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Attacks on the culture of democracy

Melvin B. Miller

The Democrats have failed to win the race for president. That is a substantial loss, but it’s not as great a loss as the decay of the underpinnings that support America’s democracy. In past elections, voters from both parties had every confidence that the occupant of the White House was working exclusively for the people’s interest.

There has been a long tradition of presidential candidates publishing their tax returns for several years. This informs voters about potential conflicts of interest. President-elect Trump refused to comply with this requirement when he was a candidate. The failure of voters to express robust opposition to this decision undoubtedly emboldened him.

Once elected, presidents usually put their assets in a blind trust managed by an independent trustee. The independent trustee then has full authority to sell the assets and place the proceeds into other investments or hold and manage the properties. At any rate, the president should have no business involvement. The idea is that the president of the United States should have no business except the interests of the people.

Trump wants to reduce the U.S. to a banana republic with family members employed in the government and business meetings held in the Oval Office. So far there has been little public protest.