Trump’s pardon of Arpaio: Political strategy over ethics

Trump’s pardon of Arpaio: Political strategy over ethics

President Donald Trump has recently pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio on Aug. 25, 2017 from a conviction of criminal contempt of court.

What makes Trump’s pardon of the former sheriff so controversial, according to sources like Politico, Politifact and CNN, is Arpaio’s harsh treatment of inmates in his prisons and his history of racial profiling.

The harsh treatment of inmates included making them reside in cells that were hot to the point of being dangerous, feeding them moldy food and rotten fruit and so on. Arpaio has been guilty of egregious acts in his past and maybe deserves to spend a long time behind bars, but in the grand scheme of things, his pardon is more of a political move by the president.

The pardoning of Arpaio is the wrong thing to do, but is beneficial in the realm of politics. It just so happens that Arpaio has a hardline approach to immigration, similar to Trump. Even the most casual follower of politics knows where Trump stands on immigration, especially illegal immigration. This shared viewpoint makes Arpaio a useful political ally.

Sadly, this is a representation of the political landscape in the United States. Politicians are willing to show disregard to ethics or morality for the sole purpose of political power. While Arpaio is guilty of racial profiling and inhumane treatment of those in his prisons, Trump is willing to pardon him for the sake of keeping a political ally.

The extent politicians go towards gaining power and keeping their allies is quite disheartening. Arpaio’s pardoning is a clear example that ethics will many times take a back seat to politics instead of being a key component of it.

This pardon of Arpaio is the wrong move ethically and possibly even politically, as Trump’s already low approval rating likely will not benefit from this.


Joe Arpaio pictured at a 2016 rally for then presidential candidate, Donald Trump (Photo Credit/WikimediaCommons/GageSkidmore).

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