When the Cabinet Becomes a Revolving Door

Image via Chicago Tribune

The President still views opposition to any part of his agenda as insubordination.

Since President Trump’s election, the Trump administration has been plagued by internal conflicts that have led to resignations, firings, and general turmoil that the mainstream media finds ever so appetizing. The Los Angeles Times recently compiled a list of the most prominent individuals who left their jobs under the President. Republican or Democrat, this is no small number of people, and these departures will clearly have consequences for both President Trump and the nation.

Alarmism, courtesy of CNN and other media outlets, has dulled many Americans to the effects of President Trump’s actions, but the replacement of major members of the President’s staff deserves special consideration. What does this actually mean for the United States and President Trump’s young administration?

First and foremost, the situation in the White House is clearly indicative of high tensions in the administration. Perhaps these tensions are the result of President Trump being pulled in four different directions. To elaborate, these directions are characterized by some of the more high-profile members of his staff:

  1. General H. R. McMaster and the neoconservatives
  2. Steve Bannon and the right-wing populists
  3. Ivanka Trump/Jared Kushner and the “compassionate” liberals
  4. Mick Mulvaney and the “extreme” conservatives/libertarians

President Trump likely finds himself frustrated caught among these different camps. Mr. Trump often makes decisions influenced by the different individuals in his administration, nearly all of whom fall into one of these four rather diverse categories.

As a result, tensions often surface between Mr. Trump and the opposing forces within his administration. While internal disagreements are far from uncommon in any political machinery, President Trump finds it an alien concept. As a veteran of the business world, he is accustomed to his decisions being quickly accepted and implemented in the Trump Organization.

In the realm of government, the President still views opposition to any part of his agenda as insubordination and proceeds to behave aggressively towards those under him.

Contrary to what the writers at HuffPost will have you believe, the Trump Presidency is not nearing some end of biblical proportions, which culminates with Senator Bernie Sanders taking over the executive branch in some sort of triumphant return. However, it is also not something to turn a blind eye towards, as many on the pro-Trump Right are doing.

Charles De Gaulle once said, “Men can have friends, statesmen cannot.” President De Gaulle would have been wise to extend this quip so as to note that statesmen should also not have lasting grudges over political differences. I say this not only because it is unbecoming of the President to act aggressively with “insubordinates,” especially when he himself chose such a diverse counsel for himself. More importantly, instability in our administration could easily be perceived as weakness by our enemies.

One cannot pledge to “make the best deals,” while simultaneously appearing to be incoherent as a leader. This becomes especially vital as dangerous, totalitarian regimes such as North Korea and Iran have gained confidence during eight years of inaction and complacency thanks to Mr. Obama.

Despite this very real problem, American voters will likely not care. With the mainstream media screaming wolf at any given opportunity, Americans will either clog a city intersection with poorly made signs reading “Trump’s a fascist,” or they will continue deriding the opposition as un-American “snowflakes.”

Despite fracturing of the electorate, conservatives should hold the President accountable. Those on the right must let Mr. Trump know when he is veering off track. Otherwise, we will likely continue to see President Trump’s appointees come and go, which can only hurt us on the global stage.

As the great basketball coach John Wooden said, “Flexibility is the key to stability,” and Mr. Trump’s agenda can only advance if there is stability and confidence in your administration. To achieve this, Mr. Trump must remain flexible—but also strong.

EDITOR’S NOTE: White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci is reported to have left the Trump administration moments after the publishing of this article, raising further doubt regarding the stability of the Trump administration

Nikhil Sridhar seeks out writers who bring important new perspectives to Merion West. He studies biology and political science at Duke University and is interested in American politics.

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