Trump’s Cabinet choices already worrying
January 9, 2017
President-elect Trump’s cabinet choices in the recent weeks have been controversial to say the least.
Whether it’s appointing a blatantly sexist media executive to be his top adviser, appointing a medical doctor with no experience in government or housing as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, or appointing an opponent of environmental regulation to the head of the EPA, Trump has a unique way of scaring the public while building an administration.
Among the first of Trump’s appointees was also one of the most heavily criticized. To be his senior advisor, Trump chose Steve Bannon. Best known for his news website Breitbart, Bannon is a major figurehead for the alt-right political movement. The alt-right is notorious for its sexism, racism and anti-semitism, and Bannon has been shown to hold those ideals closely to his heart.
His website Breitbart has exemplified Bannon’s prejudices well, with headlines like “Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew”, “The Solution to Online ‘Harassment’ is Simple Women Should Log Off”, “Hoist it high and proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims a Glorious Heritage” and quite possibly the headline most representative of this joke of a news source, one horrible rhetorical question, “Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer”.
When a media executive such as Bannon is in charge of such a hateful, incendiary publication it stands to reason that he would take his horrible values to the white house if given the opportunity, and sadly, Trump has provided this opportunity.
Bannon may have helped run Trump’s winning campaign, and he may have been successful in the world of business, but those qualities don’t outshine the irreparable damage this man has done to the world by spreading such hateful ideals.
Another controversial pick by Trump was the man he chose to nominate as the Secretary of Housing and Urban development, a neurosurgeon by the name of Dr. Ben Carson. Not only has he become well know in the field of medicine, but he also gained some political attention as an opponent of Trump in the Republican primaries. Many people may be surprised, and maybe a little concerned that our president elect has appointed someone with no actual experience in the government, and whose only experience in housing and urban development is that he lived in an urban, low income area as a child, to be the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and you would be right to be concerned, because it doesn’t really make sense.
In an interview with the Hill in early November Armstrong Williams, a close friend of Carson was asked about his thoughts on why Carson had previously turned down an unspecified, but larger role in the Trump administration. “Dr Carson feels he has no government experience, he’d never run a federal agency,” he said. “The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.” With all of this being said Trump has still made his plans to give Carson this position very clear.
One of the most terrifying choices that Trump has made thus far is the appointment of Scott Pruitt to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt is the Attorney General of Oklahoma and at first glance that shows some positives that many of his appointees don’t have, namely experience in a government position, but the benefits to choosing this man stop there. Pruitt has been a very outspoken opponent of the EPA, he has even called himself “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.” an odd position to take for someone who could very well be the head of the entire agency very soon.
The top issue that many americans have with Pruit is his stance on climate change, and it’s not about how he wants to solve it, but that he questions the existence of climate change all together. Climate change is an issue that virtually every single reputable scientist in the United States acknowledges, and 97 percent believe that it is a direct effect of human activity, and they can point to countless studies to strengthen their argument, but for Pruitt that isn’t enough, publicly saying the debate on climate change is “far from settled”. Pruitt uses that belief to speak out against environmental regulation and even at one point suing the EPA over their clean power plan. So the question must be asked, why would we appoint one of an organization’s most vocal opponents to its top position? This is a question our president elect won’t be able to answer.
There is only one rational that Trump and his supporters can cling to to legitimize these picks, the “pro-business” ideology that many republicans boast. When Ben Carson ran for president, he advertised his pro-business plan by planning on implementing a flat tax of 14.9 percent, hoping to put more money in the pockets of rich business men. Similarly, Scott Pruitt was notorious for fighting any form of government regulation as Oklahoma’s Attorney General, and looking at Bannon, a successful media executive, the connection to business isn’t hard to make. Junior Noah Schraut understands this perspective, saying “I think Trump has shown that he will put America first, will protect the economy above all else.”
What people forget, is that blind support of business can end up having adverse effects on a country’s environment, freedom of opportunity for those who aren’t born into wealth, and overall standard of living. At that point we must realise that when economic growth impedes on our health and other basic rights, that economic development becomes contrary to the very goal of the american economy, the goal of prosperity, happiness, and a high quality of life for all. Sophomore Mya Lysne sees this flaw in Trump’s picks, saying ” Trump has shown us that he may choose wealth over qualification when it comes to other things.”
Many of these choices still need to be reviewed and approved, but the fact that these are the options our president elect is giving us is worrying to say the least. If the decisions that Trump is making on who he wants in his administration are this troubling, how can we expect his decision making to improve on policy and diplomacy? Sadly the answer to this question is as simple as it is abysmal, we can’t.