I recently heard President Donald Trump say, with regard to vacancies in the State Department, that he is the only one who really counts. He is terribly and scarily wrong.
I know what I am talking about. I have lived in four foreign countries, in North America, Asia and the Near East, always as a civilian. My husband has always worked for an American company, paying U.S. income taxes, working with foreign governments to promote American business and protect American citizens. Very often, his company made components that were shipped to the U.S. to complete products made right here.
Representatives of our government have always been there for us: Ambassadors, consuls and the many, many people who work with them. They all count. They represent us Americans to the host government, they liaise for our firms with the host government, and when necessary they aid us personally in any situation which arises. It is the professional members of the State Department who aid when a president appoints a personal choice to a high position they are not prepared for. When there is no ambassador, it is the professionals who keep things going.
People spend years in the Foreign Service, learning every part of their job, and rising through experience to responsible positions. They are not political, but they are the ones who have the knowledge to serve us well. It is totally unacceptable for the president to demean their service by tooting his own horn. He should apologize.
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