Will there be a Madman in the Whitehouse?
The speculation, prediction and uneasiness are rampant here in the US and around the world regarding the anticipated economic and political effects of a Trump presidency. The problem is that “nobody knows.”
The players on Wall Street, many of whom were nervous due to Trump’s idle threats to crush the criminals on Wall Street, are now licking their chops after he quickly appointed a few of their most vicious fraudsters to cabinet posts, particularly the Department of Treasury. That’s where the money is, you know. Willy Sutton said that was the reason he robbed banks, that’s where the money is.
Trump has tried to soften his tone, which was violent rhetoric while he was feeding red meat to his right-wing pit bulls during the election campaign. Then we began to breathe a little easier with his more mellow tone to the news media and to his Twitter followers after the election. That is, until he started making cabinet appointments. Now it looks like we will have the most far-right-wing government in many decades. Elizabeth Warren stated: “the president-elect has doubled down on racism and bigotry since his victory.”
Trump’s appointments to run the government will tell the story:
He appointed for Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who served as his campaign finance chairman, a former Goldman Sachs executive with deep roots in Hollywood and no government experience.
This is the guy described by Elizabeth Warren as a man who “had actually been one of the people who helped do all of those lousy mortgages that not only broke the economy, but broke millions of families. And then after the crash, a guy who turned around and bought a bank that then became infamous for how hard it squeezed families that had already been cheated and was the foreclosure machine following that.” “What Donald Trump is doing is he’s literally handing the keys to the Treasury over to a Wall Street banker who helped cause the crash,” she said.
He appointed for Transportation Secretary, Elaine L. Chao, the former Labor secretary under President George W. Bush, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a fixture of the Republican establishment in Washington.
He appointed for Health & Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, a six-term Republican congressman from Georgia and orthopedic surgeon who has led opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Price has said the law interferes with the ability of patients and doctors to make medical decisions.
For Commerce Secretary he has appointed Wilbur Ross, an investor whose fortune is estimated by Forbes to be $2.9 billion. Mr. Ross has said the United States must free itself from the “bondage” of “bad trade agreements,” and has advocated threats to impose steep tariffs on China. It seems that some type of agreements worked out okay of Mr. Ross while he was amassing his fortune.
For Education Secretary he has appointed Betsy DeVos, a former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and an education activist who is a passionate believer in school choice, as his nominee. “School choice” is a nice word for privatization, and the elimination of, public schools.
For United Nations Ambassador he has appointed Nikki R. Haley, the governor of South Carolina, as his nominee. The daughter of immigrants from India, she was a prominent and frequent critic of Mr. Trump early in his run and backed Ted Cruz. She is an opponent of abortion rights.
For C.I.A Director he has appointed Mike Pompeo, Representative of Kansas and a former Army officer as his nominee. Mr. Pompeo is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and was a sharp critic of Hillary Clinton during the congressional investigation into the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
For Attorney General he has appointed Jeff Sessions. A Senator of Alabama, who is a strong proponent of strict immigration enforcement, reduced spending and tough-on-crime measures. His nomination for a federal judgeship in 1986 was rejected because of racially charged comments and actions.
For National Security Advisor he has appointed Michael T. Flynn, the retired Army lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. General Flynn has been outspoken about his view of the threat posed by Islamist militancy.
For White House Chief of Staff he has appointed Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Reince Priebus told Fox News that climate science denial is Trump’s ‘default position.’
For Chief Strategist he has appointed Stephen K. Bannon, a right-wing media executive and the chairman of the president-elect’s campaign. Many have denounced the move, warning that Mr. Bannon represents racist views.
Of course, there are many more to be selected, but we can see how it is going. Not good for “we the people” and not good for our allies around the world. Not good for “being thy brother’s keeper”, not good for the working class, not good for minorities, not good for educating our children, not good for the health and welfare of those in need of a helping hand, not good for elderly healthcare, not good for retirement funds, including Social Security. And the list goes on!
I think it will be good for Donald Trump and all the other mega-rich people that he says he doesn’t even like but keeps appointing to key governmental positions.
It will be an interesting couple of years until we get a shot at the Senate and House in the midterm elections. That is our only hope right now for returning our leadership to an attitude of “we the people.” Maybe that threat will be a mellowing agent for tempering their apparent attack on the general welfare and the strengthening of the aristocracy which our governing policies have allowed to fester and become dominant in our distribution of, and lack of redistribution of, the income and wealth of the country.
Think about it!