Trump the supposed populist is not playing the political game the way he promised. No surprise. He’s populating his cabinet with bankers, generals, and politicians who are out to destroy everything government does that benefits working and middle-class people, white, black, or any color. But corporate America and the affluent can expect big things during the Trump term. Of course, the question is whether enough Americans will be turned off by Trump to kick him out of office when his first term is up, or will the constant lies he disseminates on Twitter and through friendly media keep citizens from understanding what is really happening.
With Republican Congressman Tom Price heading HHS, every element of government sponsored health care is in trouble. A former orthopedist, Price is looking out for the doctors instead of the patients, with the dismantling of Obamacare first on his agenda. Medicaid may come next, replaced by a voucher program and co-pays and contributions from patients which will be unaffordable for many of them. Next on the agenda is the privatizing of Medicare, perhaps also with a voucher program and greater contributions from patients. Though Trump promised that he would not change Medicare, the president-elect has a tendency to forget what he has said in the past and make up new statements when it suits him.
The head of the EPA, former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruit is against everything the EPA has stood for. He has been a leading fighter for the fossil fuel industry and does not believe that climate change is real. As Att’y General of Oklahoma, he fought against federal anti-pollution rules and cutting carbon emissions. He has been a tool of energy industry lobbyists and had been against protecting endangered wildlife. Can anyone imagine him handling problems like Flint or the BP oil spill in the Gulf? In all likelihood, he probably would be happy abolishing the EPA. Though global warming hurts all Americans, pollution problems affect poor and middle-class citizens the most. Pruit is not going to be an advocate for those fighting against pollution. With enough industrial growth, American cities could look like Beijing or New Delhi, bathed in smog.
The new Education Secretary, Elizabeth De Vos, has been a leading proponent of charter schools rather than advancing public education. She would prefer to gut public schools wherever possible and give parents vouchers that they could use at private, charter, or religious schools. The public school system is what has made America great. Abandoning them with no proof that charter schools are better would be a major mistake, again hurting working people and the middle class more than the affluent who can afford the best private options. Also, there’s supposed to be a separation between church and state and giving vouchers for children to attend religious schools should be deemed unconstitutional. But De Vos comes from an evangelical background and has pushed religious ideas with the billions she controls.
Former Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry is a real joke as the presumed new Energy Secretary. This is the person who couldn’t remember the names of the federal agencies he wanted to eliminate when he was running for president- the Energy Department was one of them. As Texas governor, he was in the pocket of the energy industry and will certainly do everything possible to aid them as Energy Secretary though average Americans will be hurt. Also the main job of the Energy Department is the development and production of nuclear weapons. Do Americans really want Rick Perry, who used to brag about his poor grades in school, in this role?
As Treasury Secretary, the “populist” Trump has Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs partner and hedge fund manager. He was responsible for foreclosing on many mortgages of working people who could not keep up with their payments during the recession. Made a lot of money on the backs of poor and working class people, just like populist Trump who didn’t pay many of his workers and contractors.
Ben Carson as HUD Secretary has already admitted he was unqualified to run any department as a cabinet secretary. Trump wants him anyway, maybe as an example of diversity. But Housing and Urban Development affects millions of poor and working class people who need adequate housing built or subsidized by the government. Carson won’t know what he’s doing as he’s already said.
Steve Bannon, one of Trump’s top advisors is another Goldman Sachs alumnus as is Gary Cohn, his economic advisor. Can anyone see them as working for the middle class and the poor in their new positions? Hooray for populism and cleaning up Wall Street. Did I promise that?
Mike Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor, is a former general. But he and his son posted false information and frank lies regarding Hillary Clinton. How can Trump possibly trust him with intelligence information? Oh, I forgot. The Donald isn’t interested in intelligence briefings and doesn’t believe what the CIA has to tell him. He knows more about intelligence, anyway. He’s very smart, just ask him. This whole brou-ha-ha over Russian hacking helping him win the presidency as the CIA has claimed is all BS.
Unfortunately, America is going to have to live with Trump and his appointees, his lies and exaggerations, over at least the next four years. The nation will survive, but with a great deal of damage to its citizens and its reputation. The poor and the middle-classes who helped elect Trump will probably suffer the most. Makes one wonder about democracy. Maybe Putin is right.
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