During the campaign, Trump ran on the idea of draining the swamp. He kept promising that he will get rid of the usual politicians in Washington and give the power back to the people. This is a great campaign promise and a lot of people actually bought it. Hence, he had a surprising win.
As usual though, Trump is not a man of his words. Instead of draining the swamp, he filled it with even more creatures that pose great risk to the people. He even said that he didn’t really mean to do it, but it was a good campaign promise. Despite calls to stop placing billionaires on his cabinet, he went on with what he wants.
There’s Betsy DeVos whom he has asked to lead the Department of Education. The daughter-in-law of the co-founder of Amway Corporation is estimated to be worth $5.1 billion if her family is to be counted. Wilbur Ross, an investment banker was tapped to lead the Department of Commerce. This guy became a private equity mogul, amassing a totally of $2.9 billion in wealth. The controversial Steve Mnuchin was tapped to lead the Treasure Department. He was considered the king of foreclosure as he took advantage of poor individuals who have failed to pay their mortgage during the economic crash. He is estimated to be at $1.6 billion in wealth.
There is no problem in getting rich individuals to be on the cabinet. In fact, even Obama himself placed some millionaires on his cabinet. The problem with that of Trump’s choice is that it seems like the first criterion to be considered for the job is to be a billionaire. This is not to say that billionaires are to be demonized or that all of them have gotten their wealth illegally. It’s just that they lack connections with common people.
DeVos’ confirmation hearing
The first evidence showing just how out of touch these billionaires are was when DeVos had her confirmation hearing. She was asked basic questions about education policies and she failed to give a correct response. An open letter was written by a group of teachers asking her to withdraw her nomination as she has never been an educator or has studied in a public school and she doesn’t understand the plight of teachers and students in the public school system. Perhaps, her hearing was the most cringe worthy of all Trump’s picks so far.
The King of Foreclosure
Another example is Mnuchin who took advantage of the economic crash to make money out of people by ordering a series of foreclosures. Hundreds upon thousands of Americans have lost their homes at that night. It was a bad time for the people, but a good time to be a billionaire who feeds on people’s misery. There was even a report of a 90-year old woman who was kicked out of her house for missing to pay her mortgage by just a few cents! The lack of empathy is perhaps due to the fact that he didn’t go through what these people are going through.
If only these people had been through the hardships experienced by average Americans, it would not have been a problem putting them on the cabinet. However, just like Trump who was born to a wealthy dad, he failed to understand what it is that people really need.
Featured and 1st image by Executive Office of the President of the United States (POTUS on Twitter Tweet link direct image link) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
2nd image by C-SPAN [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons