Dozens of professors accuse Trump admin of 'malpractice,' 'undermining' democracy

They accused the administration of "administrative malpractice," saying it "jeopardizes" American institutions and "undermines American democracy."

More than 120 academics specializing in public policy signed a letter critical of the Trump administration.

More than 120 academics in the field of public policy signed a letter criticizing the Trump administration’s “weaponization of bad public management” to shape policy in America, which they say "undermines American democracy."

The letter, titled “Open Letter on Trump Administration Management Practices” was published on October 20 by Government Executive, which describes itself as the "government's business news daily and the premier digital destination for senior leaders in the federal government's departments and agencies." The letter accused the administration of using government management to “achieve specific political ends.”

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These professors admit in the letter that while some of them have served in partisan government roles, most of them have never served in either a Republican or Democrat administration. 

“We feel compelled, however, to speak out against something that we have never before seen in our professional careers: specifically, the intentional degradation and weaponization by many Trump administration appointees of bad public management as a purposeful strategy to influence and shape public policy,” the academics state in the letter. 

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Don Moynihan, a professor at Georgetown University, said it's crucial that experts like he and other professors who signed the letter intervene on behalf of the American people when they see failed policy. 

“Members of the public lead busy lives, and have little reason to spend a lot of time on the details of how a government runs,” said Moynihan. “And so the perspectives of people who have studied topics such as civil service functioning and merit systems might be of interest to them.”

The letter came in the final days of the 2020 election cycle.  The academics didn’t elaborate on why they felt now was the best time to speak out, and not over the course of the past four years.  

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The professors went on to name what they see as broad policy failures of the administration, including dealing with the nation’s health and welfare, matters of homeland and international security, the justice system, and the environment. 

There was no mention of any specific examples for each category listed. 

The letter concluded by warning readers that another four years under the Trump administration could have grave consequences for America.

“Our gravest concern is the way that what has now become routine and intentional administrative malpractice by many Trump appointees serves to jeopardize long-term public confidence in both the nation's democratic institutions and its political stability and thus undermines American democracy,” it read. 

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