The election of Donald Trump, who seems to stand for values that directly contradict the ideals upon which America was built, has called into question how to support the institution of the presidency without supporting the man who currently holds the office. In light of her recent appointment by the president-elect to the position of United Nations ambassador, the country needs to read this Nikki Haley quote about Trump, which should give insight into how to interpret these leaders' actions, and where to direct your own frustrations at Trump's presidency.
"Today, we live in a time of threats like few others in recent memory. During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation." Haley said during her response to President Obama's State of the Union address earlier this year. "We have big decisions to make. Our country is being tested. But we've been tested in the past, and our people have always risen to the challenge. We have all the guidance we need to be safe and successful. Our forefathers paved the way for us. Let's take their values, and their strengths, and rededicate ourselves to doing whatever it takes to keep America the greatest country in the history of man. And woman."
Whatever political disagreements you may have with Haley, these words are inspiring. You probably interpret the action needed to achieve these ends very differently than Haley, but everyone can agree that putting the work in is the only way to see that those ends are achieved at all.
During her short time in the national political arena, Haley has proven herself to be a measured and respectful leader to her constituents, and there's no reason to think that will change as she transitions to her new role. She will remain a hard worker and an advocate for justice, and that's all you can rightfully expect from a leader anyway.
From my own perspective, I can imagine no higher honor than to be personally asked to serve my country by the President of the United States. I imagine many of the men (and now the one woman) whom Trump has asked to aid him throughout the next four years feel the same way. Realistically, could you say no, especially now? If you had the chance to help steer the administration and see that your own vision was met, could you pass it up? Clearly, Haley has qualms with Trump too, but she is putting that aside to do her best and most morally informed work for the citizens of her country. People ought not look at Haley's acceptance of the administration as unequivocal support for Trump and his policies, but rather her seizure of an opportunity to follow her heart and try to make the world as she wants to see it.
The question going forward is how these civil servants will serve the people — whether they stick up for what is truly right and just, or if they lead these United States down the path of intolerance toward an ugly place of hate. I have confidence that they truly believe they are doing what's right, and if I disagree, it's my responsibility to get involved and argue for my perspective.
Haley's words should remind everyone that now is the best time to get into government, now is the time to fully ingratiate yourself into the system, not remove yourself from it. That's the best way to make change happen.