Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, a member of the National Security Council, was a virtually unheard of civil servant to the vast majority despite her instrumental role in crafting the Iran Nuclear Deal, a negotiation widely disparaged by the current administration.
Yet, parallel to the ascent of the Trump administration, numerous devoted members of the federal bureaucracy, such as Nowrouzzadeh, have found themselves forced to abdicate prestigious positions earned through diligent loyalty to the American people, and shoved unceremoniously aside into the bureaucratic void of tedious clerical work and other mundane tasks, known as the “turkey farm.”
Though previous administrations, such as that of the infamous Andrew Jackson, have succumbed to the practice of flushing out all but those most devoted, the supposed aim of the Trump administration extends beyond the political tactics exerted prior to anti-discrimination laws, into shirking the power wielded by the federal bureaucracy at large and channeling the spoils amongst his inner circle.
Over half of the federal government’s critical positions that remain vacant and a rapid dismissal of executive officials that refuses to falter conspire to deem the safety net for those civil servants subject to discrimination — the Merit Systems Protection Board — obsolete with only one of the two officials required to sustain it. As the isolationist tendencies of Mr. Trump escalate in the form of broken treaties and immense tariffs, thousands of highly-skilled bureaucratic employees find themselves fumbling for a voice in the government’s affairs, grasping for a semblance of previous prestige, and neglected by the symbols of erudition and equality that had fueled their service to the American people for so long.
The swift dismantle of governmental norms and procedures enacted alongside the Trump Administration’s descent upon the White House has honed in on toppling the pivotal pillar of democracy that is equality.
As tales of the toil faced by devoted defenders of the American people are unveiled, I find myself alarmed and confronted with egotistical notions that the eminence and influence lauded over the global community is a means to an end in the fight for the greater good. For, who else but the mighty United States? A nation formed out of a thirst for liberty from corruption and greed, deliverance from discrimination; a country that prides itself in upholding the universal ideals of justice and truth.
Thus, the murky veil that lay over the inner politics of Washington has cleared on my part, and I am faced with the corruption consuming the hallowed halls of this nation’s capital. Though the arduous paths faced by bureaucratic workers and the ever-growing bubble that persists in gradually sequestering the nation from the aims of the global community at large forms only a fraction of the forces threatening the core values of society, I find myself akin to many in my wavering faith in the tepid dynamics that have grown abundant amongst American citizens.
Above all, I find myself inevitably losing hope in my place amongst my peers and the equal rights I presumed were a guarantee.
The varying degrees of trust regarding the federal bureaucracy is epitomized in the Trump administration’s efforts to weed out all perceptions that differ from their own- particularly amidst the intricacies of Sahar Nowrouzzadeh’s demotion due to her role in enacting policy goals of the Obama administration. Her subsequent efforts to alert officials to the prejudice she faced engendered a civil rights case backed by revelatory emails among executive officials, detailing the skewed rationale for which she was displaced, and alleging a need for a bureaucratic “cleaning.”
Equality has faded from the world of civil service, discarded in favor of personal oaths to authority. The line between personal loyalty and democratic responsibility proves blurred and as the fate of civil servants grows ever grim, former President Truman’s daunting words come to mind, “When even one American — who has done nothing wrong — is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril.”