It is known in America that the nation, even her court system, largely runs on an unspoken sense of social popularity. If one is unpopular, or disliked for whatever reason, it makes life in the country much harder because people come to view that person as a liability. While the laws don’t permit for outright discrimination, in most cases, it happens as a silent economic shunning of people from social life or difficulty in finding jobs.
According to the Stamford Advocate, such is what is happening now with the former officials of the Trump administration, who are now finding themselves without jobs as major companies do not want to hire them due to their associations with Trump.
Before she joined the Trump administration as transportation secretary, Elaine Chao earned millions of dollars over the past decade by serving on the boards of big public companies such as Dole Foods, Protective Life and Wells Fargo, according to corporate filings.
But now Chao is encountering a fraught reentry into the private sector.
Headhunters who have sought similarly prominent work for Chao have found little interest, according to two headhunters she’s consulted personally. The headhunters, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions, said top executives wary of backlash from associating with former Trump officials are boiling down Chao’s four-decade Washington résumé to its most recent entry: long-standing ally of Donald Trump, despite her resignation the day after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
One of the headhunters said his team surveyed some companies about their interest in Chao and didn’t find any takers. “The feedback was, ‘It’s too soon,’ ” this person said.
But while it is clear that Chao’s reentry is more difficult than in the past, a person close to her says she has not been entirely shut out of the corporate world.
“She’s evaluating a number of invitations to join various corporate boards while helping former colleagues land as well,” this person said. “She’s interested in new economy companies, has already accepted board positions and is currently in various stages of finalizing agreements with them and others.”
Chao declined to comment herself.
While the small numbers make comparisons difficult, corporations don’t seem to have an immediate interest in other top Trump administration alums either. Roughly half of the S&P 500 companies have filed their 2021 investor disclosure reports, listing a total of 108 new or prospective board members, according to data from Insightia, which provides information to shareholders. No Trump Cabinet officials who served in the final quarter of his term are among those nominated.
By this point in 2009, four major companies had lined up alums of George W. Bush’s Cabinet to serve as directors: global power company AES, oil and gas company Hess, chemical maker FMC, and United Technologies, the industrial conglomerate that has since merged with Raytheon.
Headhunters and other corporate advisers say the calculus for executives at most large, publicly-traded companies is simple. Trump – the only president to be impeached twice, the second time on a charge he incited the mob that assaulted the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the presidential election results – left office with a majority of Americans strongly disapproving of his job performance. He remains a lightning rod for controversy and faces ongoing legal exposure from civil lawsuits and criminal investigations. Offering a board seat to anyone in his inner orbit risks inviting a revolt from customers, employees or shareholders.
“Boards don’t need trouble or criticism,” one headhunter said. “If you want to stay away from all that potential tarnish, that’s easy: You just don’t go near it.” (source)
This is not a surprise, and it is part of a larger reason why it is understandable for why Trump’s supporters should be upset with him.
Take personal feelings out of it, because if one looks at what Trump said versus what he did- completely ignoring the tremendous amount of verbal abuse that he was subjected to -one can see that Trump did not realize his promises, or even make an attempt to. The situation suggests that he enjoyed the attention he received as President and the fame, but he did not help the country, even though he was given the opportunity of history to do so. This is not a minor character flaw or failure, but the failure of his whole presidency. Trump was a cry for help from many people, and instead of helping them, he used their votes to help himself and abandoned them.
He really had the opportunity to go down as a great president. Instead, his actions hurt a lot of people, and finally himself.
It is very sad that many people who worked for and believed in Trump are being shut out of employment opportunities. This is not right, and says a lot about the companies, for they cannot be ignored as they are an important part in perpetuating the current freak show of American social, political, and economic life. But Trump also has a role in this because due to his failed excuse of ‘leadership’ and action, he instead acted as a pied piper that lead people on a fantasy trip that benefitted them nothing and has only come to hurt them.
This is why I speak of it with such importance that the Republican party, if they are smart, cannot dump the Trump image fast enough, as it is the best hope they have of ‘remaking’ their image into something long-term viable. They have four years to do this, and if they cannot, their future is genuinely in question.