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THOMPSON: Working in the White House isn't what it once was

May 28, 2018 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


Have you ever had a job you simply couldn’t stand? I guess if you live long enough…you’re bound to have one or two that you might not like. But, no, I’m talking about a job that you hate…every minute of every day. A job that bleeds you…death from a thousand cuts.

Sure, most people might say…so quit. And that can work in many situations, I guess. But, what if you’re committed…so sure of what you’re doing is the right thing…to quit would signal failure. Your failure. In a marriage, it’s called divorce…and regardless of how necessary it might be…it’s rarely an easy step. It’s not much different with your career…it’s tortuous - at best - to quit.

That must be the feeling of so many people who work…or try to work…in today’s White House.

I believe there are some people who really care about America who work in the Trump Administration. But, I don’t care where you work…you’re likely a reflection of the person at the top. If not, how can you stay? When the distance between your values - what makes you tick - and the values of the person at the top stretches too far…something’s gotta give.

Those past and present who work in the Trump White House are among the least talented, least ethical people to ever work there. White House and presidential historians all agree…Trump’s pledge to hire the “best of the best” was just another lie. Trump’s White House staff is the political equivalent of the “gang that couldn’t shoot straight” and that’s being charitable.

But you know, I don’t feel sorry for any of them…not a one. We’re all known by the company we keep. Donald Trump chose them…and they chose Donald Trump…for whatever reasons. Perhaps too many took the jobs because they’re simply ambitious…power hungry people will do most anything to get ahead…and Trump signalled clearly…you can profit from being in power.

For example, Kelly Anne Conway, counsellor to the president and former campaign manager, has been a hired gun most of her working life. If you don’t remember, previously she was spokesperson for Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican considered “the most hated man in Congress” not by Democrats…but by members of his own party.

But Conway jumped ship when she saw Cruz’s presidential campaign sinking faster than the Titanic…and joined Trump. You can even see her on YouTube ridiculing Trump just a couple months before selling her soul to the devil and heading his campaign.

She lies…and is good at it…so she and Trump certainly get along well. She holds a record of sorts…telling 42 lies in 24 hours on various cable news shows on Jan. 11 and 12 of this year. She is to television what fingernails are to a chalkboard. Not only is she incredibly unbelievable…but on the likability scale she falls somewhere between Disney’s Cruella De Vil and Lady Tremaine.

A close second to Conway is White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. This is not an easy job when you work under a good president. When you have to explain Trump…it’s like getting kicked in the crotch every hour on the hour. Sanders lies with reckless abandon, and she, like Conway, has the personality of your least favourite in-law.

But make no mistake, no one in the White House - absolutely no one - comes close to Donald Trump when it comes to lying. He has lied more than 3,000 times - that’s 6.5 lies every day -
since entering the White House, according to the Washington Post’s Fact Checker database.

Also, The New York Times publishes a list of Trump’s lies…and alongside each one, the truth.

Staff members no doubt leave the White House for a variety of reasons. But you can bet, Trump’s lies are one of the major reasons. Trump’s White House has gone through more staff than any other modern-day president…all in less than a year and a half….twice that of Ronald Reagan and three times that of Barrack Obama. A look at those who have resigned - forced or voluntarily - looks like a rogue’s gallery.

Who in this group would you hire…Steve Bannon, Rob Porter, Sean Spicer, Anthony Scaramucci, Sebastian Gorka, Omarosa Manigault? Pick one…you have a bigot or two…you have liars…wife beaters…a guy who sounds like a ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom character from a gangster movie…a guy who couldn’t get a security clearance and looks and sounds like a character from a Russian spy movie and…a woman on the list of “African-Americans most despised by other African-Americans.”

Trump complains of White House leaks…well, you chose them Mr. President! And there are White House leaks because maybe - just maybe - there are a few who really care about democracy, justice and the Constitution and now see that Trump and his entire family represent the most cruel joke on America in 240 years.

I cannot list all that Trump has done to hurt America and democracy. There’s enough fact and truth for a few books. Trump told Americans that the news media are “enemies of the people.” So did Stalin. In fact, Trump undermines everything reasonable people hold dear.

But the only thing more evident than the fact that he is corrupt beyond a shadow of doubt…is that he simply isn’t very smart…and surrounds himself with people just like him. Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani are good examples.

Sadly, there are too many ignorant Americans…same can be said for most any nation. Some people believe the first thing they hear…or believe something because - like a drum beat - Trump and his minions lie, repeat it time and time again, and lie with incredible conviction.

One of the latest lies, of course, is that the F.B.I. spied on him during the campaign. No, what they were doing was discreetly gathering information…trying to learn about Trump people meeting with Russians, Saudis, Emiratis…anyone who had “dirt on Hillary” or could give them an advantage for a favour.

Despite Trump propaganda and its brain-washing effect…Trump will be snared…a victim of his own doing. The Mueller investigation will show he is more corrupt than anyone imagined. Just as Nixon’s own words on tape proved his guilt…his impeachable offences…the evidence against Trump, members of his family and a cast of dubious characters he employed will be overwhelming.

And those who say it’s time to end the Mueller investigation…where was your impatience when Benghazi ran for more than two years…and Whitewater ran more than seven years…and Watergate more than four years…and Iran-Contra more than six years? All cost way more than Mueller’s Russia probe. Maybe we should simply let truth dictate the length of investigations?

No one in America is above the law…not even a President. And to those who try to defend this blemish on American democracy - here or elsewhere - the truth is coming. Trump and all who support him won’t recognize it, of course, because it’s not something they know very well. 

Meanwhile, people working in the White House are polishing their résumés. They know one fact that’s not “fake news”…if your boss and co-workers are likely felons…good jobs are really tough to find with bad references.

— Don Thompson, an American awaiting Canadian citizenship, lives in Vernon and in Florida. In a career that spans more than 40 years, Don has been a working journalist, a speechwriter and the CEO of an advertising and public relations firm. A passionate and compassionate man, he loves the written word as much as fine dinners with great wines. His essays are a blend of news reporting and opinion.


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