Last week, The Atlantic published an essay by Norm Ornstein entitled “American Kakistocracy.”
Kakistocracy is a term that was first used during the 17th century. Derived from the Greek, the word means, literally, government by the worst and most unscrupulous among us. By extension, such a regime would be run by the most inept and least qualified people available. This word faded into virtual oblivion over a century ago. I consider myself to be well-informed, though I must admit I had neither read nor heard that term.
The election of President Trump changed all that. Not only does the term “kakistocracy” fit perfectly the regime headed by him; it also applies to most of his appointees. Just look at the Trump cabinet members and White House staffers who’ve been caught spending taxpayer dollars to charter jets to fly to places where cheap commercial service was available. So far, only serial offender Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was forced to resign; others remain in office.
The President seems not only to have chosen the least qualified individual for each Cabinet position (the generals may be an exception); he has chosen individuals who don’t believe in the mission of the departments they head. They share a singular agenda: destroy all of President Obama’s accomplishments, including those, such as the Affordable Care Act, that directly benefit Trump’s core supporters.
I thought I’d share a little about my background as this is my first message as club president. I was born in Switzerland to my Dutch mother and American father of Irish descent. We came to America in 1949 (I was six months old); my mother overstayed her visa and wasn’t able to gain permanent resident status for nine years, during whichshe endured numerous deportation hearings and even surveillance by INS agents. It is not necessary to ask what I think about Trump’s immigration policy.
I grew up in East San Diego and Spring Valley, served in the U.S. Air Force and graduated from San Diego State University. I financed my education with VA benefits and employment in construction as a union ironworker, during which time I became politically active. After completing my MBA, I got married and changed careers, entering the mortgage banking industry, working for large and small firms including one I co-owned for 20 years until I retired.
My wife Joan (Coronado High ’71) and I are blessed with four children, all married and living in the San Diego area, and six grandchildren. We look forward to celebrating our 40th anniversary in May.
Thank you, fortunate to meet some wonderful, thought provoking people who have enriched my life. I intend to still be a part of the club and look forward to sharing more good times with all of you.
– Frank King