In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge stated, “The chief business of the American people is business,” and “the accumulation of wealth cannot be justified as the chief end of existence.” He elaborated, “So long as wealth is made the means and not the end, we need not greatly fear it. But it calls for additional effort to avoid even the appearance of the evil of selfishness. In every worthy profession … there will always be a minority … who will appeal to the baser instinct. There always have been, probably always will be, some who feel that their own temporary interest may be furthered by betraying the interest of others.”

Coming directly after the very corrupt Warren G. Harding administration, those were reassuring words.

In 2020, as we reach a crescendo of corruption within the Trump administration, we hear no such reassuring words. The president has a federal contract with himself (Trump Hotel/General Services Administration) and that’s OK. The president hires his son-in-law and daughter, who work in the White House while promoting their own private business interests, and that’s OK. The president appoints unqualified “acting” upper-level officials without the Constitutionally required Senate confirmations, and that’s OK. The president plays golf frequently at one of his resorts and taxpayers foot the bill for Secret Service golf carts, meals, lodging, etc., and that’s OK. The president attempts to coerce a foreign government into aiding his re-election and, apparently, that’s OK, too.

What form of corruption is not OK in the Trump administration?

Richard Whiting, Auburn


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