We Americans are in uncharted territory. Oftentimes, in the aftermath of U.S. elections, people are recycled into new administrations. In the case of individuals who are experts in their fields such as Richard Clarke, counterterrorism master advisor to several presidents, the incoming administration and America on the whole benefits from their measured and level-headed advice. And then we have Donald Trump.
Although he has not appointed anyone to serve in his cabinet to date, Trump has made his intentions known with a few key personnel who will head search teams to fill vacancies and advisory roles. His choice to lead the search for a new head to the Environmental Protection Agency is a well-known climate-denier. Of course, Trump himself believes that climate change is a “myth” created by the Chinese. Officially, this means that the entire world will no longer look to the U.S. as the leader in the efforts to stem climate change which is a real threat to anyone who draws a breath. Unofficially, Trump has already begun his “talent” search with someone who is grossly unqualified for his position.
We did get a preview of coming attractions when Donald Trump asked Chris Christie to head his transition team, usually an honor bestowed on someone who guides and assist a candidate running for office through the morass that is American politics; but it appears that Christie will be quite busy in the coming months dodging subpoenas and indictments for his role in the “Bridgegate” affair. At least New Jersey courts do not have to answer to Donald Trump.
The second salvo Trump has aimed at both Houses of Congress and the American people involves his selection of Stephen Hadley to head his Defense Department search for God-knows who. What is Hadley’s claim to fame? He served under George Bush’s Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and has serious conflicts of interest everywhere. He once advised the president to bomb Syria without mentioning that he owned stock in Raytheon, the leading American missile manufacturer. This cannot be considered an “oversight.” No one who owns large blocks of stocks in any company would fail to disclose this fact before offering any president his advice. Hadley has no problems with it. So much for ethics in government.
The absurdity of campaigning on the promise to “drain the swamp” that is Washington politics as usual, generally means you are going to do things differently—avoiding lobbyists, Washington insiders and those with undue influence over American politics and legislation. So far, Trump has added Steve Bannon, an “alt-right” “journalist” and raging anti-Semite who is proud of this fact and who now believes he has a mandate to be as odious as he possibly can be. Have you ever met anyone who is a proud racist? Get used to it for the next four years.
The entire point of draining swamps is to clear them of debris and foul-smelling sludge. In Donald Trump’s case, he drained the swamp to allow his undesirables to have free access to the halls of power. Furthermore, anyone who voted for him that is a member of a minority group, or a woman, or a Jew should be ashamed of themselves. Voting on a one-issue policy is selfish and detrimental to the democratic principles that used to bind us Americans together. I am speaking to the American Jews who now call Israel home and who cast absentee ballots. They incorrectly believed that Donald Trump will be more concerned with Israel’s existence and well-being than the outgoing Administration, despite all the facts to the contrary. Israel is home to millions of Jews. Trump’s advisors are openly hostile towards Jews and never miss an opportunity to say so. The great unraveling of almost 70 years of American-Israeli relations has begun in earnest.