It has been shouted from the rooftops that Trump MUST sell his holdings and put it into a blind trust!
Trump had mentioned earlier in his campaign he was going to turn over his company to his children. To me, this seemed to be acceptable. Many felt this wasn’t enough. Recently, I’m seeing there’s no real law requiring the president to do anything, and Trump even mentioned how he could run the White House AND his company (which is actually 500+ companies).
I started to really think back….back to the beginning. I read a book in high school that I need to buy and read again, called “Miracle in Philadelphia” by Catherine Drinker Bowen. It talked about the Constitutional convention, sometimes on a daily or hourly basis, of how ideas were discussed and debated – then put into the Constitution. When you read this, you start to see how people with extremely different backgrounds could come together and make compromises. What stands out most of all was how they tried to ensure that the smaller states would have equal say to larger states.
That being said, the book talked about how they would break and go back to their plantations or jobs. Our founding fathers, for the most part, were not career politicians. They would have breaks and go back and tend to their families and businesses.
I would also contend, ethics were probably a bit more stringent in those days. In today’s age of the cut throat capitalist, a figure like Donald Trump is met with suspicion. Add to it the shady deals, the lawsuits, the foundation, and you have someone already with ethics issues prior to taking office.
You then have an option sort of similar to a Chinese Wall – no, not the great wall of China. Imagine a firm that represents two different interests – they can devise a Chinese Wall where these members do not discuss activity of their shared interests. That being said, these can also have an appearance of impropriety.
So what do you do?
If you’re a Republican or supporter of the president elect, you hope he indeed turns over his business interests to his children and keep the “wall” as ethically stable as possible. Meaning, he might be able to ask “how’s business…good?” And they can be like “yes – sales up 10% and we’re making good profits”. And leave it at that.
If you’re a Democrat, I believe you just placed all of your poker chips in the center and said “all in” on chasing this thread for the next 4 years and mentioning it any time anyone asks you.
I would contend that while ethics need to be addressed here, that our founding fathers were all business owners of some form….and yes, some laws they passed may have enriched them personally, but I would ask if it was in the best interest of the nation?
For example, let’s just say you’re a founding father, and you want a law passed that sets a minimum price for wheat. You own a farm. So do most of the other congressmen. This law then helps farmers who produce wheat across the nation, with having a consequence of enriching you in the process.
However, in today’s landscape of globalism…there’s a lot of shade out there. Secret meetings, greasing the wheels, straw men. I would think that in the next 4 years, some items relating to foreign relations, meetings, and domestic policy could happen – that ends up enriching him. It’s bound to happen.
Now, I would ask you….a man who is 70 years old, who risked his entire business to run for president….who potentially spent $150 million of his own money…who potentially lost $750 million in business from multiple sources….I ask you…would this man risk everything for a few million here or there? Even a billion? He could have cashed in all of his chips, retired to an island with between $4-$10 billion in the bank. Oh, and for those of you who don’t understand business valuations, his name brand is worth several billion alone – but valuating a company is more of an art form and there are swings on real estate value daily in all of the different markets. On the low end…$4 billion, on the high end…$10 billion.
Now, I ask you…for a man with 500+ companies, up to $10 billion in cash…and who has wanted to be president for 30 years….why would this guy try to enrich himself more with a job that is 18 hours a day at 70 years old with no pay?
Some people are just dumb. Could he be a world class dummy? Maybe. However, I’m pretty impressed how he took a few million and turned it into a vast empire. I’m impressed by how he jumped into TV and owned it. I’m impressed by the fact that anything he really sets his sights on…he masters. He does not strike me as a dummy.
I could be wrong.