In the era (or should I say, error) of Donald Trump, the word “loyal,” which has always had a positive connotation, has shifted. Let me explain.
New presidents are expected to nominate highly talented, well-qualified people to fill appointed positions in the executive branch of the federal government. Appointees should be able, creative, and experienced people who will serve the needs of the government and the people it serves.
I’m not suggesting that loyalty to the ideas and ideologies of the president shouldn’t play a role in making political appointments. But that should not be the primary criterion.
The president should not be appointing someone to head up the Department of Justice who is a well-known segregationist and racist. Nor should he appoint someone who has sued the EPA and is a vocal climate change denier to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Secretary of the Interior should not be someone with deep ties to the fossil fuels industry. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should not be someone who profited from insider trading of health care company stocks and who is devoted to his boss’ aim of destroying health care coverage for 20+ million Americans.
The president should not appoint as his senior strategist a right-wing nut job and white nationalist who wants to dismantle the establishment. The president should not ask the FBI Director to pledge his loyalty and then fire him when he doesn’t. And nepotism is not a qualification.
I could go on and on, but I think you get my point, which is that loyalty should not trump qualifications.
It’s a shame that our president has turned “loyal” from something positive to something questionable.
Written for today’s one-word prompt, “loyal.”