Email #45, Subject: the “highest standards”?

You stated in your letter to me that the “men and women elected to represent the American people should be held to the highest standards.” I strongly agree. This is why I am so disturbed by the President-elect’s refusal to release his tax records and his refusal to place his businesses in a blind trust. The director of the Office of Government Ethics called Trump’s plan to hand the running of his businesses to family members “not even close” to a blind trust and “wholly inadequate.” In order to know his conflicts of interest, the American public needs to see his tax returns, something his predecessors have done and that he himself advised Mitt Romney to do in 2012. But now as President-elect, he is reversing the forty-year tradition of previous Presidents. As the highest elected official, he should be held to the very highest of standards, but instead he is significantly lowering them. So what are you doing to hold the President to the ethical standards that you proclaimed? I would like to believe that your statement to me wasn’t empty rhetoric. Do you actually mean what you say?

Chris Gavaler

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

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