Ethics: flushed down the drain

The news that Mr. Shaub resigned as director of the Office of Government Ethics is the umpteenth pointing finger, warning sign, red alarm light. Something is seriously wrong with this administration, White House, president.

Yet US media remain optimistic. Some hold out hope, Trump will appoint “another independent director committed to the ethical rules of public service“. Wake up! Fat chance!

If there is one thing Trump shows time and again: he has no idea what ethical or even decent behavior is.  Worse: his learning curve is horizontal, if not actually tanking.

The main focus of Mr. Shaub’s office was to prevent conflicts of interest. The aim of the office is, to ensure civil servants act on behalf of the American people. It was also an office with real teeth: real enforcement power.

Trump is not the only person Mr. Shaub and his officials locked horns with. Trump, his administration, his appointees are the most obnoxious “servants” Mr. Shaub must have dealt with. In the end, they finally wore him down. This is not just telling, but extremely worrying.

According to the New York Times, most of Trump’s wealthy nominees resisted official demands. Demands made, to ensure no conflicts of interests would occur, while these rich folks were going to “serve the public”. Like one Mrs. DeVos, most of these nominees donated and expected returns of investments and are not overly familiar with serving other people. They excel in self-serving.

The Office won one skirmish. Names of nominees from Trump’s inner circle who were granted waivers by “someone high up” were in the end revealed. Not that these people then ensured there would be no conflicts of interests. These folks were exempt from having to ensure no conflicting interests arose between their many business interests or links to lobbyists and their job of serving the American people.

One of the causes for Mr. Shaub to resign and opt for a new career at the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center, is Trump’s refusal to sell his businesses. From the very day he became president, Trump started and actually continuous to use his presidency for personal profits. Mr Potus is facing several lawsuits as well as criticism about his own and his family’s “ethical shortcomings” – to put it diplomatically.

It stares one in the face: this president, his cronies, his family ensure they rake in plenty money. Ethical? Decent? They have no clue what these two words mean.

Idioms they are familiar with include avarice, fraud, protection money, kickbacks, extortion, bullying, alternative facts, fake news, tax evasion and worse.

For US media to express the slimmest of hopes that another independent but hopefully even stauncher and more determined fighter than Mr. Shaub will be nominated – This is simply laughable! It shows these media’s learning curve is about as flat as their president’s.

People who fight Trump are starting to leave, because they are forced out, bullied out, exhausted, worn down. Accept it! Face up to reality! Work towards solutions bearing this in mind. Acknowledge this:

Ethics and decency have simply been flushed down the drains by this president, his family, his friends, his supporters.

New York Times editorial: Surprise Us, Mr. Trump


About Kate

Multilingual arts & culture journalist, blogger, columnist, writer and translator. Contributor to international (news) media. 2014 winning columnist Gentse Schrijversdagen, Gand, Belgium.
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