Working in the Trump Administration: Liberals’ Quandary


Unfriendly Administration

Many career government employees felt that as Donald Trump stepped into office, the decision to remain working for the newly changed administration would be a difficult one.

Though some argued that remaining in their current positions is a matter of pride and a way to help the nation when it needs it the most, others said at a June 9 panel they simply cannot.

With reactions varying from pangs of guilt to utter outrage at what changes are being made due to the new administration, employees such as Mustafa Santiago Ali, speaking at the American Constitution Society’s National Convention in Washington, said they have found it impossible to remain in their government jobs.

Ali had worked many years as senior advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency prior to Trump’s presidency. Ali submitted a letter of resignation explaining his motives, saying that Trump’s pick to head the EPA, Scott Pruitt, was doing more harm than good to promote social and environmental justice.

Most of the panelists for "Should I Stay or Should I Go? Deciding Whether to Serve in an Unfriendly Administration" at the progressive legal organization’s conference agreed that our nation’s newest chief executive has made things exceedingly difficult. Unlike Ali, however, the rest of the panelists had chosen to stay the course.

Though staying might mean working with an administration that stands for things that go against their personal beliefs, their desire to do good outweighs that. Mazen Basrawi, trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, has opted to stay on.

"Don't paint with a broad brush," Basrawi said, expressing his opinion that not all new appointments of the president were necessarily indicative of bad things to come.

The panel demonstrated how many see the new administration as something to ride out while others take this new change as motivation to sit tight in order to reduce the number of vacancies and maintain as many of "the good guys" as possible.