Trump’s Cabinet Reflects Establishment Ideals

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There are many explanations for Donald Trump’s up-set victory in the 2016 Presidential Election, including Democratic National Committee (DNC) meddling in their party’s primary, the FBI’s ill-timed investigations of Clinton’s emails and a willingness on the part of the Trump campaign to pander to rising xenophobic sentiments. The most touted factor, however, has been a perceived populist desire in Trump’s campaign to take down “the establishment” and “drain the swamp.”

Contrary to these assertions, one of Trump’s first appointments as Chief Executive has been Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus as his White House Chief of Staff. Priebus brought the GOP out of $23 million in debt and led outreach to women, Hispanics and minorities, but he has advocated for tea party activists and been accused of condoning voter suppression and intimidation in his home state of Wisconsin.

More worrisome is Trump’s selection of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist, best known for his role as executive chair-man of Breitbart News, an ‘alt-right’ platform which op-poses feminism, diversity, gay rights and globalism.

According to the Washington Post, he has been an apologist for white nationalism, has faced charges of domestic abuse and once expressed concern that his daughters’ school had too many Jewish students.

These selections confirm our fears that Trump would both reach out to the conservative “establishment” of the Republican Party and retain the influence of far-right ideologues that have played an important role in his campaign. His picks for the new administration have so far been a long-term obstructionist party leader and an extremist whose ideas cause millions of Americans, including many in the Fordham community, to reasonably fear for their safety.

These choices are a remind-er of the importance of putting pressure on the President-elect and his provisional cabinet, in the interest of protecting those who could be harmed by reactionary influence. To Fordham students who are fearful in the face of Trump, we vow to de-fend your rights.

As members of this community, we have a responsibility to stand up for those in marginalized groups when their civil liberties are at risk. While many implore opponents of Trump to “give him a chance to govern,” the appointment of men like Bannon and Priebus does nothing to inspire our confidence in his leadership.