Dysfunction in the White House

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Photo by Ninian Reid | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Ninian Reid | CC BY 2.0

There is something both horrifying and fascinating about the behavior of President Trump, as we watch him fail to cope with – or perhaps even recognize – the differences between the no-holds-barred world he created for his campaign and the much more polite and temperate world expected of leaders of a constitutional government.

As a result, the present White House appears to be a dysfunctional place. Apparently neither President Trump, nor most of his staff, have considered that there are real differences, different rules of behavior, between private and public life. Maintaining the model of the abusive boss, the know-it-all CEO (Trump’s preferred modus operandi), has, in quick order, proved both inappropriate and self-defeating. Here then are some of the consequences:

— The president has refused to stop being the avaricious businessman and relinquish control of his assets. As a result he will soon be facing an increasing number of lawsuits brought by various ethics organizations charging that his refusal to place his holdings in a blind trust violates the “emoluments clause” of the Constitution. The contention is that this can only lead to “scandal, corruption and illegitimacy.”

— The rush to impose a ban on immigration into the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries – imposed by executive order within ten days of inauguration – proved a sloppy piece of work. Trump simply assumed public opinion…

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