It’s not even a week ago that the idea of a Donald Trump White House seemed unthinkable. It may still be unthinkable, but it’s happening anyway.
As the reality sinks in, we’re seeing the early signs of what a Trump administration might look like.
It’s not good.
Whether Donald Trump will govern the same way he campaigned–which is to say as chaotically and offensively as possible–is an open question. But the early decisions that Trump, or at least the people around him, are making suggest that his administration is going to be really, real bad for us and a lot of people we love.
Here are four early signs that we’re in for a really rough ride:
For a while, the more moderate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was heading Trump’s transition team. But Christie pretty much disappeared when two of his closest aides were convicted in the Bridgegate scandal that implicated Christie as well. So now Mike Pence is in charge of the transition. Given Pence’s ultra-conservative (and antigay) bent, that means applicants with Pence’s views will have a leg up for open positions. By contrast, Christie likely would have been a more moderating influence.
The Facebook billionaire (aka Captain Seasteading) was one of the few prominent business leaders to bet on Trump. Thiel’s interests and ours rarely intersect despite his homosexuality. After all, his campaign contribution helped give us Sen. Ted Cruz. Thiel could be the token gay in the Trump inner circle, and if he’s the sounding board for gay issues, that won’t be good. At the moment, Thiel is in Tokyo celebrating his boyfriend’s birthday, which could signal he’s not paying much attention to the transition. Let’s see what he does to stick up for us, if anything. (Don’t hold your breath.)
In addition to Thiel, the Trump transition team includes a number of religious right luminaries. Ken Blackwell, who was at the Family Research Council when it was designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is a long-time loopy homophobe who has compared same-sex couples to farm animals. Kay Cole James is another FRC alum, who has likened being gay to being an alcoholic “or anything else sinful.” Blackwell and James will be following Pence’s lead, recruiting other antigay religious right personnel for key government positions.
The potential Cabinet choices include some real wingnuts
Secretary of Education Ben Carson? Secretary of State Newt Gingrich? Secretary of the Interior Sarah Palin? HHS Secretary Mike Huckabee? The list of would-be Cabinet members that Trump’s team floated includes some of the worst antigay politicians of recent memory. The mix also includes former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. But even the ones who aren’t household names aren’t much better. For example, Jeb Hensarling (Treasury Secretary) was one of a handful of Congressmen who pushed for the repeal of D.C.’s marriage equality law.
No matter who is chosen, the Cabinet will have a strong antigay bias. It’s not pretty.