Ex-Foreign Service officer explains decision to resign from Trump's 'Complacent State'

A Foreign Service officer whose resignation took effect Thursday penned an op-ed saying he stepped down from his post because he “can no longer justify” being part of what he called President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests MORE's “Complacent State.”

Chuck Park wrote in an op-ed published by The Washington Post that he was "more than a little idealistic" when as a 26-year-old more than a decade ago he left for his first diplomatic assignment as a U.S. Foreign Service officer.


“Like many in my cohort, I came into the government inspired by a president who convinced me there was still some truth to the gospel of American exceptionalism,” Park wrote. “A child of immigrants from South Korea, I also felt a duty to the society that welcomed my parents and allowed me and my siblings to thrive."

“Over three tours abroad, I worked to spread what I believed were American values: freedom, fairness and tolerance,” he continued. “But more and more I found myself in a defensive stance, struggling to explain to foreign peoples the blatant contradictions at home.”

Park joined the Foreign Service in 2010 under former President Obama and served in diplomatic posts in Mexico, Portugal and most recently Canada, according to his LinkedIn profile. The Hill has reached out to the State Department about his departure.

In his op-ed, Park noted his international work during periods of controversy in the U.S., pointing to “mass deportations” of immigrants, black communities that “demanded justice” in the wake of the deaths of several now-prominent figures — such as Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner — and Trump’s 2016 electoral victory following what he called a campaign of “racism, misogyny and wild conspiracy theories.”

“Since then, I have seen Trump assert the moral equivalence of violent white nationalists and those who oppose them, denigrate immigrants from ‘shithole countries’ and separate children from their parents at the border, only to place them in squalid detention centers,” Park wrote. “But almost three years since his election, what I have not seen is organized resistance from within.”

"Instead, I am part of the Complacent State," he wrote.

Park argued that in a “Complacent State,” officials who disagree with Trump’s decisions shake their heads but continue to comply with orders.

"We should be named and shamed," he wrote, adding that those who fall into the category should either serve the president or quit.

“I’m ashamed of how long it took me to make this decision,” Park wrote.

He noted that his son was born in El Paso, Texas, the city where at least 22 people were killed in a mass shooting over the weekend. Police have investigated an online manifesto linked to the suspected gunman, a document that Park wrote “echoed the inflammatory language of our president.”

“I can no longer justify to him, or to myself, my complicity in the actions of this administration,” Park wrote. “That’s why I choose to resign.”