Literally for decades, I have written about the continued and disgraceful use of ambassador positions to reward campaign donors and friends of sittings presidents. While most countries properly confine ambassadors to professional diplomatics and government officials, the United States routinely appoints embarrassing individuals who have no cognitive skills or talents for the positions. Now a NBC news report shows that President Donald Trump has followed this poor practice in giving ambassadorships to at least 14 donors to the inaugural fund. It is a pay to play arrangement that is not only legal but steadfastly defended by both parties who effectively sell these positions to the continued irritation of our allies.
Ethical relativists of course shrug and just say that people are naive in objecting to such practices. However, this is in my view an easy test for any administrative committed to good government. Years ago, I was at a dinner with an extremely wealthy Democratic donor was talking about how easy it is to get one of these posts if you give enough money to the President Obama’s campaign and how he passed the position to his wife who is delighted to now be called “Ambassador.”
Go deeper: U.S. ambassadors have become less quali