According to Merriam-Webster, legal can be defined as “allowed by law.” One of the definitions of ethical is “following accepted rules of behavior.”
It’s been said that just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s ethical. For instance, while it’s legal for Donald Trump to refuse to provide copies of his income taxes to the American people, by not doing so he raises serious ethical questions. I use Trump and his taxes in order to provide an example most of you are probably familiar with, but the president-elect has been putting on a clinic about how to engage in mostly legal, but certainly unethical behavior ever since his YUGE popular vote loss—but electoral vote victory—over Hillary Clinton, who lost primarily to her own ethical loss.
In the past two weeks, we have learned:
- Trump has allowed his family to continue promoting his businesses on the campaign’s transitional website.
- Trump has indicated that his son-in-law, the husband of Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, is being considered for a White House job in what is likely a violation of federal anti-nepotism laws.
- Speaking of Ivanka, she is the VP of Development of Acquisitions for the Trump Organization and is responsible for bringing the Trump brand to global markets, and she attended Trump’s recent meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan.
- In a post-election 60 Minutes interview with the Trump family, Ivanka’s jewelry company used her appearance to market an $10,000 diamond bracelet she wore on the program.
- And it has been reported that Trump wants his children to have maximum-security clearance.
From this short list alone, it’s easy to see why a majority of voters prefer that Trump’s children are not involved in his administration.
But as they say in the infomercials . . . Wait! there’s more!
Unlike past presidents, Trump will not be putting his businesses into a blind trust, which on the surface gives an eerily similar appearance to Hillary’s Clinton Foundation corruption.
Over this past weekend, there were numerous stories of how Trump and his family have been using the office of the presidency as leverage for his oversees businesses and his new hotel in Washington D.C. And just yesterday we learned that Trump used a congratulatory call from the president of Argentina as an opportunity to ask him to intervene on some legal issues Trump is having with a building project in Buenos Aires, although both parties are now denying the conversation took place.
All of this in just two weeks. And while the legalities of his actions most certainly can be argued—and most likely will be in the courts and Congress, costing taxpayers millions—the ethical implications by our president-elect are crystal clear.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically-incorrect and always “right.” His articles can also be found on RedState.com.
His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.