On Tuesday, Donald Trump shocked everyone by firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. While the news is dominated by that story, the White House has another high-ranking State Department departure flying under the radar — fourth in line to be Secretary of State Steven Goldstein.
LATEST: White House fires Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steven Goldstein, the fourth highest ranking official at the State Dept.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 13, 2018
The reasoning regarding this particular firing is most ominous, as it speaks to Trump’s refusal to tolerate anything at all that he sees as disloyalty. According to the Associated Press, Goldstein told the press that Tillerson only learned of his termination through Trump’s early morning tweet announcing the Secretary of State’s dismissal to the world. However, the White House has been telling the public that Tillerson knew that he would be asked, to, quote, “step aside” as early as last week. This is the sort of thing that happens in dictatorships, not democratic republics like the United States.
Even more sinister in all of this, though, is that the White House seems to be doing all it can to hollow out any government department that could be a check on the Executive Branch, which is a very dangerous thing to do in any circumstance, but especially so when it comes to a White House with so many incompetent authoritarians in charge — starting with Trump himself.
Goldstein turns out to have been essentially Tillerson’s direct aide, who was sacked immediately after having publicly stated that his boss had been fired over being honest about the Russian use of a nerve agent to poison British citizens.
The key here seems to be to dismantle the federal government, one firing at a time, and dispose of anyone who could even be perceived to be breaking with Trump. For instance, Tillerson never recovered from the time he allegedly called Trump a “moron,” and his tough stance on Russia is definitely not in keeping with Trump’s continued ass-kissing and obvious fear of Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin.
America, this is how you build an autocracy. It should also alarm everyone that Trump and his cronies who are squatting in our White House obviously tried to use the cover of the Tillerson firing to slide Goldstein’s ouster under the radar. The sheer chaos, and volume of the shake-ups, means that there simply are not enough hours in the day for the news media and the public to absorb all that is happening.
Either way, this is dangerous as hell to this republic, and we’d do well to pay attention, or there won’t be a democracy by the time Trump is done dismantling it.
Featured image via James Leynse/Getty Images