Reader points out that what is unethical isn’t always illegal
To the Editor:
Webster’s dictionary defines ethics as the discipline of determining good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.
In dealing with the behavior of President Trump and the Mueller investigation, many people confuse unethical behavior with illegal behavior. Trump, as a candidate, did many unethical things, like hoping Russia would find out more dirt on candidate Hillary Clinton.
Apparently, he did not act on that wish and collude with Russia to influence the election.
To wish that a foreign country would interfere with an election seems un-American, but with no concrete actions, it is only talk, but very unethical.
When President Trump believed Vladimir Putin that Russia did not interfere in the election, over the evidence of our own security staff, that statement does suggest that Trump is in some way beholden or compromised by Russia.
However, talk that goes against the grain of everything we know about Russia is not illegal, until you do some treasonous activity.
For all of Trump’s complaining about Mueller’s investigation, he can thank his attorney generals for not firing Mueller at his direction, because that would have been an obstruction of justice.
To rule that migrants who flee violence in their country are not eligible for asylum may not be legal, but it is not ethical. Apparently the action of separating children and parents of illegal migrants was legal (no one has been charged with a crime), but it was very unethical, particularly to send parents back home without their children.
There is an Office of Government Ethics in Washington, D.C.
When the office of ethics offered the Trump administration the opportunity for training on ethics in government at the beginning of the administration, they declined.
Maybe America’s values have changed and things we once considered unethical, mean and amoral are now acceptable ways of conducting government policy.
If so, we may have to remove the Statue of Liberty.