Conflict of interest is a term used to describe a clash between a person’s desires as an individual and their work or obligational duties. When such a conflict arises, one’s credibility can be questioned or seriously damaged, as an inability to perform your tasks fairly because of personal bias is a serious danger to the functioning of society (Manias et al. 331). A conflict of interest can lead to an unfair judgment of another person or discrimination, which is undesirable in positions of power (Manias et al. 331). For example, when a person or their family stands to gain from a particular political decision, that person will be assumed to have a conflict of interest.
An article published on an independent news website, Common Dreams covers the incredible amount of conflicts of interest the president of the US has amassed since his election. The paper covers the effort of a watchdog non-profit organization to document and keep track of President Trump’s actions. As reported by them, the man has recently reached more than 3000 documented conflicts of interest, where his interests as a business owner intersected with his presidential rule (Conley). The finding of the non-profit detail the profits Trump amasses, as well as all of the policymakers that permit and ignore his behavior (Conley). All in all, the conduct of the current president sets a terrifying example to anyone who might hold his position in the future.
As concerns my reaction, I think it is absolutely necessary to prevent conflicts of interest, especially on such a large scale. It is preposterous and utterly unacceptable that a person with such a degree of influence, on both his country and others, is not properly kept in check by the other figures of the US government. When a person in a position of power is allowed to abuse their privilege and accumulate large amounts of wealth and recourses around them, the work of the government is impeded and the lower classes struggle the most. Systems for control, punishment, and regulation of such issues need to be reinforced, or the common people will suffer the most.
Conley, Julia. “’An Astonishing Rate of Corruption’: Trump Has Amassed 3,000 Conflicts of Interest Since Taking Office.” Common Dreams, 2020, Web.
Manias, Nicholas, et al. Ethics Applied. The Moral Compass, [year].