All wealth isn’t generated honestly. That is to say, it’d be naïve to assume that every wealthy person on the planet obtained their assets solely via competency, fidelity and hard work.
For sure, there are individuals – like the proverbial rags-to-riches stories wherein the protagonist pounds the pavement with a great idea, never takes no for an answer, and ultimately becomes a success – whose wealth is a result of an honest day’s work. But there are also individuals whose wealth and success was generated on the broken backs of others – for example, families who profited greatly from slavery and were able to pass down wealth for generations – or came by mostly chance, luck and privilege.
The manner by which wealth is generated might not always, or ever, be the top concern of Americans who aren’t themselves wealthy, but given the forthcoming administration, which would be the wealthiest in modern history, the working majority should, indeed, be concerned. Concern, not so much large-scale paranoia, in this instance is warranted because it appears that the Republican president-elect, Mr. Donald Trump, is equating wealth with competency when building his cabinet and that assumption could prove disastrous – Mr. Trump is, himself, wealthy and he hasn’t been proven to be a competent political practitioner by any standard.
To be clear, my argument isn’t that every wealthy person Mr. Trump picks is corrupt, undeserving of their wealth or unqualified, but rather it seems he’s making cabinet appointments based largely on wealth instead of experience, public opinion and competency. On Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa, Mr. Trump said of his cabinet: “I want people who made a fortune!”
As of today, among Mr. Trump’s appointees are four billionaires, and that includes his most recent appointment, Mrs. Linda McMahon, the former CEO of sports-entertainment promotion WWF, now branded WWE, who donated a total of $7 million to pro-Trump super-PACs, and who, along with her showman of a husband Mr. Vince McMahon, are the largest donors to the controversial Trump Foundation. Criticism of these picks of course has been made, but Mr. Trump has brushed them aside.
According to the president-elect, he’s putting together “one of the great cabinets that has ever been assembled in the history of our nation.”
What makes the cabinet so great? The wealth; it surely isn’t the diversity – most appointees are older white men and the only African-American to be offered a job thus far is a neurosurgeon who will oversee housing and urban development, a typecast of sorts, in my opinion.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with desiring to work with prominent people who’ve made money. But the president-elect should also want to work alongside those who’ve made a difference in communities and/or who’ve written and passed meaningful legislation that improved the quality of American lives.
Mr. Trump has long been obsessed with wealth and opulence – it’s what has defined his brand for decades – and that was appropriate for an unrepentant capitalist. But Mr. Trump now shows up in the world in a different context; he’s the president-elect; and he must understand that his job is to run a country, not populate a country club.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
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