Republicans and conservatives too often fail to consider the precedent they’re setting when they defend Donald Trump. Take Trump’s tax returns for example, or rather Trump’s failure to release his tax returns.
On the campaign trail, Trump promised to release his tax returns as soon as he became president. Once Trump won the Republican nomination, his excuse quickly morphed into a promise to release them as soon as the IRS completed a supposed audit, although there is nothing that prevents him from releasing his taxes even if he is being audited. Once he became president, Trump’s excuse changed for a third time. At that point Trump said his tax returns were just ‘too complicated’ for people to understand, and releasing them would just cause confusion and misunderstandings.
There has been much speculation regarding the real reason Trump won’t release his tax returns. One theory is that Trump is not worth the billions he claims to have, and that he’s possibly even broke. Other theories say he’s deeply in debt to countries like Russia and/or Saudi Arabia. Still others state that Trump has engaged in a wide variety of illegal tax schemes throughout the years to avoid paying all the taxes he was responsible for, and releasing his taxes would show this to be fact.
Donald Trump’s refusal to release his taxes, as well as his constantly shifting excuses for not doing so, are a clear indication that there is something there he does not want the public to learn. In a failure to utilize long-term thinking, and despite all the possible irregularities and/or illegalities that could be exposed by Trump’s tax returns, many Republicans still defend the fact that Trump refuses to release them.
In defending Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns now, Republicans are effectively arguing that no future presidents, including Democratic presidents, will be required to release their tax returns either. In their eagerness to defend all things Trump, Republicans regularly fail to consider the precedent they are setting for the future, and those failures could leave them with many future regrets.
Adrienne Lilly lives in Upstate New York with her two children. She works as a manufacturing engineer.