Abdication Of Personal Responsibility Essay

I usually only find the word abdicate in cases where the responsibility goes a little but further than that.

Recently, the Pope abdicated, and so did the Dutch queen. I do not necessarily agree with the use of the word "fail" because the negative connotations. These people "simply" gave up their office.

This is a verb that is usually used when someone resigns from an office that is normally for life. I have never heard of a president who abdicated, but kings, queens, and (only twice in history) the pope can do that. In many modern monarchies, abdication is a common thing, since kings an queens are no longer likely to die on the battlefield, causing them to live to ages that were unheard of when the institution was invented. Many a king or queen feels that when they become too old to fulfil their duties, instead of waiting to die, they "retire".

As to the usage, I have never heard it being used transitively - a king does not abdicate his reign, he abdicates.

OALD disagrees with me and states that "She was forced to abdicate the throne of Spain" is fine. I guess so - in cases where one has several offices, one does not necessarily abdicate all of them at once :)

It seems it is also used in a bit "looser" sense indeed of giving up responsibility, as MaulikV's example shows. It should be noted, however, that even then, we are talking about major (national) responsibilities.

I feel it would be quite overstated to use it in the context of you not wanting to repair your own TV.

It was a stunning moment. On Sunday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested that the president of the United States does not speak for American values.

After deflecting questions from Fox News’ Chris Wallace about President Donald Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacist groups who incited deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, by saying that he and the State Department “represent America’s values,” Tillerson said that “the president speaks for himself.”

Tillerson’s statement caps a tumultuous two weeks in which Trump demonstrated that he has abandoned essential duties of the office, failing to provide basic, measured responses to violence and natural disasters.

Throughout last week, he continued to defend his widely condemned response to the violence in Charlottesville — in which he delayed and then backtracked on a denunciation of white nationalist, KKK and neo-Nazi groups — including during a campaign-style rally in Phoenix.

Trump’s failure to provide the most elementary leadership earned criticism from lawmakers and leaders around the world — even from a United Nations panel on combating racial discrimination, which expressed deep concern about “the example this failure could set for the rest of the world.”

The night Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas, unleashing potentially historic rainfall, Trump announced he was pardoning former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who illegally targeted Latinos and was convicted of criminal contempt for violating a court order. In doing so, he bypassed the Department of Justice’s normal pardon procedures. (Trump reportedly asked his attorney general about closing the criminal case against Arpaio months earlier.)

On Sunday, as residents of Texas began evaluating the flooding and damage from the storm, Trump issued a stream of tweets congratulating authorities and himself for the recovery effort, which he bragged was “going well!” The tweets about Hurricane Harvey were sandwiched between posts on unrelated topics, including the president’s personal grievances.

For example, Trump immediately followed the announcement that he would visit Texas with a tweet boasting about his election victory in a different state, while suggesting that he would help unseat the state’s Democratic senator.

Tillerson is not the only administration official attempting to distance himself from the president in recent days.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis can be heard telling U.S. troops in Jordan to “hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other,” in a video posted Thursday on Facebook. Mattis also said the U.S. will “get the power of inspiration back,” which many interpreted as criticism of Trump’s leadership. 

It’s unclear exactly when Mattis made the impromptu remarks, though he stopped in Jordan during his overseas trip last week.

“You’re a great example for our country right now, and it has got problems,” Mattis said in the video. “You know it and I know it. It’s got problems we don’t have in the military. And you just hold the line, my fine soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines.”

The president’s economic adviser, Gary Cohn, told the Financial Times that he contemplated resigning after Trump’s Charlottesville remarks, saying the administration “can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups.”

Of course, many in the Trump administration still unambiguously defend the president. After Trump delivered a scripted but conspicuously vague speech on his Afghanistan war strategy, Vice President Mike Pence insisted Trump’s primetime address signaled “American resolve.” Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the speech demonstrated “the signs of a president.”

The next day, Trump reverted to form at his no-holds-barred Arizona rally, making it next to impossible to believe that he will treat the presidency with the gravity the office is meant to hold.

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