Several of our government’s high ranking and highly skilled federal employees have left their positions since Donald Trump became president of the United States. There are various reasons: retired, resigned, forced to resign, or were fired. I was upset when Donald Trump’s first Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, “cleaned house” shortly after taking the position. The country lost many experienced State Department employees who were not just long-term employees but also highly skilled experts in their specific duties involving foreign affairs and the nuances that were necessary to deal with other heads of state and the members of their “state departments.” It makes you wonder if Donald Trump might have been able to avoid some of the glaring mistakes that he made on the world stage if those people had the chance to educate him on appropriate protocols when meeting dignitaries and other world leaders. I understand Mr. Trump’s appeal of being a “my way or the highway” businessman. That kind of attitude served him well in his private company because no one, like a board of directors or stockholders, told him how he should conduct business and how he should behave when negotiating with other business owners. He was his own man, and in his mind a “bigly” successful businessman who took risks and always won, by doing everything his way.
The federal government has never been run as a private business, with one person in total control and not answerable to anyone but himself. The federal government is run more like a publicly-owned business entity. The “shareholders” are the American people. The members of the “board of directors” are the elected members of Congress. The “legal department” of this business is our court system. The inspector generals of various government departments are the auditors who keep an eye on the “business,” making sure it is run ethically and acting in good faith for the “stockholders” (us) that money, contracts, and laws are being followed for the good of the American people. Like most auditors, they have people working daily and reporting back to them when there are concerns a department of the business is not performing their jobs properly. The federal inspector generals have a responsibility to the American people; that is their overriding, all-consuming job. If they are made aware of questionable behavior or actions in specific areas of their concerns, they are required to investigate these issues, no matter where they may lead. That is what they were hired to do.
Since April 6, 2020, Donald Trump has been weeding out any inspector general he feels is not performing to his expectations, especially if they have the audacity to question and investigate allegations from “whistleblowers,” In Mr. Trump’s opinion, anyone who is a “whistleblower” is a loser, unpatriotic, and perhaps even a traitor, not to
the country but to him, personally. Again, that’s how Donald Trump conducted his private businesses, but that isn’t how it works in our federal government. Our country has suffered through corruption and even traitors, but I don’t believe we have ever seen this level of corruption and misplaced loyalties, certainly not in my lifetime. Richard Nixon came close, but, personally, I never felt that our Democratic Republic was in any danger of being destroyed from within. President Nixon had the good sense to resign from office rather than have his impeachment trial destroy our government. Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial was more of a titillating “sexual” drama played out on TV than anything remotely close to what Donald Trump was impeached for and showing the American people the Republicans, in Congress, were willing to lie under oath rather than participate in an impartial trial of the president. The only thing they showed us was that they were perfectly comfortable in their loyalty to a corrupt president or incapacitated by their fear of losing their positions of power, if they dared cross the bully-in-chief. At that point, they showed the American people who mattered to them and it certainly wasn’t us.
The current firings of a number of inspector generals, in several different departments, is once again showing all of us that Donald Trump will do anything he firmly believes our Constitution gives him the right to do. It is a shame there appears to be no one in our government who has the guts to stand up to Mr. Trump and tell him he can’t do anything and everything he wants without breaking the law. He isn’t a dictator or president for life, at least not yet. I know some other presidents in our history have come close to and perhaps even stepped over the line of their authority, at times, but I don’t believe any of them have pushed or blatantly run past the boundaries our Founding Fathers put in place to make sure we never had a king, dictator, or a lifelong president who ruled the American people with an iron fist.
I also don’t believe we have ever had a president who relished dividing people and promoting violence as much as Donald Trump has done, beginning with his presidential campaign. That is not to say we haven’t had division in the country over many issues, and we have had some violent protests take place in our streets. We’ve had a couple presidents who were a bit slow in condemning such actions, but I do not remember them publicly going on TV or the radio and encouraging violent and deadly behavior.
That is an obvious abuse of power. It doesn’t matter if Donald Trump believes he can do anything he wants as president of the United States, he must understand it is a temporary job with strict limitations of power.