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Privilege and Corruption: Maybe Not Illegal but They Don't Pass "the Smell Test"

Jeff Hall

Posted on October 14, 2019 14:41

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Just because someone "didn't do anything illegal" doesn't mean it's right.

It seemed pretty inevitable that Hunter Biden was going to have to step away from his cushy overseas deals if Papa Joe was going to have a chance at the nomination. 

Maybe Hunter Biden didn't do anything illegal by taking these positions, but something didn't smell right.

Why would a Ukrainian gas company and a Chinese hedge fund want Hunter Biden on their boards if not to secure a little more influence with Joe Biden, should he be elected?

Hillary Clinton shouldn't have been paid $250K per speech by Goldman Sachs. Come to think of it, Hillary Clinton wouldn't have been a candidate had she not been married to Bill.  The Clinton Global Initiative is now a very good family business.

Remember Billy Carter selling Billy Beer? 

And how likely is it that George W. Bush would have become president on his own had he not been the son of George Herbert Walker Bush?

After the Kennedy administration, a law was passed barring nepotism at the highest levels of government in response to some who resented Bobby Kennedy's influence. I'm not sure how Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump got around that.

But this goes beyond government -- way beyond. Witness the parents who rigged the system in order to get their kids into fancy universities. Or taxes that get avoided by the rich because they can afford expensive lawyers and tax accountants.

Something about all this stinks -- and we all know it.

When Donald Trump as candidate said he was going to "drain the swamp," something resonated. 

But, oh my, the swamp is now so much deeper and stinkier now. Greed has become an official way of life; the Manaforts, Michael Flynns and Rudy Guilianis of the world appear to have put the desires of (well-paying) foreign governments and shady business operators above the interests of the US itself. 

The Trump kids take advantage of all kinds of privileges that would not have come their way had it not been for their father. And then there's DJT himself.

I think candidates -- at all levels -- should pledge in advance of winning, that if elected, not only will they not engage in any conflicts or corruption, but they will avoid even the appearance of any of that. 

This pledge would pertain to members of the family, as well. Maybe such a pledge could be made legally binding -- and, if not, the former official would at least have some explaining to do if he or she later sold out.

Some similar pledge should be taken by our CEOs, and those aspiring to become CEOs. Companies shouldn't become personal piggy banks and CEOs shouldn't peddle opioids or fake news or AR-15s and other products that pose a real danger to the American people. 

I doubt our legislators will take this on, for they are indeed conflicted. There is something rewarding about keeping things as they are. But that doesn't make it right.

Draining the swamp will have to bubble up from below. 

 

 

 

Jeff Hall

Posted on October 14, 2019 14:41

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Source: WashPost
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