BUH-BYE: Forget Making a Change from the Inside, When Resignation is Easier
Many politicians get into politics because they want to make a change. They want to ensure the country reaches its full potential. It takes work, though, and some people demonstrate that they’re not willing to put the time in to spark the change that they complain is needed.
For Mary Elizabeth Taylor, a senior State Department official, she finds that it’s just easier to resign. As one of the highest-ranking African American officials within the administration, she had the opportunity to make a real difference. Particularly with all of the protests of racial inequality happening around the country, most would assume she’d stay in.
However, she has resigned because she believes, “The President’s comments and actions surrounding racial injustice and Black Americans cut sharply against my core values and convictions.”
She knew who the President was when she took the office. She made a bit of history within the role, too, serving as the youngest assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs and also the first black woman to assume the role.
Taylor was in a position to have her voice heard. If she felt that there was racial injustice within the Trump administration, her opinions would have mattered.
In a letter that she wrote, obtained by the Washington Post, she said that “Moments of upheaval can change you, shift the trajectory of your life, and mold your character.” By choosing to resign rather than fighting from the inside, what does that really say about her character?
Taylor resigned amidst Trump receiving criticism for the way that he has responded to the riots in honor of George Floyd and the ongoing racial tensions.
Her “core values and convictions” wouldn’t allow her to work for Trump anymore. However, she’s no longer able to consider herself a part of the solution, either. Any complaining that she does from here on out has to be ignored since she’s removed herself from the administration.
Most people would love to be in the position that she was in. She was a part of the Trump administration. If she didn’t like the way that something was, she was positioned to make a difference – and she chose to give that up because of comments that the President made on Twitter.
She can choose to blame it on Trump, but the reality is that she didn’t have enough faith in herself. She claimed that moments of upheaval can change a person. We as a country are certainly going into times of upheaval. This is when she could have chosen to step up.
She could have made a stand within her position. She could have used her contacts to explore ways to get a conversation going. There are countless things she could have done or should have done. But, she chose the easiest way – to walk away. It’s the coward’s way of handling things.
Resignation is hardly a way to take a stand. Since handing in her resignation, she has done nothing, either. Her silence shows that she’s not interested in being a part of the solution.
She wrote a resignation letter containing five paragraphs. Even that was an insufficient way to walk away from a prominent position.
As a lifelong Republican, Taylor worked with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Prior to that, she worked with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. She had the ears of those who would have listened and who could have done something.
Taylor’s departure marks the first high profile departure since President Trump has responded to issues of racial inequality and police reform. It’s unlikely that there will be many other departures because they know what Taylor does not – reform comes from the inside.
Countless politicians and activists would have loved to hold a position as Taylor had. She resigned as a way to hold true to her “core values” as opposed to fighting the system and demanding change.