A supposed “rising star” at the State Department has resigned in anger over President Trump’s and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s policies.
Elizabeth Shackelford gave her resignation letter to the left-leaning Foreign Policy magazine, which was, of course, all too happy to publish it. Shackelford’s letter says she believes the new administration has abandoned human rights as a priority and shows disdain for the State Department’s diplomatic work.
“I have deep respect for the career Foreign and Civil Service staff who, despite the stinging disrespect this Administration has shown our profession, continue the struggle to keep our foreign policy on the positive trajectory necessary to avert global disaster in increasingly dangerous times,” she writes in the letter she sent on November 7. “With each passing day, however, this task grows more futile, driving the Department’s experienced and talented staff away in ever greater numbers.”
She wrote she was “shocked” when she thought Tillerson cast doubt on the importance of human rights in U.S. foreign policy. Shackelford also argued that the State Department’s role in internal government debates has been “diminished,” the White House having handed foreign policy decisions to the Pentagon.
In the closing paragraph of her letter, Shackelford quasi-politely tells Tillerson to change his approach or pack his bags. “If you are unable to do so effectively within this Administration,” she writes, “I would humbly recommend you follow me out the door.”
Of course, Democrats will use Shackelford’s resignation letter to lash out at Tillerson and Trump. However, the sad fact of the matter is that the U.S. State Department had been taken over by ideological Democrats years ago. Even when George W. Bush was president, he had to fight against his own State Department to get them to do what he wanted. They worked against him whenever they could, undermining his foreign policy — the agenda Americans had voted for — at every possible occasion.
When Trump became president, he knew about this. Every Republican did. The unelected Democrats undermining him at the State Department meant State had to be either reformed, sidelined, or both, which is what Trump decided to do. While Tillerson works on changing State from the inside out, the president has given the Pentagon a larger responsibility on foreign policy, knowing that closer ties with the military make for far more reliable decision-making — at least for a Republican president.
It’s easy to understand why State Department employees like Shackelford aren’t happy with this, but hey, guess what? Perhaps they should learn to serve every president to the utmost of their abilities, not just Democrats. Because State isn’t a fourth branch of government.
If they hadn’t tried to be permanent liberal fixtures, there would’ve been no reason for Tillerson to reform the department and for Trump to sideline it in favor of the Pentagon.