Voting for the presidential office, not the president

Christian Vasquez, Copy Editor

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When voting for a president, you are not only voting for one person, but for the entire executive office that stands behind them. There are nearly 4,000 positions that a new president-elect must appoint to fill the positions left by the previous administration. When the incoming president is of the same party as the previous administration, there are fewer seats to fill as the same people will usually keep their jobs. But when there is a new party coming in to fill the executive seat there are a lot of seats to fill, and the sooner you fill them, the sooner the administration can get to work. And while there are many positions to fill there are four seats that can easily change the direction of the country: secretary of state, secretary of the treasury, secretary of defense and attorney general.

Secretary of State

In simple terms, the secretary of state executes the president’s foreign policy. The office has a wide range of work, from accepting passports to brokering peace treaties between two countries. Besides the president, the secretary of state is the face of the nation to other countries.

John Kerry, the current secretary of state, played a vital role with the success of the Iran nuclear deal, but has largely been criticized for his inability to accomplish any major steps forward in the Middle East. While focusing so much on the Middle East, Kerry has all but ignored parts of Asia such as China and North Korea. Because of this, some say that China will play a bigger role in competition with the United States, and that North Korea will be a bigger danger in the near future.

President-elect Trump has yet to pick a secretary of state, but whomever he picks will have a lasting effect on the nation and the world.

Secretary of the Treasury

The secretary of the treasury is responsible for domestic and international monetary policy, as well as advising the president on regulating industry. It is also in charge of the production of money and collecting from as well as paying U.S. citizens.

The secretary of the treasury will play the main role in negotiating or dealing with Trump’s economic policies, especially getting rid of or renegotiating trade deals.

Secretary of Defense

The secretary of defense is going to be the keystone in the continued fight against ISIS and other radical extremists. Whomever President-elect Trump picks must coordinate the entire Department of Defense, manage the pressures and different opinions that come from within the Department of Defense that will put both American and foreign lives in danger.

Paul Hammond, a professor from the University of Pennsylvania, in his book “Organizing for Defense” argues that the secretary of defense should also have business experience as the office requires many aspects similar to business administration.

The secretary must walk a fine line between aggression and negotiation. If the agenda abuses the United States military might it can lead to a military-first foreign policy. This is shown in Obama’s policy with drone use, which has drawn outcries of human rights abuse. If, on the other hand, the agenda is too timid with force, then other countries can take advantage of the United States. For example, some claim that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was caused due to Obama’s unwillingness to engage in direct conflict with Russia.

Attorney General

The attorney general has been called the highest law official in the nation. The office represents the United States in lawsuits and other legal matters and advises and carries out the agenda of the president.

In the Obama administration, the office investigated patterns of abuse of civil rights, advised against piling charges on low-level drug offenders, started to phase out the use of private, for-profit prisons and directed the Department of Homeland Security to focus on immigrants with criminal records.

The new attorney general, alongside President-elect Trump through executive orders, could reverse all the Obama’s administration’s directives.

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