It’s strange how the media and the elite respond when Trump does something as normal as firing people for poor performance.
Bureaucrats are accustomed to failing their way to the top. No matter what failure they created or have been involved with, they can always work their way up the ladder as long as they form allegiances with the right people. That’s simply how bureaucracies work, and that’s why they become so bad at getting anything done.
In a bureaucracy, you have people whose only skill and talent is to drag themselves up the bureaucratic ladder. The have honed the skill of playing the game of “politics” by cozying up to people on the rise, and abandoning those who look like they are falling, even if they were former allies. What this ends up doing, is that by the time these useless bureaucratic climbers reach a position of power, they have no actual talent to perform the job they now have to do. The only thing they were good at was climbing the ladder, and now that they got to a position of power, they have no skills or talents. That’s why bureaucracies are filled with so much incompetence.
Which brings us to the hand wringing over Trump’s recent round of firings (or resignations depending on who you believe).
Trump is from the private sector, as I am and I’m sure most of you are. We are totally comfortable with the notion that if someone doesn’t perform well at their job, they are at risk of being fired. You and I have probably dealt with this our entire adult life and we totally understand it, that’s why we work hard. However, this notion is shocking to the bureaucratic elite. They’ve been immune to the ramifications of poor performance as long as they made the right allies on the way up.
Recently, the Secretary of DHS Kirstjen Nielson was let go and when you look at it, she had the same problem that got General Mattis fired.
In the case of Mattis, he forgot who was in charge. The President has the final say in matters and the generals can only make a recommendation. It’s not the Presidents job to do whatever a general tells him to do. And in the case of Mattis, he publicly pushed-back against the President’s wishes. There are few people in the private sector who work in executive areas who can publicly contradict their CEO and expect to hold on to their job.
On top of that, Mattis was given a lot of authority and budget to make significant process in Afghanistan and Trump was unhappy that very little progress was made in the time given. So when Trump announced he no longer wanted to be involved in Syria, causing Mattis to push-back on the issue both privately and in public, it was the final straw.
With Nielson, it was a very similar. Trump was not happy with the direction things were going at the border. Granted, Nielson had trouble getting other agencies to work with her on specific goals, but that’s not an excuse for not getting the job done.
On top of that, she was butting heads with Trump on several issues, including closing the border. So once again, you have someone working under Trump pushing back against his ideas both publicly and privately.
These situations are not the same as political adversaries opposing the Presidents choices. These were people in his cabinet. They have no place pushing-back against the President at every turn.
So these firings are not that controversial or shocking at all. In the private sector, executives who publicly and privately challenge the CEO are not going to be around long. You can voice your opinions, but once a decision is made, you have to carry it out. If you don’t or you carry it out poorly, you are at risk of being let go.
So to all the bureaucrats complaining about Trump’s recent firings, welcome to the real world.
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