10 March 2017

A Confederacy of Crackpots

The excellent web magazine ProPublica published a worrisome article (link here) on Wednesday about the hundreds of upper-level government positions that the Trump Administration has filled with a variety of people who are religious zealots, far-right troublemakers, conspiracy theory crackpots, or industrial lobbyists.

If you're not already familiar with it, ProPublica is put-together by a non-profit foundation that engages in award-winning investigative journalism. Many of their best articles will also appear in other high-circulation quality publications like The New York Times and Time Magazine and some are also concurrently made into PBS news and documentary segments.

The linked piece is troubling for a variety of reasons.

First, and once again, it proves that what Donald Trump promised in the campaign is the exact opposite of what he's actually doing as President. He repeatedly promised to "drain the swamp" and keep lobbyists out of government, when in fact he's hiring lobbyists to make government policies.

Second, and yet again, the article shows how Trump does not hire people because of competence and experience but because of loyalty and sycophancy, a behavior typical of autocrats. As the article details, many of the people hired have utterly no qualifications for the job and more than one just graduated from high school. Yes, that means government policy is now being determined by some people who are only qualified to ask "would you like fries with your order?"

Third, the article also reinforces how Trump surrounds himself with dubious characters driven by hate. Chances are if someone is a far-right nationalist with some troubling white-supremacist affiliations, that person will also be anti-LGBT.

Ronald Reagan's administration was filled with religious conservatives, as was that of George W. Bush. Those people, at least, had professional qualifications for the jobs they filled.

But now, however, the only qualifications seem to be if you backed a hate-driven candidate. What that means for our country -- and targeted peoples specifically, including LGBT Americans -- can not be good news.

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