People from Goldman Sachs, billionaires, top donors, Secretary of State from Exxon. It seems this is how the huge part of Trump’s administration will be established. What does it tell us about how Trump wanna run the country after heavily using anti-establishment message in the campaign? Read few comments.
Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of North Texas
This tells me that Trump’s definition of anti-establishment is different than perhaps what some were led to believe. These appointments are outsiders, and in that way, that are anti-establishment (not previously tied to government), but they are tied to the power structure on Wall Street, etc. Ask Trump supporters if they care. I think that they are fine with this, are happy that Trump is elected, and are willing to adjust their own definitions of anti-establishment to fit their support for him…at least in the short-term.
Robert Busby, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Liverpool Hope University
The appointments made buy Trump thus far appear to reflect two aspects of his leadership. Firstly, his appointment of individuals from the business community, including his Secretary of State, underscore his determination to focus on economic regeneration, and that he faces individuals from a similar backdrop to his own may make the process of working with them more familiar. Many of his appointments also appear to have ties or some linkage to Russia. Secondly, His appointment of military personnel to key defense and intelligence posts may be a wise move. The men he has appointed appear experienced and conservative in nature and are likely to carry the confidence of the military and defense establishments. They are unlikely to want to commit American troops or the military to events which don’t have a very sound reason for involvement. As ever Trump does things his own way and there may be more surprises to come, but it is clear that he is surrounding himself with individuals he feels personally comfortable with and is, in part, moving slightly away from appointing veteran political figures to the key posts.
Christopher Larimer, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Northern Iowa
The appointments, in my mind, seem to reflect two patterns: 1) that President-Elect Trump wants people like him (business background and no government experience) surrounding him in his cabinet, and 2) he is also willing to go his own way and ignore the “establishment” which is exactly what he did most of the campaign. If anything is clear from Trump’s picks thus far it is that policy experience is not at all a prerequisite for serving in the cabinet.
Steffen Schmidt, University Professor of Political Science, Iowa State University
If you think about it these choices are not the normal POLITICAL establishment. They are from outside the Washington “beltway” and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. So if they perform well they probably will satisfy the voters who brought Trump to the White House. The message is that his administration will be more of “doers” and less “thinkers.”
America is first of all a market, capitalist economy. That’s what creates wealth. That’s what creates jobs. That’s what generates tax revenue so the nation can do good things for the poor, helpless, for infrastructure and to strengthen its national security. The US economy is stuck and growing very slowly so having people with business experience in the cabinet may well be what he promised – to “Make the American Economy Great Again.
Andrew Rudalevige, Professor of Government, Bowdoin College
He seems to define the “establishment” differently from most people. I think by definition Wall Street brokers and bankers and oil industry insiders are “establishment” – but then so is Trump. What he has succeeded in doing, at least temporarily, is redefining the term to mean “not elected officials.” There are of course some members of Congress and a couple of governors in his proposed Cabinet. But on the whole the bigger posts have gone to military men and billionaires. These, for Trump, are “outsiders” – people who “get things done.” (Romney actually would have been a good fit, except for the personal animosity Trump bears him.) The cult of personality approach that Trump takes generally applies to many of his Cabinet choices as well. And, at a guess, his most enthusiastic voters will give him and them a lot of rope before realizing there has been something of a bait and switch.
There seems little doubt that the aim of these appointments is to roll back regulation in a wide number of policy areas and make life easier for this part of the establishment to make money. The promise, of course, is that they will then keep their factories in the USA and create new jobs for Trump voters. This is a slightly different version of “trickle down” economics since it is not solely a tax cut (though one of those is probably in the wings as well.) The people Trump has appointed are mostly hostile to the mission of the agency, or completely inexperienced with it (Ben Carson comes to mind.) So I would not expect to see a lot of new regulation, though probably less de-regulation that Trump would like since it is fairly hard to roll back rules once they are enacted.