Nov 16, 2016

Yes the Election is Over, but Keep Watching: Trump's Selection of a Cabinet and White House Staff

Image result for steve bannon breitbart newsAs of November 15th, President Elect Trump has selected RNC Chair, Reince Preibus as his Chief of Staff.  Not very notable.  However, another appointment is receiving more scrutiny, as it should be. Steve Bannon, head of Breitbart News, a far right conservative political website, was selected as a top strategist and counselor within the White House Office.  Bannon's site is known for headlines and articles that promote racial dog whistles to the detriment of African Americans and Jews, conspiracy theories, and misleading information.  Breitbart became a key player in the Trump presidential campaign just a few months before the election despite concerns that his presence on the campaign would lead to greater focus of the campaign, and now the White House, on extreme and divisive rhetoric, and claims that are commonly referred to as "fringe", false, and based in conspiracy theory.  The birther movement, promoted by Trump for years, is one example of such claims. 

The president elect's transition team is rumored to be considering Laura Ingram for Press Secretary.  Laura Ingram is known as a far right conservative talk radio host and book writer.  Laura is openly hostile to the press, but is being considered as the chief liaison between the President and the press, opening up the possibility of a lack of transparency in the soon to come Trump administration that was feared in a Clinton administration.  Bannon and Ingram have contributed greatly to the divisive rhetoric and polarization in American politics.  Dominance of extreme and divisive right wingers is not what most Americans want to see in the Executive Branch.  Rather Americans want reasonable, rational and moderate governance, whether it is conservative or liberal.  In some ways, the Democratic equivalent of these choices would be liberal firebrand Michael Moore.

We owe it to our military men and women to not become complacent and inattentive to government after an election. The selection of a cabinet and White House inner circle is as important as the election of a president. We have nearly 32,000 wounded & 4,500 fewer Americans with us today because of a decision to invade a country that was not a threat.   Men and women no longer have their wives or husbands, parents no longer have children, and children no longer have fathers because of the influence of a few people in a president's cabinet over a decision that a majority of Americans now view as a mistake.  
This selection is important and we owe our country our attention to it. 

There should be push back from both Republicans and Democrats to extremism and inexperience in the Departments and White House Staff.  We can do both things at once: applaud good decisions while opposing bad decisions.  And the many Republican's and Democrat's who were concerned about transparency and potential conflicts of interest in a Clinton Administration should be equally concerned about transparency and the many potential conflicts of interest in the Trump administration.
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