The Trump Team
(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
After the election you could initially often hear that Trump ‘should be given a chance’ and that maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as it appeared to become, because after all he had been a Democrat most of his life, and during the campaign he hadn’t shown a lot of affection for Republican orthodoxy. Since then a month has passed, and those voices have thoroughly been silenced by the president-elect. His choice for Attorney General was once denied a federal judgeship because of racist statements he had made. His projected Secretary of Health and Human Services is dead set on repealing Obamacare and abolishing Medicare. His Education Secretary hates public education and will do whatever she can to undermine it, and the only qualification of his pick for Housing and Urban Development appears to be that he is black and grew up in an inner city. This candidate recently said that he’s totally unqualified to run a government department, and believes that poverty is a choice, as well as homosexuality. He might have made a fine Surgeon-General, but is now entirely out of his league.
And that’s only the beginning. Trump’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency is an advocate for the fossil fuel industry and has been feuding with the EPA most of his career. He was appointed shortly after Trump met with both Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio, suggesting that he was open to change his view that climate change is a Chinese hoax. This administrator can expect to work well with the Secretary of the Interior, who belongs to the ‘drill baby drill’ crowd. Trump’s pick for Labor Secretary is possibly the weirdest duck in his pond. He opposes an increase of the minimum wage and has a peculiar fondness for scantily clad women who eat burgers, but is also a strong proponent of bringing foreign workers into the American labor market, the more the better and of all skills levels, to keep labor costs low. Of all Trump’s choices his Transportation Secretary appears to be the most normal, except for the fact that she somehow finds Mitch McConnell an attractive man. But she has government experience and can probably cook too.
Two of the cabinet posts, Defense and Homeland Security, will go to retired four-star generals, possibly because Trump is convinced that he knows more than the military brass and can order them around. For the Treasury and his Council of Economic Advisors he has dipped in the reservoir of current and ex Goldman Sachs executives, after criticizing Hillary Clinton for being too close to the financial industry, and the Governor of South Carolina gets the UN job.
For Secretary of State, a post that is still open, Trump appears to have settled on the CEO of Exxon Mobil, after having bamboozled Mitt Romney into thinking that he had a shot and dumping Rudy Giuliani for being too unhinged to be considered. The fact that the candidate is close to Trump’s main sponsor, Vladimir Putin, must have helped him considerably.
And as scary as Trump’s cabinet will be, what he’ll have in the White House will be even scarier. His National Security Advisor made his name as a bounty hunter in Afghanistan but is crazy as a doorknob, and his Senior Counselor comes straight from the dark side.
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