Trump may be draining the swamp, but he’s creating a new one
The most common response I get when questioning those who voted for Trump is the absolutely valid exhaustion of “career politicians” and their “corruption.”
My question is: What causes corruption?
“Money” wins the title — most can agree on this. Now, what’s the solution? Is a vote for a billionaire, with billionaire donors and friends, a way of fixing corruption in government? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, it’s what I call omitting the middle man, for it places the money directly in the offices, as opposed to money induced politicians.
Since his election, Donald Trump has assembled the majority of his cabinet. Based on his personal history and the nature of his campaign, it should come to no one’s surprise that his Cabinet members’ estimated net worth is $9.5 billion. Is this an issue? I argue that protection of wealth is a necessary feature of a wealthy government. Also, what does the individual nature of each Cabinet appointee say about the future of U.S. policy?
Wealth in government attracts more wealth. We need not delve back hundreds of years to prove this. Even under Barack Obama’s administration, with a less-wealthy Cabinet, big business was protected in the decision to bail the banks out during the Great Recession, which taxpayers paid for. Through lobbying and campaign funding, big money controls nearly every politician, so the fact that the government, even under a leader “on the left” such as Obama, could do so much for business isn’t a surprise.
Is the Cabinet that bad? No, they’re worse. Let’s peel back the band-aid quickly.
The chief strategist (who doesn’t require confirmation from the senate) is Steve Bannon, a founding member and columnist of Breitbart News, with such hits as “There’s no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews,” “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy” and “Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew.” What’s the worst that could happen?
Another controversial member is Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education. She’s a billionaire herself with a net worth of $5.1 billion. Aside from the promotion of privately funded charter schools as opposed to public ones, Betsy has called for the public funding of religious schools. Also, Action Institute, a think tank Devos heavily endorses, has recently released an article calling for the reinstatement of child labor.
Some honorable mentions are: Rick Perry for energy secretary, who has said in the past he doesn’t believe the department should exist; Rex Tillerson, secretary of state pick, who is the actual CEO of Exxon; Labor Secretary Andrew Puzder, who opposes a minimum-wage increase, paid sick leave and overtime pay; EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who has close ties with the fossil fuel industry; Jeff Sessions, for attorney general, who was rejected as a federal judge in 1986 for “racially charged comments;” Secretary of Housing and Urban Development appointment Ben Carson, who has called funding poor neighborhoods as opposed to rich ones “socialism;” and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who was an executive for Goldman Sachs.
Trump’s vow to “drain the swamp” has come to pass, but Swamp 2.0 is looking quite murky. The massive amounts of money placed directly in government for free reign of control is a prominent threat to those without wealth, and the working class should be prepared for the worst.