Trump’s cabinet positions receive backlash
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When winning a presidential election, the candidate who is voted into office obtains the ability to assign the people who manage the executive section of the government. With President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration approaching soon, he is currently in this process of selecting who will serve in his cabinet under his presidency.
One member that has received more attention from American citizens than the others is Stephen K. Bannon, appointed for Chief Strategist on Sunday, November 13. Bannon is recognized for being a far-right media executive and businessman who became the chief executive officer of Trump’s campaign in August 2016. Multiple sources have mentioned that in the international realm, it is probable that he will be an influential guide to Trump. While more known for his policies on trade and immigration, Bannon also has a fascination with military and global affairs.
Through Breitbart News, a website he was executive manager for, his views depict that he “advocates a merciless approach against radical Islamic terrorists,” according to online news source the Hill. More of his views include wanting a “worldwide movement to overthrow ‘globalists,’” as he is skeptical of international alliances.
Since his new appointment to Senior Counselor and chief strategist, he has become more known for his racist remarks throughout his career, which has caused outrage throughout the country. Incidents of this include a cited claim in divorce papers by his ex-wife stating that Bannon did not want their children going to school with Jewish people.
He has also been called out on his extreme attraction to crimes committed by black people. When he was hired as Donald Trump’s Campaign CEO in the summer, a former employee of Bannon told ABC News that he would regularly make racist and xenophobic comments during professional calls. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said on November 13, the day of Bannon’s hiring, that this “sends the disturbing message that anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and white nationalist ideology will be welcome in the White House.”
Because of the history of his views, American Nazi Party, the KKK, has praised Stephen Bannon’s appointment according to CBS News. Former KKK leader David Duke has called the hiring of Bannon an “excellent decision” in an interview with CNN the day after Bannon’s hiring was announced.
Joel B. Pollak also came to his defense in an article posted on Breitbart News on November 14 by calling Bannon an “American patriot who also defends Israel and has deep empathy for the Jewish people.”
“It’s important for us to let him make his decisions,” said President Barack Obama during a press conference on Nov. 14. “The American people will judge over the course of the next couple of years whether they like what they see.”
This statement disappointed people who wanted Obama to criticize Trump’s decision, much like the Republican strategist who ran John Kasich’s presidential campaign, John Weaver, has done.
“The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office.” Weaver said to the New York Times on Nov. 14. “Be very vigilant, America.”
The popular indignation over the hiring of Bannon has provoked the creation of a petition on moveon.org. The petition, titled “Stop Steve Bannon,” has 386,100 signatures as of Dec. 1, with a goal of 400,000.
While Bannon and Trump’s partnership in office has received resentful criticism from some Democrats, white nationalists seem to think it is confirmation that Trump plans to live up to his campaign promise of keeping out illegal immigrants.
Despite the belief that the President-Elect will keep campaign promises, there is one commonality between the already hired cabinet members that is in opposition of this expectation. A significant message his campaign seemed to be in favor of might now be in jeopardy: change in who leads the government. The majority of Trump’s supporters have been working class people who have been convinced that he was the best choice because he is different; he is not a politician. With his newly appointed cabinet members, however, this is not the case. More than half of whom Trump has chosen to work with during his presidency have worked for or been involved with companies that are very well known for being corrupt. This includes his appointment to Stephen Bannon, who worked as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs until 1993.