The recent resignation of foreign service officer Chuck Park tells the American citizen a thing or two about the direction that our government is heading.
Park resigned after 10 years of experience the State Department for a reason the leadership of President Donald Trump. The foreign service officer mentioned Trump's toxic agenda and also said he was ashamed of how long it took him to make the decision to resign. Park admitted that the career had perks but that he could no longer let quality pay and benefits run his life.
The ex-State Department employee condemned the President's foreign policy. One point of critique was the defense of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Crown bin Salman in response to Journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder. Park was one of dozens of State Department officials to sign a memo opposing Trump's Muslim ban. Park also threw water on the idea of the "deep state," an idea promoted by right-wing conspiracy types that says that there's a group of government officials hostile to Trump.
Mr. Park said the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas was the last straw for him. He correctly pointed out that the shooter's manifesto used some of the President's anti-immigrant talking points. Park is the child of South Korean immigrants. There are other government officials who have expressed similar concerns, said Park.
The former foreign service officer said that when he was working at State, he noticed much of the world using laughter when talking about our country. They weren't laughing with us - they were laughing at us!
Despite the sentiments expressed in various sectors of the media, our county's image is important. The United States has served as a functioning democratic-republic in the past, although we have always been and still are a very imperfect one. At the heart of a democratic-republic is faith in the citizenry to solve their problems by electing officials to make the laws we live under. Life in a democratic-republic is defined by faith in the individual and the individual's reason.
The rise of authoritarian democracy in Russia (Vladimir Putin), Hungary (Victor Orban) and Poland (Andrzej Duda) and the Philippians (Rodrigo Duterte) is a challenge to the democratic-republic. Trump and Trumpism is a trend within the realm of authoritarian democracy, a form of politics where a democratic system remains, but a dominant and authoritarian group use the leavers of power to disable challengers. China's Xi Jinping is an authoritarian force within the Communist Party which has historically been authoritarian and non-democratic.
Those living in the authoritarian world, weather it be China or an authoritarian democracy, represent a force in our world, or a model by which some can live their lives. Impressionable people living in any political system, authoritarian or not, don't have a quality model for a democratic-republic when Trump and Trumpism speak for the United States.
The defeat of authoritarian democracy, and authoritarian countries, as models is important for the future of the democratic way of life. If too many chose the former, then the tide of history turns against democracy. The enlightened thinking that brings about the democratic way of life also brings about the opportunity for states to band together and solve their problems by legal instead of lethal means. Authoritarian modes of government see the outside world and other states - as a hostile place and these modes encourage their citizenry to turn inward when they should turn outward.
Bringing the world's dangerous arsenal under control using arms control agreements is important now that technology has become more and more dangerous as the years have passed. Let us turn away from Trumpism and authoritarianism! Trumpism must be defeated at the polls if we are going to turn the tide of history!
Jason Sibert, Peace Economy Project,