Trump’s Cabinet is a Harbinger of a Very Bleak Future

/ Filed under Column, Self

Many of us shouted our voices hoarse when Hillary Clinton was running for president trying to get across one simple message: don’t listen to her campaign promises, look at what she actually did. But now Clinton is hiding in the woods somewhere waiting for hikers to come take selfies with her. And Donald Trump is going to president.

The same rule needs to apply to him, but it’s a lot easier to be distracted by every bigoted, deranged, nonsensical thing he says. He’s not president yet, and since he has never held elected office before, he has no traditional record for us to go on. (Though his years of race-baiting and violent misogyny is enough to exclude any “wait and see” approach and we can certainly ignore the pathetic calls for “unity” by Obama and other establishment Democrats.) What we do have, however, are his proposed cabinet appointments.

They paint a very bleak picture. But as more of these people join the Trump administration, the picture does become clearer. I took the time to read up on these bastards so you didn’t have to. I divided them into two categories, The Civilians and the Junta. The first group are all billionaires. The latter are all high ranking military officers.

 

THE CIVILIANS

Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions

  • Alabama Senator who was rejected for federal judgeship because of racist comments
  • Pro-torture. Voted in the 90-9 minority against a bill sponsored by torture victim John McCain to ban the use of torture by the US military.
  • Supported the war in Iraq and opposed increased spending for Veteran Affairs Department.
  • Voted against a bill that prohibits the use of torture in US prisons and detainment facilities
  • Supporter of civil forfeiture
  • Opposes education spending like the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Tried to prohibit funding for Gay-Straight Alliance organizations in Alabama schools and universities
  • Opposes same-sex marriage, voted against the Matthew Shepherd hate crimes bill, voted against the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act
  • Doesn’t believe in climate change

Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos

  • Chairwoman of Michigan Republican Party
  • Advocate of child labor
  • Opposes public education funding, favors “school choice”
  • Daughter-in-law of Rich DeVos, founder of AmWay pyramid scheme
  • Sister of Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater mercenary group

Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt

  • Vows to dismantle Environmental Protection Agency
  • Thinks climate change is a hoax

Secretary of Treasury, John Mnuchin

  • Goldman Sachs executive

Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross

  • Billionaire investor and strict protectionist who supports aggressive trade tariffs

Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Choi

  • Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush, during which she reduced her own department’s budget and refused to enforce workplace safety regulations.
  • Wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

(UPDATE) Secretary of Labor, Andy Puzder

Health and Human Services, Rep. Tom Price

  • Six-term Republican Congressman from Georgia
  • Plans to privatize Medicare and repeal the Affordable Care Act
  • Member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, whose 1943 charter pledges “fight socialized medicine and to fight the government takeover of medicine”

UN Ambassador, Gov. Nikki Haley

  • Governor of South Carolina
  • Opposes establishment of diplomatic talks with Iran
  • Opposes providing shelter and safe haven to any Syrian refugees

Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson

Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon

Chief of Staff, Reince Preibus

  • Corporatist Faction of the Republican Party
  • Fucking dweeb

Chief Advisor, Steve Bannon

  • White Supremacist Faction of the Republican Party
  • Fucking Nazi

THE JUNTA

Central Intelligence Agency, Rep. Mike Pompeo

  • Four-term Republican Congressman from Kansas
  • US Army Captain
  • Benghazi and Iran Deal conspiracy theorist
  • Says all Muslims are “potentially complicit” in terrorism
  • Opposes closing Guantanamo Bay prison, said of the prisoners on hunger strike, “It looked to me like they had put on a lot of weight.”
  • Plans to reinstitute use of CIA black sites
  • Supports the use of torture
  • Supports NSA surveillance program

Homeland Security, Gen. John Kelly

  • At the beginning of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, was quoted saying, “Baghdad ain’t shit.”
  • Son was killed in Afghanistan in 2010

Defense, Gen. John Mattis

  • Wants to expand US militarism abroad
  • Basically wants war with Iran
  • Nickname is literally “Mad Dog”

National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn

  • Army intelligence officer
  • Anti-Semite, Anti-Muslim
  • Lost his job at the Pentagon because he was too authoritarian
  • Thinks Obama is soft on terrorism
  • Son is a “Pizza Gate” conspiracy theorist

State, Gen. David Petraeus (not confirmed)

  • Leaked classified information to his girlfriend

 

So this is the picture I see developing. Every billionaire civilian who has been appointed is ideologically opposed to the department they have been assigned. They will dismantle the sector of the federal government they are tasked with administering. The exception is Jeff Sessions, who will use the power of the justice department to defend the abuses of the Trump administration and prosecute activists and dissenters. At a recent talk organized by the Democratic Socialists of America and the Ethical Society of Philadelphia, Temple professor Joseph Schwartz warned of the very real possibility of Attorney General Sessions going after Black Lives Matter by designating it a domestic terrorist organization. (If you think that’s far-fetched, remember that it was forty seven years ago this week that the FBI and Chicago police assassinated Black Panther Fred Hampton in his bed. That’s within living memory — Jeff Sessions was twenty-two in December of 1969, one year older than Hampton.)

Meanwhile, the rest of the government will be staffed by a team of hardline, conspiracy-minded generals. Trump and Pence are assembling a reactionary military junta.

This is as good a time as any to re-read Umberto Eco’s essay, “Ur-Fascism,” wherein he outlines thirteen features he identified as indicators of fascism. He also talks about the efficacy of resistance.

 

Share Your Thoughts

  • Chris

    I think it shows no need to “wait and see”, these are Trump’s actions and they’re in line with what one would predict them to be. I like the logo idea

  • Parham Salimy Eshgevari

    Brilliant Logo! We need one with the UK flag here!

    • http://tedkelly.info/ Ted Kelly

      Thanks! Glad you liked it.