Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Watching the Train Wreck
Those who lack a sense of history will underestimate how hard it is for a White House to avoid scandal. We have had so few White House scandals in the last eight years because it was a top priority, if not the obsession, of the administration to avoid scandal. You only need to look back one year further to see the contrast and get a sense of what is coming. The president-elect has no patience with the need to follow the concepts of ethical behavior, and if the history of his campaign hinted that his administration would be a non-stop parade of scandals, the personnel selection process now confirms that. Cronies, crooks, and conspiracy theorists are on the incoming administration’s A-list. The transition process is being led by business people seeking mainly to make a profit for themselves, while the president-elect has publicly said that conflict-of-interest rules do not apply to the White House. The scandals to follow will be in the news virtually every day for years to come, presenting an ongoing distraction not just for the government, but for the country and the world. While it will be necessary for some of us to keep track of the mischief and criminal goings-on at the White House in the coming years, there will be a decided personal advantage for people who can tune out the news and focus on problem-solving closer to home. It may be a challenging period for those who need to seek publicity for the ventures, but people who can be quietly effective, focusing on a vision and getting things done without much fanfare, may find themselves years ahead of those who must stand and watch the train wreck day after day and year after year.