Last week I heard about real concerns and fears people on the left have about Trump’s appointments and coming administration. In last week’s column I wrote Trump had mostly stopped clowning around. Trump will never completely stop “clowning around” however one might define that. He is who he is. It’d be like asking Bill to … well, you know.
I think Trump’s Tweets and language grate particularly on those on the political left, much like Obama’s unscripted comments have always grated on the political right. Between the two, only Trump has managed to offend everyone from time to time.
Some have called Steve Bannon, Trump’s appointment as Chief Strategist, an extreme separatist, and have feared how he might counsel Trump. Headlines in the Washington Post like “Don’t fall for the whitewashing of Steve Bannon’s past and present,” and on the uber progressive website thinkprogress.org, “Steve Bannon’s disturbing views on ‘genetic superiority’ are shared by Trump” are both malicious op-eds. Both are written by progressives who don’t realize today’s progressives (moderate or otherwise) are the most dangerous socialists/statists America has ever produced.
When was the last time you heard a newscast or read a news article or op-ed by progressives that did NOT include the word “extreme” or other superlative modifiers directed against those they were attacking? Most of these stories are hit pieces on people rather than points about issues or polices.
From all I’ve read, Steve Bannon is a brash brawler who’s always focused on winning. Even though he apparently doesn’t have a politically correct bone in his body, his longtime colleagues agree he’s not a racist or anti-Semite as many have claimed. He is who he is, much like Trump.
Bannon has excellent educational credentials: Virginia Tech, Georgetown University, Harvard University, and Harvard Business School. He served as an officer in the Navy, and has made a ton of money in business.
Bannon’s role in the election was to get Trump elected. It wasn’t pretty, but Bannon’s strategy produced an Electoral College landslide when most pollsters were predicting a tight race. I don’t see Bannon’s role so much as making policy as making sure policies are passed, executed and working well.
I’ve been impressed with Trump’s other selections so far: James Mattis (Defense), Steven Mnuchin (Treasury), Elaine Chao (Transportation), Tom Price (H.H.S), Wilbur Ross (Commerce), Betsy DeVos (Education), Nikki Haley (U.N.), Mike Pompeo (C.I.A.), Jeff Sessions (Attorney General), Michael Flynn (National Security Advisor), and Reince Priebus (Chief of Staff).
Reviewing President Obama’s first cabinet reminded me of my own concerns and fears 8 years ago. Obama enjoyed two years of solid Democratic support in both chambers of congress, and chose to focus on the Affordable Care Act and a nearly trillion-dollar stimulus bill filled with thousands of “shovel-ready jobs” that never came to fruition. The stimulus money is one-tenth of the debt Mr. Obama added, doubling all the debt incurred by his 43 predecessors.
Eight years ago Obama and his supporters continually reminded everyone else he had won, that elections have consequences, and to wait until we see results. Of course, mostly he and his followers told anyone who didn’t agree with them to shut up. And people wonder why we’re such a divided country?
I hope Trump and his administration will listen to policy differences and strive to do what’s best for the whole nation.
Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, Miss. He can be reached at PJandMe2@hotmail.com.