Sound the alarms across America! Trump assembles his cabinet and team of advisers

Everyone better fasten their seat belts because we all will be taking a very rocky ride for the next four years.

Should we sound the alarms across this nation when Trump has not yet become president and is only about half way through the process of selecting his cabinet and advisers? Shouldn’t he be given more time to show what he can do before overreacting to his choices?
Well, when one sees a disaster in the making it’s imperative that alarms be sent out to try to prevent that from happening. In the case of the HMS Titanic, several nearby ships, at least one of which knew the HMS Titanic was on a course heading directly into the iceberg fields, sent messages to the Titanic warning the captain to quickly change course. But the captain stayed on his chosen course and a terrible tragedy took place. The lesson to be learned is that dire warnings must be heeded, not ignored.
At a time when we need the best and brightest Americans, possessing the best backgrounds and qualifications to occupy high levels of responsibility in this government, to provide leadership in solving this county’s many serious problems we, instead, get this collection of individuals who can hardly be considered to agents of change but, rather, give the appearance of being no more than examples of Trump cronyism.
Some might say that issuing such warnings is a useless exercise that it will accomplish nothing and won’t change a thing; and that may well be the case.  But I think that it’s very important for the American people to be forewarned about some of these very troubling and potentially dangerous selections so that they have the opportunity to make strenuous objections to their representatives in Congress, in the hope that the most unqualified will not be approved.
To do nothing is the worst thing we can do; that’s what we in America have done for too long, quite the opposite of what we should be doing; strenuously objecting when such actions on our part are necessary.
You would think that a newly elected U.S. president would attempt to surround himself with the most competent individuals to help him govern this nation. Well, that concept just got thrown out of the window when we look at those Trump has chosen so far.
This is like watching a bad dream beginning to evolve. So let’s meet those Trump has selected:  
With his selection of Reince Preibus, former chairman of the Republican Party, the titular head of the embedded Establishment, which Trump thoroughly castigated during his campaign, he is indicating that he is not about to break the hold that this powerful, deeply embedded entity has on this government and he is simply taking command of it.
Next, we have Steve Bannon, the former chairman of Breitbart News, that right wing propagandist website that has a history of publishing stories that are anti-Semitic, misogynist and racist. With this selection of Bannon as one of his right-hand men he is signaling that this is not going to be an administration that promotes peace and harmony between all Americans but will, if anything, create more and deeper divisions between various elements within this society.
Then there is Steve Mnuchin, his pick for Sec. of Treasury; a Wall Street insider who was a high-level Goldman Sachs executive for 17 years. Is this the kind of independent thinker that we need to oversee the country’s extremely complex financial systems? Do we think he is not going to initiate policies and take actions favorable to the interests of Wall Street and America’s major corporations?
How about retired General James Mattis, commonly referred to as “Mad Dog” Mattis; a career soldier who has referred to Muslims as a great danger to America. Why in the world, when you have so many choices of competent candidates, would you choose someone whose beliefs and actions have earned him the nickname mad dog?
Then there is another retired general, Michael Flynn, chosen to be National Security Adviser; he has been a very vocal anti-Islamist who has advised Trump that America is involved in a world war against Islamists. He also has stated that Islamic law is spreading in the United States which is a completely false assertion. Nothing wrong with being against terrorists but the danger lies in seeing Flynn leading the efforts to put this nation’s Muslim population under tight surveillance, including the creation of a national registry.
It’s just been reported that Trump has plans to nominate yet one more retired general, this time Marine General John Kelly, known as a “border hawk”, as Secretary of Homeland Security. Trump is quite apparently surrounding himself with military men; what next, some kind of military controls over this society?
How about Ben Carson who, during the election campaign, exchanged insults with Trump and recently said he didn’t feel like he was capable of heading a major government agency? Trump has chosen this former neurosurgeon to head up the Dept. of Housing & Urban Development. Brilliant move Donald!
Betsy DeVos, is his choice for Secretary of Education; she’s a firm supporter of charter schools and one who wants to see religion become a greater part of our system of education, even though the separation of church and state has long been maintained in this country. Mixing religion, government and our system of education is something that never, ever should be allowed.
Talk about a clever move; Elaine Chao, who he selected as his Sec. of Transportation, just happens to be wife of Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader. This is a brilliant chess move by Mr. Trump designed to try to try to prevent McConnell from blocking his legislative initiatives.
Trump wants Sen. Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General to head up the Justice Department.  Sessions was denied appointment as a federal judge in 1986 because of his clearly documented racially motivated comments. He was quoted as stating that the work of the NAACP and ACLU was un-American and he has spoken out against the federal Voting Rights Act. The facts and evidence supporting these allegations against him can be found in the  transcript of the 1986 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Are we going to have someone like Sessions as the U.S. Attorney General, this country’s highest ranking law enforcement officer, responsible for enforcing the laws of this country and seeing that every American is given equal justice under them?
If the rest of Trump’s appointments are as bad as these; if he chooses Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich or someone of their ilk as Secretary of State then America is in big time trouble right from the start of this administration.
These selections cannot be considered to include the best and brightest Americans, not by any stretch. But one thing is very clear. They fit in perfectly with President-elect Trump’s mindset.
Hold on a minute, this just in! The Donald has announced his very latest choices: Linda McMahon, co-founder and former CEO of the professional wrestling franchise WWE to head the Small Business Administration; and then, if you can believe it he wants to appoint Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the head of the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has been a huge critic of EPA regulations and a strong defender of fossil fuel interests. What a travesty his appointment would be.
Is this the kind of change that those who voted for Trump wanted? I think not. I really think, based on my almost interaction with many of these supporters, that they wanted to see him appoint ethical, competent people for his administration that would have one common thing in mind; to do what is right for this country and its people. This situation is getting crazier almost by the minute. Trump appears to be the agent of change all right – highly destructive change for this country.
These Trump supporters may be beginning to see that something is just not right, that he is taking actions and saying things that indicate that he really does not intend to negate the power of the Establishment, but will actually take it to new heights, but with an ideology of his own making.
Once it becomes clear to them that he is not really going to follow through on many of his promises that would benefit all the people of this country it is entirely possible that we could finally see the American people erupt in rage and start that people’s political revolution that many have been predicting would take place if conditions in America continued to deteriorate. 
Everyone better fasten their seat belts because we all will be taking a very rocky ride for the next four years. What I envision happening reminds me of the saying I heard many times after the tragedy of 911 which was: “Be afraid, be very afraid.”


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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.