Trump’s Response to State Department Vacancies Question Should Terrify You

Responding to a question about lingering State Department vacancies last night, Donald Trump told Fox’s Laura Ingraham that he wasn’t really concerned about it. Why? Because according to Trump, he is “the only one that matters”. 

“Are you worried that the State Department doesn’t have enough Donald Trump nominees in there to push your vision through?” asked Ingraham. 

“Let me tell you, the one that matters is me,” Trump replied. “I’m the only one that matters, because when it comes to it, that’s what the policy is going to be. You’ve seen that, you’ve seen it strongly.”

Trump also told Ingraham that “we don’t need all the people that they want,” because he is “a businessperson” who tells his people that, “Where you don’t need to fill slots, don’t fill them.” 

Given Trump has no experience in government or working in the public sector in any way, shape, or form, it is hard to see how he can make that judgment call. This would be like a lifelong public sector employee taking over the world’s largest corporation and tripling its staff because, well, they felt like it. How does Trump know what the State Department needs given he has never been operationally familiar with it? He has already displayed a stunning lack of foreign policy awareness, going as far as to name a country that doesn’t exist and profess that he didn’t realize how complicated the North Korea/China situation was despite making threats and assumptions for months during the presidential campaign. Trump hasn’t even bothered to nominate an ambassador to South Korea yet — a stunning abdication of leadership given he has been threatening war with its nuclear neighbor for several months now. 

As NPR’s Tamara Keith reported, this ‘philosophy’ of not hiring people to fill important positions in the federal government extends beyond just the State Department given the administration has “installed roughly a quarter of the personnel needed to fill some 600 appointed positions that require Senate confirmation.”

The notion that Trump alone is the “only one that matters” isn’t just idiotic, it’s absolutely terrifying. He has already installed a corrupt oil merchant with a decades long relationship with Vladimir Putin as head of the State Department who has been working diligently to completely dismantle it. As the Banter’s Justin Rosario wrote: 

Rex Tillerson is destroying the State Department. This is indisputable. He is leaving key positions unfilled. He is refusing to consult with the hundreds of experts at his disposal with decades of experience. He is eliminating entire sections within the State Department, forcing career employees into early retirement. Others are just leaving civil service altogether. 

The only conclusion we can draw here is that Trump has absolutely no interest in governing the country, and sees the federal government as a an impediment to whatever his real ambitions are. And as far as we can tell, he has no real policy objectives other than to destroy everything President Obama achieved, saddle up to Vladimir Putin, use immigrants and minorities as a rallying cry to shore up support from racist Americans, and possibly start a nuclear war with North Korea. 

The fact that Trump is so incredibly unstable makes all of this truly frightening. He careens from one extreme disaster to another, lies to the point where no one takes anything he says seriously anymore, and has the attention span of an inebriated gnat. The only thing it seems he wants to achieve is carnage, and the fewer people in government there to stop him, the better.  

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.

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