Corporate executives who leave a company or well-known professional athletes who quit a team usually explain their leaving. Clergymen and theologians who leave the church or reject a theological position sometimes explain. But public officials who leave an administration whose position on vital issues they can no longer support usually go quietly. Or they obscure the real reasons with explanations about health, family problems, the need to earn money to educate children, pensions in jeopardy, and so forth. As a result, reasons given for the departures of most officials are so much alike that one scarcely knows whether they have been fired or have resigned.
Samson, a political prisoner, having been blinded by the Philistines, was led out for their sport. The Scriptures say that he "took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up. . . . And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein." It also fell on Samson. This was a rather violent exit and not one to be recommended as a general practice.
But the effect of a good and becoming exit is not to be discounted. A truly great actor, it is said, is marked by his exits. At best they should be such that, although his going may not have been noticed, his having gone becomes evident.
There are at least eight courses of action open to political officeholders who find themselves dissatisfied with the policies of their government.
-- They may continue in service and remain silent.
-- They may stay on and try to present their views from within, hoping that they can be more effective than if they left the citadel of power and joined or attempted to lead those outside the walls. The danger here is that one can easily be cast as the devil's advocate,