So Much For "Drain The Swamp"
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So Much For "Drain The Swamp"

Trump's picks for Cabinet positions show he is far from anti-establishment

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So Much For "Drain The Swamp"
The Charlotte Observer

Donald Trump made it a cornerstone of his campaign: he was the anti-establishment candidate and the only one who would take on the corruption in Washington and "drain the swamp." However, based on his picks for cabinet and advisory positions, he has made it clear that he will not be making good on any of those promises. Instead, he is surrounding himself with the same kind of people he spent his entire campaign lamenting about: DC insiders and Wall Street executives, and not a "populist" in sight.

Despite wishing to portray himself as the anti-politician, Trump has taken a page straight from the politicians' playbook. He hasn't even been sworn in yet and it is clear his administration will be just as establishment as any other politician.

From the top down, each pick is more worrying than the last. One of his most controversial appointments has been Stephen K. Bannon as his Chief Strategist. Bannon used to run the provocative right wing website Breitbart News. Many are opposed to his appointment, saying Bannon represents the racist, sexist, homophobic alt-right that was ever present throughout Trump's campaign. If Trump wishes to reunite the country after such an extremely divisive campaign, choosing Bannon for any position would be very ill advised.

Another problematic pick has been Andrew Puzder, CEO of a fast food company, as Labor Secretary. Far from anti-establishment, Puzder has been a long time conservative political donor and an outspoken critic of President Obama.

Specifically, Puzder has opposed increasing the minimum wage, supports repealing the Affordable Care Act, and has spoken against numerous worker protections enacted by the current administration, including expanding eligibility for overtime pay and sick leave.

Despite Trump's constant promises to always look out for the American worker, choosing Pudzer for his Labor Secretary has been a clear slight to the many working class voters who supported him.

Finally, Trump's pick for EPA Administrator is about as insider and establishment as it gets. Scott Pruitt is the Oklahoma attorney general and has numerous ties to the fossil fuel industry.

Pruitt, like Trump, is a climate change denialist and has worked to oppose environmental regulations. Throughout his campaign, Trump threatened to weaken the EPA, and with this pick, he has signaled that intention may not change.

These are just three in a growing list of names and speculation of who will be a part of Trump's administration. The silver lining here is that most of these positions require Senate confirmation and, while the Republicans control the Senate, they do not have an absolute majority, meaning Democrats can and should fight and filibuster these choices to, hopefully, get more moderate choices from the Trump administration.

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