Pettiness and Virtue in Donald Trump’s Land of Liquor
I’m not a fan of President Donald Trump. It’s concerning to me that he is the first president in my lifetime that I’m positive I could do a better job of running the country. But I’m also not a fan of petty wastefulness. And that is exactly what the attempt to revoke the liquor license at the President’s Washington, DC hotel amounts to.
The claim was that President Trump’s liquor license at the Trump Washington, DC Hotel should be revoked because Donald Trump does not possess a good character. ABC News reports it this way:
The law governing liquor licenses in the district states that in order to acquire and maintain a liquor license in the city, the owner of the bar or restaurant is required to be “of good character,” and two retired judges and five local religious leaders say the president doesn’t measure up.
“With each passing day, the story of Donald Trump’s lack of good character continues to play out in the public,” Joshua A. Levy, a lawyer for the complainants, said in a statement. “Residents of the district can and should come forward to urge the liquor board to reach the merits of this complaint.”
Good sense requires we pick our battles carefully, particularly when those battles impact others. I don’t know what the cost was to the folks in DC to have the Alcohol Control Board of the District of Columbia review this complaint about the President’s character, but I am sure that if the cost was $1.00 then it was too much.
The complaint was dismissed by the DC ABC on a technicality. However, it strikes me that the proliferation of bad judgment in the political realm will likely see this complaint resubmitted once those bringing the complaint can figure out how to do things properly. That’s too bad.
Restraint is a virtue, though there is lots of evidence that this particular virtue has gone out of fashion. Hyper-tribal politics is one of the primary causes of the demise of restraint. The desire to “do something” appears to motivate people to waste our time with petty, inconsequential efforts that only prove virtue plays second (or third) fiddle to bombast and self-deception.
Down the road, we may find that the President is convicted of one crime or another. Lawbreaking has always been the primary evidence in the realm of liquor law that demonstrates a candidate for a liquor license does not possess the necessary “good character” many laws demand. Not understanding the most basic facts of the U.S. Constitution and using capital letters in a twitter barrage is not sufficient evidence of a lack of good character.