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I am looking for work. I applied to a company located in the U.S., which is not my home country. Recently, I received a job offer from the company. But after careful consideration, and in light of the current political climate, I am no longer willing to work there.

The company is still waiting for my decision to their offer letter. What ramifications would I experience if I declined, and gave my true reason?

Common wisdom is to never say anything negative. I'm normally not politically minded though in this specific situation, I do think being silent is not the right thing to do.

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – enderland Jun 5 '17 at 23:49
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A lot of people are answering that you should not bring politics to the workplace. On one hand this depends, on the other hand, it is not your workplace. You do not have the job and you don't want it.

I think, telling the truth about your reasoning is the best you can do, because:

  • You won't lose anything. It is not your workplace (or can you lose anything? if so, you may have to be more cautious). As pointed out by RichardU, Trump is in the US quite an emotional topic which already led to non-rational behavior of people in the past. Even though realistically you won't face any disadvantages, it is still worth to keep the former in mind when talking to people.
  • It won't hurt anybody because it's not the company's fault (and if the company generally supports the leader... well even better not to take the job and saying why). So it is nothing "negative" but a matter of facts that you are not willing to accept these political conditions. Do you think it would have been "negative" not to work in a third-Reich factory because of the political conditions?
  • It's one of the small things we can do in life that may make a difference. This is actually quite a strong statement as, even though not statistically significant, it has a more significant impact on an emotional level. Declining a job is an action that says "my reason is quite good" and shows some real consequences. Think of the boss hearing of this case, he may talk with others about it, even though it is one case, it is one case (the "I-know-a-guy" effect). But of course, it depends on how important this point is to you.

My advice: decline the job and make the best out of it. I think at least for yourself you will feel quite more comfortable after having made a statement than remaining silent. If you prefer the latter, stating "personal reasons", as mentioned in other answers as well, should be fine.

To the down-voters: please leave a comment and explain why you think it is a bad answer. We all want answers to improve and discussions to happen!

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    This answer is the only one that actually answers the question "What ramifications will it have if I tell them the political reason?". Answer: none. However, looking at the bigger picture, taking a job based on the current political leader seems short-sighted. Suppose the leader changes in a few years? You can't call them back and say you've changed your mind. – Brandin Jun 5 '17 at 11:36
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    Thank you for everyone's input. I felt this one answered my question the most and have chosen to accept it. – gogetem Jun 13 '17 at 9:50
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    @Mayou36 Things like that can go viral quickly, and tempers are white hot right now and names get passed around. And, yes, people in the USA get their noses out of joint very easily over that, much more than people in other nations. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Jun 14 '17 at 10:59
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    @Mayou36 No, just pointing out what is a major faux-pas in the USA and trying to keep the OP from making it. In an age where a sarcastic joke resulted in death-threats and a person losing their job, it is a very good idea not to engage in any controversy in the work place. Right and wrong have nothing to do with anything. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Jun 14 '17 at 12:33
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    On the other hand, in the partisan atmosphere in the USA where people are entrenched, if corporations go to the representatives and say "US stances and policies are hurting our company and are preventing us from bringing on the best workers" - that's probably going to be something they listen to more than citizens with opposing viewpoints. Corporations/companies are the lifeblood of campaign cash, and US politicians are eager to keep them happy. Sad to say, but a foreigner not even working for a US company may have more impact than a working US citizen in this regard. – PoloHoleSet Jun 14 '17 at 15:33
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Just indicate that your current personal situation is different than it was when you were wanting to move to the country for the job and you can no longer move to the country for a job. If they ask for specifics indicate you rather not discuss it with them as it's personal, but you are very appreciative for the job and regret things not working out so you could except the offer.

Edit based on comments: Political beliefs can be public or private. The part to weigh is the specific politics involved as well as possible ramifications that may exist due to disagreeing with the politics in power. Many times it may be arbitrary, however there are also political climates in the world that specifically disagreeing with the political party in power will get you killed. Naturally this is a wide range between death and a slight disagreement over morning coffee. If the person asking the question feels strongly enough to not even want to reside in the country of question then it seems presumable that keeping the intense political feelings that oppose the current government private unless they are specifically trying to change said politics in the country. Without specific political scope and the points of contention this answer favors on the side of safety/peace/friendliness which seems to be the desire of the person asking the question.

  • @Mayou36, because what good would it do? And then think that there's a chance it could negatively impact the OP in the future. – Thomas Bowen Jun 5 '17 at 9:33
  • @Mayou36, because anecdotal evidence like this isn't going to change the mind of a large number of voters. Looking at the statistics of immigrant workings to the country over time might. So by not taking that job the OP has already added to that. On the reverse, if the OP explains their reason and then the political landscape changes, or the OP changes their mind, the company might not consider him again, because they judge him on his political beliefs. – Thomas Bowen Jun 5 '17 at 9:43
  • @ThomasBowen, well, if they judge him on his political beliefs (and are therefore strong Trump supporters), I don't think it is the place you want to work (at least not if you declined a job in the first place). And on the mind change: depends! Depends on whats the overall effect of people telling that and "damaging" the US economy therefore... – Mayou36 Jun 5 '17 at 10:31
  • Whether or not it is a place the OP would want to work or not would depend on the OP and their circumstances. My point is, why risk that potential problem, when you get no gain. – Thomas Bowen Jun 5 '17 at 10:35
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    "Edit based on comments" - not anymore. Comments around here are often arbitrarily deleted, even (especially) when they are used to clarify the question/answer. – Brandin Jun 6 '17 at 5:19
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Like @Herb Wolfe said, bringing politics into workplace is almost never a good idea. It also sounds very unprofessional, same as bringing gender, disability, or religion.

As you haven't accepted the offer yet, you can just say "I no longer view the offer a good fit for me" or similar, but don't say a word about the election.

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