Kaieteur News – President Biden has asked 18 persons from various boards who were appointed by President Trump to resign. President Biden got hilarious support from Black American icon, Whoopi Goldberg, co-host of one of America’s most popular talk shows, “The View.”
Three of the 18 have been high-level political appointees. Mr. Trump’s senior White House Counselor, Kellyanne Conway, White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, and Trump’s National Security Advisor, R. H. McMaster. Mr. Biden’ press secretary, Jan Psaki, told the media, “The President’s objective is what any president’s objective is (to have those) who are aligned with your values.”
Some of Ms. Psaki’s words are instructive and need repeating, “The President’s objective is what any president’s objective is.” Mr. MacMaster would be someone deeply opposed to the Democratic Party. Why would he then want to remain on state boards whose directions are outlined by a president from the Democratic Party?
Here is what Goldberg said on her show, “This is what happens when a new president takes over. This is what happens. You elect a president and he gets the people he wants to sprinkle in there, and after their four or eight years, then they go away.” If Goldberg who never tried her hand at politics knows that then all politicians must know it. It is a commonsensical rule in the exercise of power.
When a party is elected it puts its own people all over the state. They are called political appointees. When government changes, political appointees leave for one reason and one reason only – they were practitioners of the ideological ways of the previous regime thus will not be trusted by their ideological opponents.
Trust and security are the paramount words here. Mr. MacMaster was removed from a military board. He is a strong advocate of war. He believes war is an essential part of foreign policy. President Biden holds the opposite view. Can Biden trust such a person to head a military board?
It is for reasons of trust and security, political appointees on state boards should do the decent thing and resign after their party loses power. Put yourself in the mind of a president or prime minister who has to work with the police commissioner who got his job because of his leadership role in the political party that has now lost power.
There must be deep and ongoing suspicion by the new president or prime minister that the police boss has his friends in the losing party and will share information with them. This has to be a legitimate fear. I have written a couple of time on the contradiction surrounding Dr. Vincent Adams. In those columns, nothing personal was written on him. I don’t know the man therefore I cannot and will not pass judgment on him as a person. I can talk of political circumstances involving Dr. Adams.
In politics, there are certain principles which must be adhered to, the alternative to which is extensive uncertainty in government. As one of the leading figures in the AFC, it was natural for the incoming administration to want to replace Dr. Adams as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The issue is not Dr. Adams the man. And I repeat, Dr. Adam may be an excellent person in his personal life. It is the principle of power that when one party loses, their political appointees should demit office. It is only fair and moral. The alternative as I referred to is uncertainty in government. It is much more than that. It is a breakdown in society that makes governance almost impossible. Let me explain.
Dr. Cheddi Jagan coined the term “in office but not in power.” Dr. Jagan was referring to the time when as Premier of British Guiana, he and his Cabinet merely held the title because it was the colonial office in London that held the power in the colony.
Just envisage the following scenario. The Purple Party has a 36-person executive. It won the election and chose to put its executives in high state institutions like the NIS, GRA, Lands and Survey, Central Housing and Planning Authority; Forestry Commission; Bank of Guyana and dozen more such institutions. At the next election, the Purple Party lost to the Zebra Party. The executives of the Purple Party refuse to resign.
What you effective have then, is that the Zebra Party is in office but not in power because the state is controlled by executives of the Purple Party. In effect, the Purple Party still runs the state and not the officials of the party that won the election. This is a surreal situation that simply doesn’t happen in real life.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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