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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/16/17

The Trump Standard

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From Robert Reich Blog

Donald Trump- Caricature
Donald Trump- Caricature
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What did Trump say when confronted with proof that his son jumped at the prospect of meeting with a "Russian government attorney" offering to dish dirt on Hillary Clinton as "part of Russia and its government's support" for his candidacy?

Trump said "many people would have held that meeting."

The next day, Trump revised "many" to "most," saying: "I think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting. ... Politics isn't the nicest business in the world, but it's very standard."

It's true that politics isn't the nicest business in the world. I've been there. Real estate development isn't the nicest business in the world either, for all I know. But breaking the law and flirting with treason isn't standard practice in either realm.

Much ink has been spilled over the last six months documenting Trump's tin ear when it comes to all matters ethical: His refusal to put his business into a blind trust, as every one of his predecessors in recent memory has done. His refusal to reveal his tax returns, like his predecessors. The never-ending stream of lies that he continues to spew even after they're proven to be lies (three to five million fraudulent votes, Obama spied on me, fake news, and so on).

None of this is "very standard" for a president. It's the opposite of standard.

I think we've been missing the boat by characterizing these as ethical breaches. Ethics assumes some sort of agreed-upon standard against which an ethical breach can be defined and measured.

But Donald Trump doesn't live in a world that has any standards at all, and he never has. His entire approach to life, to business, and now to the presidency has nothing whatever to do with standards. It's about winning, at all costs. Whatever it takes.

Winning at all costs is the only thing that's "very standard" in Trumpworld.

When he was in business and couldn't repay his creditors, he declared bankruptcy. Again and again. And when his bankers finally wised up and refused to lend him any more money, he found foreign bankers who would oblige.

When he chose not to pay his contractors, or others who worked for him, he didn't. He stiffed them.

When women complained about sexual harassment, he paid them off.

Trump has spent most of his life in business being sued or suing -- as if our judicial system was just another standard tool for winning.

To make a name for himself in politics, he suggested Barack Obama wasn't born in America. Hey, whatever it took.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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