A few days ago, my cousin, John Logan, sent me this text message (sic):
oldest story in the book…Turtle gives the scorpion a ride on his back…Donald trump…he ain’t gonna change folks….
Bottom line is that there is no penalty or prohibition on the President having a conflict of interest. No point in complaining or worrying about it. The one thing you can be sure of is that none of this came as a surprise to Donald Trump. He knew that the Presidency is a license to steal if a person who is so inclined gets there. Old Money understands noblesse oblige and acts accordingly. New Money understands getting more money and acts accordingly. So our system was written mostly by Old Money and assumed that Old Money would always rule because they deserve it. No New Money had ever been elected POTUS before with the exception of Jimmy Carter but even his harshest critics must admit that Carter is a moral outlier.
Male? Landowner? White? All designed to make sure that the person was of some means (Money) and in line to inherit additional means (Old Money). And then along comes Trump. Vulgar in his money worship and displays of ostentatious wealth. Gold plated toilets. Trump Force One. The Jet Ranger. A wife who remains suspiciously unattractive while having had all of the surgery we require to meet the American ideal of attractiveness. Loud and proud in his ignorance.
Trump meets all of the requirements, written and unwritten, that the Founders set for POTUS. Keeping in mind that upward mobility during that time was virtually unknown. The Founders had no idea that someone like Trump – the definition of New Money – would come along.
New Money understands getting more money and acts accordingly
We’ve handed Donald Trump the keys to the greatest money making opportunity the world has ever known – The United States of America. Acting shocked that he will now do those things that his supporters admire (lie, cheat, and swindle) to the United States of America in order to make money is childish. There is, literally, nothing in Trump’s background to even hint that he has, or ever has had, any sense of patriotism or loyalty to the United States. He is New Money.
Trump is Trump. Trump is New Money and The Founders could no more imagine New Money than they could imagine that Blacks were people and not animals, much less Americans.
(now you know why the concept of “Original Intent” makes Black Americans grind our teeth)
And so they left it to Noblesse Oblige. In their opinion, it was an unavoidable condition of having money and, therefore, could be counted on as if it were a natural law. The rich will do what is right. Always.
Until they don’t
Along comes Trump. A rich man who believes in being rich and getting richer. And little else. Trump realizes that The Constitution was written by bigots who could not see reality or the future. They believed that things would not change significantly. The Landed Gentry will always rule and that is the way it will always be.
But then Trump
Here is a man who has no sense of Noblesse Oblige. He doesn’t give significantly to charity. He has no religious or civic affiliations beyond those associated with his business. He doesn’t even pay the taxes that we all pay to help keep our society running. He steals from business partners, business rivals and the government. He is a small man with a large wallet. Following in the tradition of his father, Fred, who was another small man with a large wallet. Trump’s only purpose in life is to make that wallet bigger because he can’t make himself any bigger.
What does that mean for us? We find ourselves without a President who recognizes, nor any law that imposes, ethical limitations on him. Noblesse Oblige? Meh.
It’s like that time you put on Victoria Secret’s lingerie and locked yourself in a cage with a rabid orange-faced, paunchy, sex crazed Chimpanzee with a bad Carol Channing wig who had been smoking bath salts for the last three days straight and handed him a loaded 45 Colt – or am I the only one that has ever done that? – it’s a little late to wonder whether you’ve made some questionable decisions.
Perhaps now folks will start questioning the divine inspiration of those rich slave owning White men that designed this country?