The President-Elect is a businessman. In fact he and his family have business interests the world over. This is great for a businessman but not so much for an elected official. This situation leads to the appearance of and actual conflicts of interest. I won’t waste your time reiterating the obvious. This potential for conflicts is perhaps most obvious at the local level of government. If we see any city commissioners working even if only indirectly for a business entity which may seek some beneficial action by government which requires the city commission to vote and approve the matter a red flag is raised. Even if the approval is not contrary to the public interest, we expect and require the commissioner to abstain from speaking or voting on the matter. This is even more obvious when zoning or land use decisions are under consideration. The elected representatives are expected to disclose any potential conflict of interest which might exist. After all zoning is like the third rail in local politics. Politicians may lose a re-election bid for voting against the interest of certain citizens even without any conflict. If a financial or ethical conflict is alleged then tempers flare, as they should. Could a President Trump objectively decide to support solar and wind energy alternatives as viable options to support of the fossil fuel industry if he or his family are invested in the petroleum or coal industries? Can he honestly act to limit climate change if he receives financial support from these industries. Could a business in which he has a financial interest which may be a source of pollution be properly investigated by his administration? The list could continue.
For one moment forget party or politics. Do not think as a Democrat, Republican, Independent or any other affiliation but think as a concerned citizen. A person is elected to serve the people. The elected official is entrusted with decision-making power by the people and expected to act to ensure the best interest of those who elected him or her. Any conflict of interest, but more importantly any financial interest, can not ever sway the judgement to act contrary to that sacred trust.
I don’t care how you arrive at your agreement with this fundamental principle of our Democracy, as long as you do accept this as a belief we as a Democratic nation cherish. You can toss this around in your head using whatever means works for you. Ultimately the opinion reached should be based on one’s common sense.
If my employer caught me doing things that benefited his competitor he would fire me with cause immediately. The bible as well as our common sense tells us that having two masters is a bad idea. We, the American people will be employing Mr. Trump under a four-year employment contract. If he signs that contract on January 20th, then we expect him to only work for our good, for us. His business and financial interests can only reduce his ability and create unacceptable conflicts of interest for him and his family in his new job. We all want him to succeed but prior to January 20th he must properly address his conflicts. If he fails to do so then we implore and expect our elected members of Congress to insure this does happen or remedy this problem by all appropriate means. This is not an option. Mr. Trump must create a blind trust for the financial/business interests of himself and his immediate family. This is common sense. A BLIND TRUST IS A MUST.