Trumps Animal Farm

I’ve been asked three times this week “Why don’t you write about Trump?” and I never really had a good enough response. The truth is that my hot take on the Golden Shower scandal is as lukewarm as a week old urine sample.

The other fact is that I don’t really care all that much what the (soon to be) President did or did not get up to, his proclivities are his business. But I do care about, as should we all, his Business and Businesses. We should care deeply.

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a Business,man.” – Jay Z

Watching the world go into collective hysterics over Trumps unintentionally(or intentionally) hysterical “Press Conference“, I wasn’t sure how to react. Luckily my kids were there to put things in context. Out of the mouths of babes…

I’ve been reading Animal Farm to the kids and they drew my attention to a Napoleon (the dictatorial pig) and Donald Trump (the wannabe dictatorial pig) parallel. If you’re not familiar with the story, Animal Farm is basically a tale of how downtrodden animals revolt against the oppression of human beings, only to find themselves under the oppression of their fellow Comrades, the pigs. A salutary tale, that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

What my kids observed was this: Trump and his gang shouting down the attempts of a CNN journalist to ask a question was exactly the same as when having given orders contrary to the Animals Commandments, Napoleon has the sheep start bleating “Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad”, thus drowning out any opposition.

After such a “meeting” Squealer – Napoleon’s Press Secretary –  would trot around the farm to placate the animals and assure them that Leader Napoleon was only making these changes for their own good. Trump’s incoming press secretary Sean Spicer fills this role in the real world version. But Spicer doesn’t seem to have Squealers persuasive skills, relying instead on bullying and threats and yet…

Yet none of this Non Fake News, Fake News circus matters when put into context of Trumps cabinet picks. I read this morning that former Irish Health Minister, James Reilly is in trouble for accepting a donation of €1,000. The donation amount is not in breach of the Standards In Public Office (SIPO) regulations, it is the fact that he took it in cash that’s put him on the wrong side of the law. A minor breach, but a breach nonetheless.

Now let’s look at the Trump cabinet, not the individuals, but at their candidacy. Rather, let’s not look at their candidacy, as many of his picks have not completed the required Ethics Review or submitted the required SIPO paperwork. The fact that these checks are required has not stopped the candidates undergoing their Confirmation Hearings.

These hearings are designed to allow Senators, who have access to the Ethics Reviews reports on the candidate, an opportunity to question candidates as to their suitability for their potential role. So what we have now is a group of trumps picks, without proper vetting, being questioned by Senators who have none of the information required to ask pertinent questions.

I don’t really care about what did or did not happen in a Moscow hotel room. I care deeply about a Cabinet of people taking office, who potentially have more ethical flaws and conflicts of interests than any other Cabinet since the birth of democracy.

Trumps presidency has already had more scandal than in the entire eight years of the Obama administration. While everyone was on a Buzzfeed Buzz, Trumps pick were busily being rush through their Confirmation Hearings. While the world was going mad over whether Trump is compromised by a Russian dossier, he was busy compromising an already fragile democracy. That is the Real News.

So forgive me for not getting swept up in the Golden Shower-Gate, but “a donkey lives a long time“.

Tony Groves January 2017

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