As Trump trotted out the likes of billionaire Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education and Dr. Ben Carson for Secretary of Housing and Development, it became clear that the qualifications for any job in the Cabinet were based on the following questions;
Are you rich?
Will you be loyal to me no matter the cost to your reputation?
Will you lie to protect me?
Will you run your departments based on what I tell you to do?
The motivation for a leader to choose cronies as employees are to garner control over the positions they hold. Crony’s loyalty creates a protective shield around a boss, which allows for secrecy and corruption to spread throughout an organization. In the case of Trump, the organization is our democratic government.
In addition to cronies working at high levels in our government, Trump fills positions by appointing people in “acting roles” to avoid the process of congressional approval. This strategy has benefitted Trump by cleverly circumventing the constitutional powers of Congress. Trump-appointed Cabinet members who have used taxpayer money for private travel and many are still involved in business ventures with intense conflicts of interests. Another benefit to this strategy is Trump can quickly get rid of people he tires of with little controversy, as they were never considered to be permanent appointees. This narcissistic, corrupt style of governing as been permitted by the Republican Senate, and during the first two years of his presidency, the Republican House of Representatives. Currently, elected Republicans watch this President promote drugs, such as hydroxychloroquine, to treat Covid-19, which are not vetted by science, based on Fox News anchor Sean Hannity touting it as a treatment. Public health officials urged more studies on the drug as the side effects related to its use are considered potentially life-threatening, such as dangerous blood clots.
With the DOJ dropping of charges against General Michael Flynn, we are witnessing a blatant form of mob-like cronyism and corruption. Flynn lied to the FBI about meetings with the Russian Ambassador Kislyak during the 2015 campaign for the presidency. Legal experts throughout the country are rallying to oppose this action by the DOJ, by publicly calling for the resignation of AG William Barr. Trump is also dog-whistling the possibility of pardoning convicted friend and felon Roger Stone, who has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for lying to the FBI during the Mueller Russia Investigation.
Do Trump voters ever stop and wonder why are so many of Trump’s associates, and kids met with Russians? Why he lauds Putin as a great leader and friend and has sided with him over the American Intelligence Community? Is it a coincidence that Flynn and Manifort receive legal leniency while Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney who testified against Trump in front of the House of Representatives, is still awaiting release from prison to house arrest?
This is CORRUPTION. THIS IS DANGEROUS BEHAVIOR. REPUBLICANS ARE PROTECTING TRUMP AND ABANDONING THE RULE OF LAW FOR A MAN THEY PRIVATELY CALL A MORON, CORRUPT, CRAZY, DISHONEST, IMMORAL, AND DANGEROUS. MICK MULVANEY, THE FORMER ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF, SINCE DISCARDED BY TRUMP, CALLED HIM “A CANCER ON AMERICA” IN 2015. HE WAS RIGHT. TRUMP’S DISEASE OF CHARACTER HAS SPREAD LIKE CANCER THROUGH THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, AND IT IS DYING A SAD, BUT DESERVING DEATH.
Adding to the cronyism is the appointing of his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a real estate businessman, to head policies on the Middle East peace, opioid crisis, criminal justice reform, liaison to China, and most recently to oversee the government response to COVID-19. Jared, born with a silver spoon, has botched every job Trump has given him. This one decision by Trump should have tanked his credibility had he not been so effective at retaining the fans of his Apprentice TV Show. Seasoned, qualified politicians and experts have been overlooked for positions that Jared has been given.Additionally, there are the racist policies of Senior
Advisor Steven Miller, another crony who Trump uses to develop anti-immigration and white supremacist policies to solidify his base. Daughter Ivanka Trump is another “advisor” who should stick to selling purses and dresses and stay out of foreign policy and trade agreements. Trump abuses his power more blatantly than any President in modern history. His disrespect for our democratic norms is unpatriotic, and the unqualified, corrupt people he surrounds himself with is a reminder this not the rule of law Administration but rather a cheap knock-off of the Godfather.