When it comes to corrupt administrations, presidential historian Robert Dallek says Trump’s administration is close to the top of the list, Vox reports.
“What makes it particularly distressing is the view that this is not an aberration but rather the ‘new normal,’” Dallek wrote for the Guardian before delving into the numerous times America’s democracy has been questioned in the past.
Dallek has written a number of books, including Franklin Roosevelt: A Political Life. In his Guardian op-ed, he hoped to share a possible message of hope that our country will get through this moment. He went into even more detail when speaking with Vox, still ending on a positive note.
The White House has had scandals for years. One of the most notable scandals was Nixon's Watergate, which resulted in a U.S. president resigning for the first and, so far, only time in history. There was also the 1921 Teapot Dome scandal, in which Warren G. Harding's administration came under fire, as Dallek told Vox. This scandal involved the lease of Navy petroleum reserves in California and Wyoming for extremely low rates to private oil companies with no competitive method of bidding. According to Britannica, the culprit was Albert Bacon Fall, the Secretary of the Interior for Warren G. Harding.
Still, amid all of the corruption that has occurred in the White House, the dishonesty committed by Donald Trump and his cabinet is nothing to ignore. Trump runs the Trump International Hotel in DC, which brought into question whether he was violating the emoluments clause. A lengthy investigation has delved into the allegations that numerous members of the Trump administration may have gone on extravagant vacations with taxpayers' money. Former campaign chair Paul Manafort was indicted, and there's a possibility that other members of Trump's administration will be indicted in the near future.
Dallek told Vox that the most unique thing about Trump's corruption is the president's complacency: "Often you see a lot of corruption result from a lack of oversight, but I think this administration is quite different in that Trump really sets the tone for all this. He encourages it, really."
The historian also added that Americans have become more "cynical about politics" due to the blatant dishonesty of the Trump administration. The statistics certainly prove it. FiveThirtyEight reports that currently 38 percent of Americans approve of Trump, and a whopping 55.5 percent disapprove.
In a Bloomberg piece written Wednesday called Let's Start Taking Trump's Unpopularity Seriously, reporter Jonathan Bernstein stated that every previous president since polls have been recorded—this dates back to Truman—was still "in positive territory at this point." When a rare level of corruption is brewing in the White House, this reflects in the approval, or lack thereof, among the people.
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