The United States Ambassador to Panama, John Feeley, abruptly resigned on Friday, marking the latest in an extensive list of longtime public servants who have called it quits during the Trump era. Feeley, a Marine and subsequent career diplomat, specifically cited Donald Trump as the reason he would be leaving his post on March 9:
As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the president and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies. My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor bound to resign. That time has come.”
It’s no surprise to see politicians of all stripes abandoning office under the explicitly racist Trump administration. Frankly, if I were one, I would be forced to consider how I would explain to my children and grandchildren why I continued to serve under a man so antithetical to everything that America stands for.
The job description for a United States Ambassador, strictly speaking, is that of a representative of the US President in foreign countries. That means that Feeley is considered the Panamanian face of the Trump administration, an unenviable position to begin with, but made doubly odious since Trump called El Salvador, a country just a day’s drive away, a “shithole” that did not deserve immigration protections for its residents.
Feeley is the second ambassador to resign over Trump in less than a year. The last one, David Rank, was the US Ambassador to China, who resigned shortly after Trump’s decision to extricate the United States from the Paris Accord climate treaty. At the time, Rank’s reasoning sounded much the same:
I concluded that, as a parent, patriot and Christian, I could not in good conscience be involved in any way, no matter how small, with the implementation of that decision.”
It seems as though Trump’s words and actions are causing good civil servants to rethink their capacity for remaining non-partisan — since Trump has turned one side of the partisan debate into a “shithole” from which it may be hard to climb out.
Featured image via Opposition Report Gallery