Trump’s top cabinet picks

Ethan Fogle, Staff Intern

On election night, the results weren’t what most polls predicted. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in key battleground states and even turned blue states red, according to the National Review.

Soon after came panic from the anti-Trump side. Irrational thoughts like comparisons to Hitler and predictions that the economy would collapse abounded, according to The Washington Post and The New York Times, respectively.

However, the fears were brought on by Trump’s hateful rhetoric, much of which has been compiled by The New York Times: building a massive wall between Mexico and the U.S., special IDs for Muslim citizens and “locker room talk” about women.

Three weeks into being the President-elect, Trump has toned down his rhetoric, according to CBC News. As recently as Nov. 22, Trump dropped his pursuit of putting Clinton in prison, revoked his idea of torturing terrorists and promised an open mind on climate change.

It seems that the pillars that Trump built his campaign on are starting to transform into more realistic ideals.

Trump’s lack of experience and aid from political insiders probably helped Trump dial down on some of the campaign promises.

However, his inexperience and role as “political outsider” appealed to voters and helped him win the presidency, according to USA Today.

The lack in experience may have caused him to elect potentially damaging individuals to his cabinet. One of these people is Steve Bannon.

The top of Bannon’s resume looks like it belongs to a guy who is qualified to be Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor.  It includes veteran, investment banker and executive chairman of a news organization, according to Bloomberg.

The latter profession on his impressive resume could raise concerns.

Bannon is executive chairman of Breitbart News, a far-right conservative online news organization that both conservative and liberal news outlets have criticized, according to Fox News.

The site is considered by some to be the founder of the alt-right movement, and Bannon acknowledged that it has an alt-right tone.

“The alt-right has some racial and anti-Semitic overtones,” Bannon told The Wall Street Journal. While he said that he does not promote or believe in such ideas, he was Brietbart’s executive chairman while the alt-right posted articles on Breitbart’s site.

Another recent hire to Trump’s cabinet that raises concerns is Betsy DeVos.

Hired to be the education secretary, DeVos graduated from Calvin College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and political science, according to

DeVos grew up in Holland, Michigan, and went to Holland Christian High School, a private school.

DeVos, who is married to billionaire Richard DeVos, has donated a significant amount of money to the Republican Party.

Her creationist ideas and advocacy for private and charter schools are something that may be harmful to federal funding of public education. In fact, DeVos took state funding away from Michigan’s public schools and awarded it to the state’s ever-growing private and charter schools, according to The New York Times.

She also is an advocate for Common Core education, something that many Republicans and conservative news outlets, including Trump and Breitbart, have criticized, according to Breitbart.

Trump’s background in the political process was displayed when he hired someone that believes in an education system that he called a “disaster” during his political campaign.

Trump’s flip-flopping on beliefs has appeared after the election when he hired a top climate change skeptic, Myron Ebell, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency transition team.

This comes just days after Trump said he would have an “open mind” on climate change, according to The Verge.

Differing from what Trump said in early June of this year, when he tweeted, “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” according to PolitiFact.

In 2007, Ebell spoke with Vanity Fair about climate change. “There has been a little bit of warming . . . but it’s been very modest and well within the range for natural variability, and whether it’s caused by human beings or not, it’s nothing to worry about.”

Despite admitting to the fact that the planet is warming, Ebell has a plan to dismantle President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, and revoke several rules currently enforced over oil, gas and coal industries, according to The Washington Post.

While Obama’s presidency comes to an end, the cabinet choices for Trump’s presidency will continue and the choices may keep Democrats’ and Republicans’ heads shaking.