Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Trump Knows Best

President-Elect Trump claims that he knows better than all of the generals, ambassadors, scholars, theorists, and other experts on almost every major issue. The exception is cyber, which should not be surprising for any 70-year-old man. However, all is not lost. His 10-year-old son is “very good with computers, it’s unbelievable”. If this sounds a little bit too harsh, it may be from my biased perspective. After all, by enrolling in the Patterson School, I set myself out from the general population as a wannabe foreign policy expert. From my perspective, to even get to the place to where I would have the unique privilege of being snubbed by the Donald would require at least a decade of exemplary service. What is that to say for the entry-level civil servant, the intelligence analyst on their first assignment, or a fresh Ph.D. just starting out at a public think tank? Just kidding, we’re instituting a hiring freeze, those jobs don’t exist. Now this attitude is not just my personal disdain for an administration set to scorn me and many other aspiring foreign policy professionals. In fact, it’s an opposition to the general opinion the brought Trump into office. That those who spend years studying public policy, national security, and foreign affairs know less about their fields than the average Chief Executive Officer. It is as if the specialized research and focus that is required to break into this field do not even matter. After all, the same skills that make you successful in business make you successful in nuclear policy, right? It would be okay if the attitude was the only thing that we had to contend with. That much is bearable. Even engineers have to take jokes about their profession as a whole, and try asking an IT contractor when the last time their clients tried to belittle their efforts was. Neither of these fields, however, as in danger of facing a hiring freeze by the main employer in their fields. It’s as if United Auto Workers just learned that the “Big Three” were no longer hiring, Toyota was leaving America, and German manufacturers were heading to Mexico. Outside of a personal economic incentive, this portends a future skills gap when these professionals are needed again. After all, the people that Trump does not need to brief him now will not get the necessary experience elsewhere (the supply on presidents is extremely limited) and agencies that lose personnel during a hiring freeze only to have to replace them all at once will be hurting in the long term with staffing issues. In conclusion, public opinion has picked a leader that will only hurt the country in the long run. The idea that skills in one area, such as neurosurgery, will transfer into something completely divergent and policy related is absurd. Government bodies that will face a hiring freeze will see an unbalanced labor pool at the bottom fighting for scant promotions. Professionals will be unable to get the necessary experience and ultimately the government will lose out.

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