Donald Trump has come under attack by the usual suspects, supporters of Hillary Clinton. Critics say that “he threatens changes that, with almost no exception, are genuinely destructive to American values and interests.” They say Trump campaigned on values dear to blue collar workers but has compiled a team of elitists, millionaires, people of privilege and egalitarians who collectively reflect the values of everyone but that large block of middle-class supporters who propelled him into office.
Trump’s distractors argue that the nomination of Rex W. Tillerson, the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, to be Secretary of State is puzzling. How does Tillerson reflect the values of the truck driver, factory worker, plumber, carpenter or similarly situated American worker? The short answer is that he has nothing in common with these folks. Tillerson sat high on his oil-financed throne and issued decrees to the underlings that were designed to drive stock dividends higher so that he and other officers of the company could profit immensely.
Tillerson focused on strengthening ties with Russian leaders for profit-driven reasons and did not care about how these leaders, including Putin, treated their citizens and workers badly.
An honorable business leader, it seems to us, should intertwine the corporate goal of profit with humanity: A good company makes money and treats their employees fairly and justly. Putin is not a company, but for all intents and purposes, he runs the oil business in Russia. Tillerson’s close relationship with Putin is championed by the elite for profit reasons only.
This should send up a red flag for Trump’s “common man” supporters, because under this scenario, Tillerson does not have their best interests in mind.
But it is not only Clinton backers that are critical of Mr. Tillerson. He can expect to face intense scrutiny over his two-decade relationship with Russia, which awarded him its Order of Friendship in 2013.
Senator John McCain said Tillerson s relationship Vladimir Putin “is a matter of concern to me.” Cain called Vladimir Putin a thug, a bully, and a murderer, and anybody else who describes him as anything else is lying.” Lindsey Graham said, “Based upon his extensive business dealings with the Putin government and his previous opposition to efforts to impose sanctions on the Russian government, there are many questions which must be answered.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican “Being a ‘friend of Vladimir’ is not an attribute I am hoping for from a secretary of state,” and that he has “serious concerns” about Tillerson’s appointment.