I happen to be a fan of all The Godfather movies. Before that, I read the book. I am such a fan, I even like Godfather III. I’ve always wondered why I have been fascinated by “Th Godfather,” “Goodfellas,” “Casino” and many other films about crime families. Then, a few years ago, it came to me; I have been fascinated by such “families” because I know nothing about them and I have ever met families like these.
All that has changed, of course, since we now have a veritable “crime family” living in the White House. Now, we are all confronted by a crime family, the Trumps, who literally occupy the highest echelons of government. Worse, they are also backed by a syndicate, called “The Republican Party,” who support the Trump Crime Family at every turn.
Actually, that last little simile may not be entirely accurate. The GOP may be more like the police department, who is supposed to enforce the law and put them in jail, but instead looks the other way because they’re getting something they want in return. It is the job of Congress to keep the “president” in check, as a co-equal branch, but in the hands of Republicans, they simply sit on their hands and do nothing. Oh, sure, once in a while a smattering of them complain a little at times, but not a single one of them actually does anything.
Consider; upon taking office, the current occupant of the White House was/is legally required to divest of his personal business holdings. The purpose for that should be obvious; if a “president” is still conducting personal business while leading the federal government, there will always be a temptation to take actions that benefit him, rather than the country. Also, if he has to deal with companies or individuals with whom he does business, he is less likely to put the country first and enforce the law. We all know it is easier to be compromised by people who know us and do business with us, and allowing foreign governments that much leverage is an unwise thing to do because most will take advantage of that.
We’ve already seen the damage, as Trump has pulled out of most trade agreements we were once part of, with nothing to replace them. He also has started trade wars with a number of countries, which is bound to do significant damage to the country. His company secured a half-billion-dollar loan from China to build a resort in Indonesia, and one of the first things he did was to undermine the sanctions against Chinese telecom company ZTE by lamenting the “loss of jobs” in China.
Another thing to consider; although Trump is not taking his $400,000 per year salary, claiming he doesn’t need it; we would be better off as taxpayers if he took the salary and was forced to reimburse the Treasury for the constant trips to Trump-owned properties, all of which essentially put tax money straight into his pocket. I’m not just talking about taking Air Force out every weekend, although that is expensive. No, it’s the other stuff. Every time he goes, he takes an entourage of aides and, of course, a dozen or two Secret Service agents. Everyone in his group is paying for rooms at his hotels, paying for food at his restaurants and possibly greens fees to play on his golf courses. Not only that, but he’s also making more money on memberships, based on his status as “president.” We all know he raised the cost of an annual membership to Mar-a-Lago from $100,000 per year to $200,000 per year. That resort has 500 members, so he is making an extra $50 million per year from “being president.” Sure, it’s proof that rich people are stupid as shit, but it also means he is personally profiting from the presidency. And in case you’re wondering, about 425 people with more money than.brains pay upwards of $300,000 per years for a membership to Bedminster, his “summer retreat,” although finding exact numbers for Bedminster is a little more difficult than Mar-a-Lago. By most estimates, Trump’s weekly vacations to his own resorts have cost taxpayers at least $20 million so far, although some estimates have it far higher. Talk about an “imperial presidency.”
The entire Trump Regime (I hesitate calling it an “administration,” since they “administer” nothing; the entire operation is run by the extra-large seat of Trump’s pants.) is run very much like that of a crime family. So far, a large portion of his Cabinet
Ross has been using his position in the Trump Regime to enrich himself and his private company in many ways, and yet, there has been no pushback from the branch of government charged with oversight of that sort of thing, precisely because it’s run by Republicans, who will never go after “their own.” Ross claims he has divested himself of his business assets, but he only transferred them to a trust, but it’s administered by his family, who are still quite active, which means the conflicts of interest are profound. According to Forbes, Ross has assets that are tied to the Bank of Cyprus, which has and will continue to hold a prominent place in the Russia investigation. He also has business ties to the Chinese government, with whom the Regime will have to deal with regularly on economic matters, so this could create problems. Ross can easily leverage the power of the entire Commerce Department to enrich his family. (Source )
Do I even have to mention Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt? Not only has he implemented regulations designed to enrich his cronies in the fossil fuel industry, as well as any business who finds cleaning up their mess to be too expensive, but he’s also tried really hard to enrich himself, using his government job as leverage. Not only did he use his position in government to help his wife acquire a Chick-fil-A franchise and to get his daughter into law school, but he has also been called out for sending government-salaried aides to get himself a used mattress and to get cases of a special moisturizer he likes that is only sold at Ritz-Carlton.
This is, of course, the top of the iceberg. His two oldest children are working at high levels in the White House, even though they are completely unqualified. His son-in-law, who already has a pedigree as a greedy slumlord, has been put in charge of “Middle East Peace” based solely on the fact that he’s Jewish, apparently. And all of them and the hapless Eric Trump, are doing Trump Organization business and cutting deals with governments and others, to enrich themselves, and they’re doing so on the taxpayer’s dime. They are living high on the hog, even as their political party is actively working to take food away from children and steal health insurance from families who need it. They are still living the lives of spoiled rich kids, even though they’re practically middle-aged, and they’re making us pay for it, even as they promote policies that break up immigrant families.
Of course is just part of a pattern; entitled rich boys and girls who feel entitled and have a mindset that makes them believe they can use the federal government the same way they used their former companies. If they want something, they believe they can just send one of their employees to go get it for them, or expense it out. The conspicuous corruption that runs rampant throughout the Trump Regime is disgusting, yet the only people who can do something about it right now are just ignoring it. Not only that, but most of the press treats it only as something slightly abnormal. It’s almost as if these divas paying for their excesses with public money is only slightly unusual. First, we had Dick Cheney and George W. Bush handing no-bid Iraq contracts to crony companies and that was really bad, but they at least tried to hide it and excuse it. At least Dick Cheney did put his assets in a blind trust. These days, the Trump Regime doesn’t even hide it. They openly violate federal law and the Emoluments Clause and show even less respect for the law than Bush or Cheney.
It’s so bad, Trump isn’t even trying to hide his strong mob influence these days. Within the last few days, he’s referred to people as “rats” and he has praised Paul Manafort for not talking. He has suggested, on national TV, no less, that “Flipping,” which refers to “turning state’s evidence” and is a key law enforcement tool for getting the worst criminals in the country, should be illegal. In other words, even though his standard endorsement includes “tough on crime,” he actually embraces criminals who remain loyal to their criminal bosses.
We don’t need a president who is surrounded by slobbering “Yes men” who are loyal to him. We need a “president” who is loyal to this country above all else and who surrounds himself with people who share his loyalty to the American people. It’s time to begin to rid ourselves of the Trump Crime Family and to begin the restoration of a government in which the people we elect see themselves as servants to us, and not the other way around.
Also published on Medium.