully his appointees into cooperating.
Is this what he was elected to do? Is this how a CEO was expected to run the country? Trump voters expected business-like efficiency, not reality show drama.
He was elected on promises of hiring “the best people,” despite no prior government experience.
How good can Trump’s people be if he keeps talking trash about them and then firing them?
This kind of news should be disheartening to people on both sides of the political spectrum. For one, the fact that these firings show the Trump administration’s agenda is not being advanced. On the other side, it should show that this administration will be responsible for little if any progress.