Northwest Horizons

Trump’s Cabinet: Plated in gold

Students and Northwest give their opinions about Trump's cabinet.

Students and Northwest give their opinions about Trump's cabinet.

Students and Northwest give their opinions about Trump's cabinet.

Tai Van Dyke, graphics editor

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Donald Trump’s presidency thus far has been rife with controversy. From firing the FBI director to leaking classified information to Russia, many people– both Democrat and Republican– have concerns with this presidency.

Trump’s cabinet is no exception.

As a brief rundown, the president’s cabinet is made up of the Secretaries of all executive departments, as well other appointed executive officers. This group of individuals acts as a council to the president to aid in decision making. The president appoints cabinet members, and then they must be confirmed by the Senate.

As expected, Trump’s cabinet leans more right on the political spectrum than Barack Obama’s cabinet, with some of Trump’s members being GOP donors, former Republican governors and a former cabinet member of George W. Bush. What might be less expected, however, is that many, regardless of political affiliation, regard some of Trump’s cabinet choices as being unqualified.

“They don’t even deserve to be there when some of the people [Trump] chose haven’t had any background in politics,” junior Rose Warosh said. “They don’t know the ropes.”

One cabinet member who has received backlash for lacking experience is Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. DeVos is a supporter of school choice and charter schools. She is also a notable GOP donor, having donated $2.75 million in this past presidential cycle. Despite being a notable figure, her experience with public schools has put her under questioning.

“Among educators a lot of people feel that [DeVos] has not spent an adequate, or any amount of time around public education, so to put her in charge of public education seems silly, especially with the charter and private school options that provide competition for us,” Latin teacher and former We the People member Parker Jackson said.

DeVos is not the only one being put under question. About a third of Trump’s cabinet lacks political experience. However, many of them, such as former CEO of Exxon, Rex Tillerson, and former Wall Street banker, Steven Mnuchin, are prominent businessmen. In fact, seven of Trump’s cabinet choices have a combined worth of $11 billion. Some economists see this as having the potential to create more jobs and to boost the economy. However, other people feel that there should be caution surrounding economically-powerful politicians.

“I don’t think that the CEO of an oil company that has ties to Russia should be negotiating treaties with companies,” senior Blake Weaver said.  “I don’t think that a Wall Street banker should be Secretary of Treasury.”

Others, however, point out that politicians tend to be rich in general.

“People perceive that they are being ruled by an aristocracy,” Jackson said. “They worry that those people don’t have the interest of the common man at heart, so they feel that they are losing their representation in Washington, which may or may not be true because a lot of politicians are rich by nature.”

Overall, there is concern over how Trump’s cabinet will affect his presidency.

“In one way, I see them contributing negatively to his policies,” junior Melvin Diggs said. “That’s the only thing that I really see. I could try to see a brighter side but it would be very hard to do so.”

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Trump’s Cabinet: Plated in gold