With every new president comes a new administration, complete with a variety of people focusing on various important sectors of America. After Donald Trump was elected in November of 2016, many people wondered what a Trump cabinet would look like. Soon, the 45th president announced his nominees for some of the most important jobs in the United States government. Since many of them aren’t confirmed yet, I won’t be giving a full rundown of Trump’s whole cabinet. I’m just going to analyze what his nominees tell us about a future Trump administration.
The first things I noticed right out of the gate were the alarmingly net worths of nominees. From Rex Tillerson to Andy Puzder to Betsy DeVos, the nominees have a total aggregate wealth of over $4.5 billion, and that’s not including Trump’s own fortune or net worths of officials outside the cabinet (that number supposedly goes over $14 billion). I guess the reason for these picks is that Trump wants people who have made large fortunes to show to the people that he can fix the economy.
However, there is an underlying meaning behind all of this. Most of these people seem to not be all that qualified for their individual positions. One of the biggest examples of this is Ben Carson, the former Republican Party presidential nominee. Though Carson is a retired neurosurgeon, he is Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, a job that focuses on the nation’s housing needs and the improvement of the nation’s communities. Maybe Carson is in fact the best person for the job, but on paper, I can only help but notice that he is a fish out of water. Another person is Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. As the chair of the American Federation for Children, DeVos is a huge supporter of charter school education, which may give her some credit. However, during her Congress hearing, DeVos was stumped on almost every question asked by members of congress. She seemed uncertain about many topics regarding public education in America, and gave vague, dodgy answers to many questions.
Those who are qualified seem to be looking for only their own best interests. For example, Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, was the CEO of ExxonMobil. The secretary of state’s job is to serve as the President’s principal adviser on US foreign policy. Considering Trump’s foreign policy may mainly deal with Russia, it’s important to note that Tillerson made a career at Exxon by drilling large sums of oil out of Russian ground. Given Trump’s connections with Russia and Tillerson’s connections with oil, will that influence US relations with Russia? Another of Trump’s nominees is Tom Price, who is Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. If confirmed, Price would be the leader in enhancing and protecting the health and well-being of all Americans. Though Price is a former orthopedic surgeon, he was investigated for breach of ethics in 2009 concerning investments in a pharmaceutical company. This kind of activity raises questions regarding how Price would maintain a medical morality where it’s needed most.
Some choices seem to be working in opposition to the role they could take over. Scott Pruitt, Trump’s choice for the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, considers himself a leading advocate against the EPA. While he recently somewhat rejected Trump’s claim that global warming is a hoax, Pruitt’s version of the EPA would be restrained. He called for an expanded role on the states as opposed to national regulation. Did I mention that as an attorney general, he sued the EPA thirteen times in the past? It is expected that he will take a step back from the Obama administration’s aggressive environmental enforcement. Given his stance, will Pruitt actually follow the guidelines set by the department or will he dismantle many of the things the EPA stands for?
The thing that concerns me personally is the possibility that these nominees will mostly get confirmed due to Republican majority. The Democrats can not veto any of these choices on their own as they need help from a few Republicans. With these choices in mind, whether or not they will be confirmed, I can get a small picture of what a future Trump administration could look like. I see a group of successful businessmen who might know how to fix the economy, but it looks like many of them would be fixing things that only work in their best interests and not in the interests of the people. I really hope that if these nominees are all confirmed, they will work for the people. The country is better with leaders who stand for everyone, and if the country is to be great again in the next four years, the Trump administration must strive to do that.
Harrington, Brooke. “Yes, Trump’s Cabinet is super rich. That’s not why we should be worried.” The Washington Post. January 19, 2017. Accessed January 24, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/19/trump-rich-cabinet/?utm_term=.9d85522b47a6
Krauss, Clifford. “Rex Tillerson, an Aggressive Dealmaker Whose Ties With Russia May Prompt Scrutiny.” The New York Times. December 11, 2016. Accessed January 24, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/11/business/rex-tillerson-secretary-of-state-russia.html?_r=0
Peterson-Withorn, Chase. “Here’s What Each Member Of Trump’s $4.5 Billion Cabinet Is Worth.” Forbes. January 19, 2017. Accessed January 25, 2017. http://www.forbes.com/sites/chasewithorn/2016/12/22/heres-how-much-trumps-cabinet-is-really-worth/#602f5f356f02