Donald Trump continues what he started in his quest to be President. Angst and anger. As he transitions from Chief Executive of a private business to the most powerful public job in the world serving as President of the United States, Trump remains caught up in personalities and knee jerk reactions. While the rest of the country is looking for direction and leadership, his constant and very public parade of people in and out of his guilded building in New York City appears to have taken priority over almost all else, except his Twitter account.
Our President Elect has chosen not to accept daily intelligence briefings, taking only three to date, while he continues to talk to leaders from all over the world. If you think about that for more than a minute, you can get a major case of angst.
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who served under nine Presidents has expressed serious concern, saying,
"A president is always looking at a series of threats that may be out there ... Some of them may be credible, some may not be credible. But those threats change on a day-to-day basis with new intelligence, with new sources, with new assets that provide information." He continued, "Every president I know ... has taken their intelligence daily brief because that sets the agenda for what you have to focus on as president of the United States."
The one thing we now know that we can count on, whose proportionate importance becomes hard to compare, is being able to wake up each morning and read his thought(s) of the day. Just follow him on Twitter @realDonaldTrump. For anyone who thought he might assume a more presidential and restrained personna after the election, think again. One day he Tweets about his disdain for Saturday Night Live spoofs (and he's been a prior guest on the show), the next it's about foreign policy, his hatred of the media (that he works hard to court), the cost of a new Air Force One, or the announcement of a new Cabinet nominee.
It's all running together, and that's a problem. Including the ethical standard Trump's term of office will set. The imperative of doing away with conflicts of interest appear to be viewed by our President-Elect as part of that annoying status quo he railed against. But it's extraodinarily important. While there is no actual law to guide him, the ethical standards set by our President are what tradtionally allow for clear-sighted governance.
If you combine Donald Trump's global business entanglements, including financing, with his children's roles in his life both personally and professionally, the potential conflicts of interest are just waiting to happen. All you have to do is look at his new Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washinton, DC. Foreign governments and special interest groups are already reserving their rooms. Trump's daughter, Ivanka, has her own branded spa inside its luxurious space, and she's planning to move to DC along with her husband and close advisor to her father, Jared Kushner.
Trump supporters don't seem to care. They continue to make excuse after excuse for their man, no matter what he does, generally ending with "Give him a chance."
Donald Trump is walking a delicate line with the rest of the country. Divisivness is palpable every minute of every day somewhere in these United States. It's not a healthy way for America to stand tall. Reach out to all of us, Mr. Trump. Focus time and energy on leading the way to some form of unity so that more of us can give you a chance.