When will the marginalization of conservatives in D.C. cease? According to a recent report by The Hill, administration staffers who pursue professional opportunities beyond the White House frequently experience disapproval and dismissal as they inquire about open positions. Working for the executive branch used to be treated with the respect and honor it deserved. Time was, corporate headhunters would fight tooth and nail to bring ex-administration staffers onto their association boards, nonprofit teams, and consulting firms!
But today, that respect and appreciation is sorely lacking. Well-respected employees are (im)politely turned away as soon as company recruiters realize that they work in President Trump’s administration – and I’m not being dramatic when I say that this unfair distaste borders on formal policy. One former administration staffer told reporters that when he interviewed at a prominent public affairs firm in Washington, he was informed that the company had made “an active decision not to hire from the Trump White House because of the ‘reputational risk‘ associated with it.”
Do I really need to explain how messed up this is? Companies are essentially punishing would-be job candidates for their experience by discarding them as professional “risks.” Tell me, what’s so risky about a hardworking government employee who wants to expand their professional purview? This in-interview stereotyping demonstrates a blatant corporate prejudice against D.C.’s predominantly conservative employees. Political beliefs shouldn’t impact an employer’s perception of how well a candidate can do a job, and companies shouldn’t discard a promising ex-administration staffer just because someone in the organization doesn’t like Trump. Apparently, basic etiquette and fairness is in short supply in D.C.’s corporate landscape.
This isn’t just an immediate issue for staffers who want to pursue external opportunities, but a real problem for those of us who care about conservative politics. With this above-mentioned trend towards blacklisting ex-Trump employees, talented conservatives are ever-more hesitant to fill vacancies in the administration itself. As of this January, over a hundred positions in Trump’s White House remain unfilled, leaving departments with hesitant temporary leaders and low-morale teams. Both experienced and rising GOP operatives who would normally leap at the chance to serve a Republican leader now keep back in fear that serving their president may just tank their otherwise promising careers. But this hesitancy is ruinous for both the Republican party and the country as a whole! We need well-versed political and policy players in our government; we need conservative representation in our legislative halls! To simply accept the situation as it is will be to accept the vacancies, the biased political shaming, and the corporate blackballing we face.
As conservatives, we need to come together to make our majority count – now, and in the years to come. Perhaps instead of trying to make disinterested corporate players take our beleaguered administration staffers, we should be trying to attract and keep capable Republicans in the White House. If we can come together as a party and stand firm against the Dem’s mudslinging attacks and corporate bias, we stand to make a significant impact on our country’s future. When that finally comes to pass, we won’t have to worry about our staffers finding outside jobs. The headhunters will knock down the doors all on their own.