Will Donald Trump be the Chairman of the Board and Vice President Pence the CEO and chief operating officer? This would appear to be the plan, the new model for presidential actions and behavior.
Trump has not given any indication that there will be anything normal about his presidency. His first love is making the deal, and from what we have seen Donald Trump seems unlikely to change his normal life style. Contrary to every president we have ever had, he does not plan to make the White House his primary residence. His wife and child from his current marriage plan on continuing to live at Trump Towers.
Then there is Vice President Pence. He just recently stated that he admires is Dick Cheney. Cheney was known for having more power than other Vice-Presidents we have had. This is the person that Pence would like to be like. We did not elect Pence President! If he were the candidate we would have vetted him much more and put his life under heavy scrutiny ; if we had any idea that he was going to given so much responsibility.
Only George Washington failed to live in the White House and this is only because it had not been built yet. There is no law requiring a President to do so but it is one of our time honored traditions.
One of the first acts that Adolph Hitler did was to suspend the equivalent of the Civil Service. This was done so that he could put his own men in key positions. We have a Civil Service from which federal workers are hired. It is just coming to light that Trump plans on having a hiring freeze and encouraging people to retire in Washington. This will be make conservatives happy because they have wanted to shrink government for some time.
The risk is that some of the people who have been non-political in doing their jobs will be partially replaced by Trump’s own people. A danger to all of us is that we will have partisans making decisions. The second question that this action presents us with is whether or not this will lessen efficiency. Will Trump follow through with his campaign promises and actually get rid of the EPA and the Department of Education?
As each day goes by, President Trump seems to be following the example of the former Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi. Berlusconi became embroiled in conflict of interest problems. Berlusconi is a media mogul, a billionaire, who had a disregard for the laws regarding conflict of interest. The former Prime Minister shared another small factoid of similarity with the President elect, he started out in business by going into Construction. Another aspect of amazing similarity is the fact that Berlusconi has along, a with Trump a nationalistic message. He belongs to a group who touts how great Italy will be. Italy, yes! Italy forward is the byword of the group.
It seems hard to believe that Trump will divorce himself from his true love, making the deal. We could see a real blurring of the lines and a downright disregard for what laws we have regarding conflict of interest. Trump seems to believe that the law does not pertain to him, as he has used his fortune to continue to bail himself out of legal difficulties. One would expect a President to liquidate his assets and put them in a blind trust. That’ll be the day!
Let us for a moment look at his father as a role model for his son Donald. Fred Trump denied that his family came from Germany. In fact Bavaria was where his father came from. His father made money and a lot of it by providing pleasure for men in Seattle. Fred became a millionaire in his own right in New York and if Woodie Guthrie is to be believed he was a slum lord. Infamously he was arrested in 1927 at a Klan rally. He died with an estate of 250 to 300 million. The question comes to mind as to whether the apple falls to far from the tree.
Can you imagine being at the dinner table at the Trump house? The Klan has never looked kindly towards blacks, Jews and other minorities. Their dinner conversation could have contributed to Donald Trump’s alleged racism.
So Mr. and Mrs. America, you now have a businessman as a President. Good luck with that! We have had a tradition of a President being a person who because his is the only office that we all vote for, be a President of all of the people. The new dynamic could very well be that we have a Chairman of the Board model for the presidency. How will that work for we the people. As to the Vice President we did not vote for him to be a shadow President. Welcome to the art of the deal!