Donald Trump’s presidency has been largely characterized by exits. The U.S. has exited significant alliances such as the Climate Accord, and one after another, officials that Trump hired or appointed have been fired or resigned, speaking out to warn voters about the president after leaving their positions.
The latest to do so is Ronald Sanders. Trump appointed him as chair of the Federal Salary Council, but he says that the president uses loyalty — to Trump, rather than to America or its values — as the “litmus test” for employment, and he won’t be a part of it.
Sanders told the Washington Post that he had opposed some of Trump’s ideas before, but it was a new executive order that pushed him to do “soul-searching” and decide, as he says, “I just don’t want to be a part of it, that’s all.”
“Everyone should be outraged by Trump’s radical attack on the federal workforce, which seeks to take America’s civil service back 137 years to a time when political loyalty was deemed more important than merit or skill.”
Speaking to NPR‘s, All Things Considered, he described his reaction on seeing the executive order, which he says isn’t really about ‘accountability,’ at least as he understands the word.
If accountability is to legitimate performance standards – quality, quantity, timeliness, effectiveness – as I said in my resignation letter, I’ve spent close to four decades trying to ensure that civil servants are accountable for high performance. And that’s one of the conclusions I reached in reading the executive order – is that that’s frankly a pretext. The definition of accountability that I think has become apparent here is political accountability, literally political loyalty.
Courthouse News has a thorough explainer on the EO itself, describing it as taking away job protections from thousands of Federal workers and making it more difficult for them to join unions.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com