It’s called the Emoluments Clause and it’s staring President-elect #Donald Trump right in the face as he moves closer to taking control of the Oval Office. Basically, to be in compliance Trump has to declare and then divest himself and his businesses that have had commerce with foreign governments. This decision will call into question Trump’s real purpose for this amazing run to the Presidency.
Looking at Trump’s life, you can see he has always been about self-promotion, self-congratulations and promoting the “Trump” brand. Every Trump golf course, every Trump building “is the greatest, it really is” though many who know anything about golf courses and construction shake their heads in disagreement and disbelief. But Trump has the right to say that. He believes that.
Now as President, his first concern cannot be profit for himself and his companies. It has to be the people of the United States. This is where the Emoluments Clause kicks in; choices and agreements have to be made for the purpose of all rather than the profit of one. Now, this isn’t a perfect arrangement, as we know when we look at how much money Halliburton made in profit serving as a contractor for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a major stockholder in Halliburton. Once out of office he realized that benefit.
Public, not private, first
Trump has said that he will let his children run his business, which hardly suggests a clean break from having knowledge of their operations. Traditionally, our Presidents have put their investments and private business operations in a blind trust. In short, they give up control, trust others to operate the endeavor and then once out of office retake control.
Trump doesn’t sound like that kind of person. He even has said that he can do both. But that’s the point. The Constitution says you can’t do both. The Founders wanted the focus of the President to be on the public, not potential private profit. Of course, I know there are exceptions; yes, the history of the U.S. is full of examples of politicians dating back to _______ (fill in blank) who profited during their time in power.
What makes this so compelling is that conservative Republicans have always cited The Constitution as the guiding force in our governance. Example: Their die-hard belief in the sanctity of the Second Amendment. It can’t be touched.
Respect the Constitution?
Will that same certainty come into play regarding Trump and this clause in the Constitution? Could it be that in the third week of this transition to the position of the most powerful man in the world he realizes that being President in incredibly complicated, full of complex nuance in dealing with foreign countries and domestic policies alike? That's why he has to consider a hiring a man he criticized as dumb and a loser as his Secretary of State? It’s not the black-and-white world he talked about on the campaign trail. Or that another Republican is considering filing a lawsuit against Trump?
Faced with the choice of giving up his business interests for the sake of having a job that is easily considered the most difficult in the world, could it be he’s going to use the Emoluments Clause as an excuse to abdicate his election? In short, now that he’s on the inside does he realize that he’s not capable because he has neither the training nor the countenance to command this country? Does he have the self-awareness and the humility to make the decision?
If he did, think what he has done for his companies – he’s proven he’s capable of getting the most powerful job in the world. What does that say about what he can do in business? It’s the most powerful commercial for his business and his family’s heritage yet.
And maybe that’s all he wanted, and the Emoluments Clause lets him have the glory of the accomplishment without actually having to govern.
Let’s watch. #politics #Election 2016