As dawn falls on the Trump administration, the new President has begun collaboration with a cabinet that can only make Democrats shudder. From moneyed tech-giants to bellicose generals, his cabinet is unprecedented in United States history.
Former Exxon Mobil Chief Executive, Rex Tillerson, was announced as Trump’s prime pick for Secretary of State in early December, and he has quickly become one of the most controversial cabinet appointees of all time. Bi-partisan concerns regarding Tillerson’s ties to Vladimir Putin, render his confirmation by the senate unlikely.
Fast-food executive, Andrew Puzder, is Trump’s choice for Secretary of Labor. His message diverges forcefully from that of his predecessor, Thomas Perez, as Puzder is a known critic of minimum wage. He has also denounced worker-protection laws passed under the Obama Administration, leaving many citizens anxious as to the future of the workers’ rights.
Billionaire activist, Betsy Devos, commences her stint as the United States Education Secretary as one of only five women in president Trump’s cabinet. As a traditional Republican, she is an ardent critic of Common Core, and a supporter of vouchers and tax credits. Devos has voiced her support for school-choice, consistently promoting a wider range of educational options. However, Democrats express concern with regard to both her dismal past work, and her lack of experience and qualification beyond her use of wealth and status to influence educational discussion.
Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt, has begun work as a leader of the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is one of the only Trump appointees with a history in politics, but his alliance with the fossil fuel industry and his skepticism with regard to climate change have brought into question the future intentions and platform of the agency that he heads.
Stephen Bannon has been appointed as President Trump’s chief strategist and Senior Counselor. The Harvard graduate is best known as the executive chair of Breitbart News. Controversy surrounding his association with the somewhat compromising, “alt-right” news commentary has caused Bannon to resign as its chair. Still, he has been widely accused of being an advocate of anti-semitism, white-nationalism, sexism, homophobia, and racism. Bannon defends himself as simply being anti-establishment.
Few of Trumps appointments could be called traditional, but a meager smattering of conventional conservative voices have made their way into his movement. Former presidential-nominee, Ben Carson has taken a modest role in the new administration as the Secretary of Housing. Nikki Haley has left her promi
nent position as Governor of South Carolina to become Trump’s U.N. Ambassador. Former Texas Governor, Rick Perry, now stands as the administration’s Energy Secretary.
However, these traditional Republican voices are far overshadowed by President Donald Trump’s unorthodox and compromising cabinet members who threaten to undermine the new president’s message. As many Republicans and Democrats alike now see, Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp,” was entirely hollow.
By Natasha Herle