EDITORIAL: Where are the ethics in President Trump’s cabinet?

READERS may recall news accounts of US president Donald Trump’s first full cabinet meeting. It was held at the White House on June 12. The nearly five month delay since his inauguration in January was due to confirmation delays for several of his nominees, as well as a few defections before the Republican-controlled Senate could even act to confirm them.

Trump’s conduct at that cabinet session became an instant news sensation. Numerous news organisations led by the New York Times described the conduct of that cabinet meeting as reminiscent of something to be expected from North Korea’s noxious dictatorship.

During press coverage of the cabinet session, Trump sat smugly as every single member of his cabinet duly sang his praises. Vice President Mike Pence led off with an obsequious tribute to Trump, stressing his pride and honour at “serving you” and “promoting your agenda.” One by one, the entire cabinet offered some kind of praise for Trump and his glorious agenda and future achievements.

The whole farcical sideshow did seem reminiscent of obligatory paeans offered to dictators across the world by their subservient minions. Televised as it was from the American White House, however, it was particularly jarring.

What has happened to Trump’s cabinet in the period since June? It seems only fair to say that this collection of wealthy plutocrats has enthusiastically lived down to the expectations their first full meeting engendered.

Pence has led the way in hewing strictly to whatever line Trump is pushing at the moment. His obeisance to the president’s orders is notable even in an office that has traditionally neither allowed nor anticipated much independence from the incumbent. Perhaps Pence’s most visible achievement was walking out of a professional football game in Indianapolis when players kneeled in protest during the playing of the American national anthem. Trump had expressed displeasure with such displays by the players, who were trying to protest social injustice and police killings of black Americans.

As for the other cabinet members, they seem generally disposed to undo as much as possible of what was established during the Obama administration. Many of Trump’s cabinet secretaries were appointed to weaken and emasculate the departments they were appointed to head. From rolling back regulations on greedy banks, cynical air and water polluters and rapacious drillers and developers on public lands, Trump and his associates have begun establishing a record of conscienceless behaviour that surpasses any of the notorious excesses of the dismal collection of cabinet secretaries serving under President Ronald Reagan 30 years ago.

A couple of these miscreants have behaved so egregiously that Trump could not retain them in the face of public ridicule. Most noteworthy is former Georgia congressman and health and human services secretary Tom Price. A long-time supporter of drug company efforts to extract big profits from questionable practices, Price seemed to prefer private government jets to readily available commercial air options. His excesses, once revealed in the press, became too much of an embarrassment even for Trump.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a former Montana politician who is leading the charge to plunder and despoil public lands in the west in the misbegotten tradition of Reagan’s Interior Secretary James Watt, has reportedly also been a frequent abuser of the government travel privileges. His excesses have not yet cost him his job.

Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, a fabulously wealthy Wall Street tycoon, took advantage of an available private government jet to enjoy a spectacular view of the solar eclipse at Fort Knox in Kentucky, and reportedly tried to use an official aircraft to travel on his honeymoon to Paris, though this request was denied.

The wealthy but venal businessmen, bankers and former congressmen who comprise Trump’s cabinet have hardly drained the Washington swamp of the putrid stench of corruption and insider favoritism. To the contrary, they have shown a sensational disregard for the traditional ethics of their high offices.

By their casual disregard for regulations and indeed for the positions they hold, these disreputable public servants reveal their ignorance and disregard for the public trust. Like the president they so steadfastly serve, they bring their offices into well deserved disrepute. It will never be too soon to witness their departure.


milesair 5 years, 11 months ago

I could not have said it better myself! Trump is a pox on the U.S. and hopefully, he will be impeached. His entire cabinet is filled with butt kissers and at least one religious pervert. I can hope that one day soon this nightmare will end as the U.S. is marching backward and not forward!


ThisIsOurs 5 years, 11 months ago

Dear Madame Editor, can you conduct an exercise where you list the cumulative salary of each MP, Permanent Secretary, Parliamentary Secretary and FS? I'm assuming that all of this is public so not an invasion of privacy. This would include board appointments, allowances and any other paid govt appointed position.

I'm very troubled by the PM's extremely early announcement that a salary increase for MP's is a top priority. Nothing's done, absolutely nothing but he thinks they need an increase.

He mentioned that they are "Only" getting 28,000. I'm willing to bet that each of them has supplementary appointments that take their salaries well into 100,000 and more. What was more troubling was the use of parliament to target one citizen earning 200,000 per year as the reason for suggesting the increase, with no explanation on the contribution on the individual. DAguilar did the same to Mr Poitier who is very accomplished. Had the entire country attacking him. Can you imagine anyone arguing that Travis or Macalpine should make as much as Mr Poitier??

Would be interesting to find if Dr Minnis has awarded any single individual a cumulative contract for over 200,000. The duplicity would be very disappointing.


GODCOUNTRYBAHAMIANFIRST 5 years, 10 months ago

President Trump has done more for that country than any other president ever, in a short time. He is changing the face of politics, making the world to see that politicians are expected to WORK, and many established politicians do not like that. He says, country first and my people first, as it should be in all countries. The media has been trying to destroy him. Lying CNN, MSNBC, CBS and NBC, and so on. Only FOXNEWS is partly honest, at least a little fair. I have been saying for years that the media is too bias, when they should just be doing their job as a journalist. Anyone can say whatever they want about the man, but Donald Trump has already accomplished a lot. What does that say about politicians everywhere who have been in politics for years and years? We have been fooled by politicians for decades, they are lazy, most of them. It's time to be fed up with them and demand results. Trump is even defeating ISIS, of whom I wont be surprised is coming in through the weak Bahamas immigration to the Bahamas. Reports say that they are already in some Caribbean islands. We can hate, judge, talk about badly, but you still have to accept it if a man is doing a good job.


milesair 5 years, 10 months ago

Trump is a buffoon who has made the U.S. look like a Banana Republic. He has the lowest popularity ratings of any President in recent history. He is taking the U.S. back 60 years by eliminating employment protection for minorities and has encouraged groups like the Klu Klux Klan and Nazi skin heads whom he refers to as "good people!" He has brought a group of bigoted billionaires into his cabinet, people who hate Blacks, Latinos, women and other minority groups. He is trying to pass tax breaks that will be good for himself, his family and his rich friends and corporate buddies. He is using his office for his own benefit and the benefit of his family members. This weeks election on Tuesday, Nov. 7th was a repudiation of Trump, and his party of gopers. Trump, through his rhetoric is on course to start WW3 either with North Korea or Iran. In short, Trump and his minions are the worst thing to happen to the U.S. in the last 100 years. In the work department, Trump has taken more time off to play golf than any President in recent history. With Trump, it's more like me first and if you are not rich, you can go straight to hell! Trump calls the media "fake news" about any subject that he disagrees with even if it is the truth. Faux "news" is nothing more than the propaganda arm of the GOP and serves more as an entertainment channel than a news source. Trump has not had any piece of legislation passed and has been a complete and utter failure. Get real!!


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