Dear Donald –
I get it. Nordstrom pulled Ivanka’s line and you’re upset about it. After all, you like to take things personally. And when you take things personally, you tweet. The problem is, you took this one too far.
To be honest, I’m not concerned at all that you tweeted this. It’s par for the course foolishness. Ivanka was treated unfairly because a company decided her products weren’t selling enough for them to continue taking up space in their store for it. It seems a general rule that, if a product is underperforming, you swap it out for something that will sell. But when it’s your daughter on the short end of the deal, it’s wildly unfair. Same old thin-skinned Donald.
What concerns me is that little “retweeted” note at the top. You took a personal beef about your daughter’s business and used the official @POTUS twitter account to magnify it. Most folks won’t get it. They’ll just see another Donald tweet and move on with their day, but this is fundamentally different. You used official communication channels and official government platforms to promote your own family’s financial interests.
Official government accounts should be used for government business only. They shouldn’t be used as personal platforms to pursue your own financial interests. Federal employees are subject to felony charges if they even inappropriately use letterhead or Agency branded envelopes because it would give the impression of official government sanction to whatever is included therein. People can know that you have an official government position, but you cannot use your office for your own personal benefit (or your family members’).
Let’s imagine Ivanka’s business wasn’t involved and it was just another brand that was removed. Imagine how bizarre it would be for the White House to release a statement about the fact that Bloomingdales wasn’t carrying Levi’s jeans anymore? What about the White House complaining that Kohl’s wasn’t carrying Rachael Ray products? Or if Comcast and HGTV were parting ways? It would be weird and definitely irrelevant to the work of the White House. Potentially even a misuse of resources.
Now imagine that a low-level staffer owned stock in one of those companies and seemed to be tweeting just to improve his own finances? We’d say that he should be fired for using his position for his own personal benefit.
We’d say the same thing of that staffer were doing it to improve the finances of his mother or sister or daughter.
Now, what do we do when the man in charge does it? Do we let him off because we think he’s somehow less culpable or less responsible for his own actions? Why is the man in charge less responsible than the guy at the bottom?
I know you and your family always had plans to monetize the Presidency (just look at Melania’s lawsuit), but that doesn’t mean that we, as the American people, have to accept it.
This is only a step removed from selling ad space on the side of the Presidential limousine. We need to stand up and say, “Enough.” This is unacceptable. This is not normal.