This archived article was written by: Alex Holt
With the Inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States just days away, we should take a moment to know who Trump is putting into some of the most powerful positions in the U.S. government.
Many of these picks have already sparked controversy, and for good reasoning, seeing as they may destroy the progress made under the Obama administration the last few years.
Starting with retired General James Mattis, who said this when asked about the war in Afghanistan: “It’s quite fun to shoot them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people.”
It is disturbing that such an individual would be appointed to the office of Secretary of Defense. This appointment would defiantly anger our allies, as it would reinforce the American stereotype that we are gun crazy. Hopefully the Senate will turn down “Mad Dog” Mattis.
For the office of Attorney General, Trump chose Jeff Sessions, a deeply conservative man that might try to take down many of the Obama Administration’s progressive policies.
Sessions has said that the 14th Amendment and the 1st Amendment have been misinterpreted and that same-sex marriage is an indisputable threat to American culture, going so far as to go to court to deny funding to gay student groups.
This rhetoric highlights the dangers of the Alt-Right and could seriously damage the lives of immigrants and those of the LGBTQ+ community, potentially allowing more hate crimes across the country.
Next is Rex W. Tillerson for Trump’s Secretary of State pick, who has deep close economic ties to Russia and a climate change denier, which could lead to the U.S. trying to back out of the Paris Climate Deal, something that our allies have said they would sanction the U.S. for doing.
Tillerson is currently the chief executive at Exxon Mobil and his business dealings in Russia could lead to both favoritism and security issues. This newfound friendship with Russia will change the balance of power in Europe, moving it away from the Western European states and to the east, allowing states like Ukraine to fall into Putin’s grasps.
Trump’s secretary of education pick is scary too. Betsy DeVos has lashed out against public education and has vowed to make pushes to reduce the power of teacher unions.
She wants private institutions to take the majority share in the nation’s education, which would be a disaster for lower income families who she claims this would help.
If private schools lead the majority of educational institutions in America, with their for-profit attitudes, it could lead to completion between schools and further bring up the already insanely high costs of attendance.
Trump’s secretary picks will lead to a disaster if they are not checked by the states, Congress or the court, but with the emerging Alt-right movement, it will be difficult to push back against President-elect Trump.