Following is the text from a revealing March 2nd podcast by Chris Manion of the Population Research Institute.
March 13, 2017 (Population Research Institute) – Shortly after Rex Tillerson was confirmed as Secretary of State, senior officials of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services wrote him an impassioned plea. It was their way of introducing themselves to the foreign policy community of the new administration, so the Secretary undoubtedly considered their letter to be a statement describing the highest foreign-policy priorities of Catholics in America.
Is that what it was? Well, we report – you decide. The letter contained no mention, no condemnation, of the government’s existing programs that have spent billions of dollars on family planning, including contraception and abortion, in recent years. The bishops did not demand that the government cease its policy that requires that “family planning” programs be included before Third-World countries could receive any foreign aid projects for clean water, hygiene, health clinics, and other basic necessities.
The bishops did not mention any concern regarding the slaughter of Christians, including Catholic priests and bishops, as well as untold thousands of the faithful, throughout the world. They failed even to bring up the Obama State Department’s refusal to allow Christian refugees to enter the country, a policy which prefers importing Moslems from those very countries where Moslem terrorists were killing Christians. Nor did they request that the State Department cease its international campaign to promote and to celebrate active homosexuality.
Regarding our country’s relationship with China, the Catholic prelates did not urge Mr. Tillerson to include a stern rebuke to China for that country’s abusive forced-abortion policies. They could have insisted that the U.S. demand an improvement of human rights in China as a condition for pursuing closer ties with that country’s communist government – but they did not.
No, instead, Bishops Oscar Cantú and Frank Dewane, joined by the new president of the scandal-ridden government-funded welfare agency called Catholic Relief Services, urged Mr. Tillerson to share with them their fundamental article of faith – that carbon dioxide, without which plant life could not even exist on the planet, is a dangerous pollutant. Guided by that spirit, and speaking for American Catholics, the bishops requested that Mr. Tillerson oppose Global Warming, by supporting Obama’s notorious Paris Agreement that creates a new international bureaucracy to dictate energy policy to the world. The bishops even begged the Secretary to fully fund the “Green Climate Fund,” a slush fund run by elitist bureaucrats at the rabidly pro-abortion United Nations.
Why would our leading bishops make Global Warming their highest moral priority in this secular and degenerate age? Perhaps they were trying to gain some fans in the foreign-policy bureaucracy, which supplies the bishops’ welfare agencies with hundreds of millions of dollars a year in taxpayer funding. Or perhaps they were signaling to the permanent bureaucracy that America’s Catholic bishops oppose President Trump as strongly as the rest of the Washington establishment does. Their public statements across the board have certainly made that clear.
But the State Department brags of its highly professional character. Why would its employees welcome the bishops’ adamant opposition to the President and his policies? Aren’t those employees sworn to carry them out?
Tillerson faces major challenges to reform the Department of State
Let’s leave the bishops aside for a moment and take a closer look at the United States Department of State.
State is one of the most abidingly secular and internationalist cabinet agencies. Many years ago the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff investigated the so-called “Foreign Service Exam” that is celebrated as the most selective and elite instrument of its kind. At the time, senators from 50 states were surprised to find that fully one third of the career ambassadors in the Foreign Service had gone to only one college – Princeton – while the graduates of the various state colleges and universities in their states had no such entrée.
The investigators were interested in one clear goal: they wanted the State Department to hire only the best-qualified applicants available. So they inquired into the standards that the State Department used to identify such prospects.
Initially, George Vest, Director General of the Foreign Service, waffled about the examination and its goals. Eventually he admitted that the State Department did not publicly announce a competition for the contract to produce the examination. Normally, a public advertisement of the contract is routine requirement in government procurement.
But the elitist State Department was above all those rules required of the masses. Instead, Mr. Vest relied on one crony outfit year after year to write the exam. Strangely enough, that organization was located in Princeton, New Jersey.
All series examinations aim to determine the capability, knowledge, and mental acuity of the examinee. The investigators pressed the Director General on just what attributes the examination was designed to discover, in order to identify the best possible public servants available for service in the State Department. Was at their knowledge of history? Their knowledge of geography? Their possession of difficult-to-identify but critical qualities such as patriotism, enthusiasm, and character? Of course, we explained, the department had gone to the very best supplier year after year, so the examination must have proven to be successful at identifying these attributes.
Mr. Vest was nonresponsive, then evasive, and finally abrupt: “we know who we like,” he said flatly.
And that they do. With no regard to the values of the American people, the self-anointed elites of the United States Foreign Service seek not to find those who possess the qualities of the best Americans for their organization; instead, year after year, they seek to replicate themselves.
The rules that apply to everyone else do not apply to them.
Yes, the notion of “public servant” these days has sunk as low as everything else “public.”
As Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson will bring a wealth of experience managing a superbly performing organization whose employees were consistently motivated to achieve the highest results. In the culture of the State Department, he will find an entirely foreign country, populated for eight years by arrogant Obama appointees who have now burrowed into every nook and cranny of the so-called “career employee” population.
That embedded culture is diametrically opposed to that of President Trump and the people who elected him. Since the State Department is part of the Executive Branch, the Chief Executive will have every reason to make sure that it conforms to the best management practices to which he and his Secretary of State have become accustomed to apply during their entire successful and professional business lives.
Unfortunately, the bureaucratic culture of Washington digs in and opposes, rather than standing up and supporting the democratically elected officials for whom its members supposedly work.
Mr. Tillerson, the President, and the Congress will have a mountain to climb in bringing back the professionalism that the State Department lost long ago. It is a daunting task, but a necessary one.