One way or another this election season, the political system will be tested. It’s not the first time this has happened, but it is happening again now.
It is being tested by economic inequality, which is reaching unprecedented levels. It is being tested by the inability of the government of the United States, the most powerful country in the world, to control the Coronavirus pandemic, or even to tell the truth to its people so that they can try to protect themselves from the illness.
The body politic is also plagued by the unemployment of tens of millions – another 898,000 Americans applied for unemployment this week – but also the financial ruin of tens of thousands of small businesses whose owners built them with their sweat and blood.
It is also tested by racism, and the violation of the rights of Blacks, other minorities, and immigrants.
There is already a widespread impression that the deck is stacked in favor of the rich and against the middle class. The rich are getting much richer and the poor get poorer.
Democracy itself is more in question today than in recent memory.
Now a revelation from the New York Times has surfaced which is really shocking, and which will add a lot of fuel to the fire of doubts about the economic system and citizens' trust in politicians.
The revelation is that aides to the U.S. President were giving confidential information to major Republican donors, helping them buy and sell on the Stock Exchange.
And, of course, they gain at the expense of other investors who are unable to talk to the President's aides to obtain such information.
In particular, the newspaper writes that, “the president’s aides appeared to be giving wealthy party donors an early warning of a potentially impactful contagion at a time when Mr. Trump was publicly insisting that the threat was nonexistent.”
The confidence of the investing public – domestic and international – in the complete transparency of the Stock Exchange is of paramount importance. If this is lost, the damage to the economy will be incalculable.
That such a thing happened is one of the biggest scandals of the Trump presidency.
These things are not supposed to happen. At least, they are not supposed to happen in America.