Gerard Ball looks at Stephen Bannon, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee as possible cabinet members in Trump's government and why you should be worried.
Donald Trump amassed 306 electoral votes on November 8th to ensure that he became the 45th President Elect of the United States - easily ‘trumping’ Clinton’s paltry 232 in what turned out to be a not so close race to the magic number of 270. We know this, but do we truly know what a Trump presidency would look like?
Whilst his pre-election rhetoric will be remembered for his remarks on immigration, women and Barack Obama’s nationality to name just three, he has since began ‘flip-flopping’ on many of those aforementioned beliefs. Therefore, many have come to doubt the notion that a Trump presidency would operate on the extreme right end of the political spectrum. Perhaps, who knows, but the following three men that are earmarked for prominent cabinet positions in Trump’s presidency may leave you fearful for the future of the United States – Stephen K. Bannon, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee.
First up we have Stephen K. Bannon. Bannon has been selected as Trump’s Chief Strategist. Who is Bannon and why would he give you the chills?
Well, firstly, before taking a leave of absence to begin his work as Trump’s chief strategist, Bannon was the executive chair of Breitbart news from 2012 – a ‘news’ site that expresses deep xenophobic, misogynistic, racist and homophobic tendencies. A couple of headlines showcasing the aforementioned bigotry from Bannon’s Breitbart would be; ‘World Health Organization Report: Trannies 49 XS Higher HIV Rate’, or ‘There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women In Tech, They Just Suck At Interviews’. There are myriad of other grotesque examples, but perhaps these are merely views expressed by Breitbart-run Bannon and not Bannon himself? Think again. When discussing the Women’s Libertarian Movement, Bannon once said that these women "would be pro-family, they would have husbands, they would love their children. They wouldn’t be a bunch of dykes that came from the 7 sisters schools".
A spokesperson for the Senate minority leader Harry Reid had this to say on Bannon; "President Elect Trump’s choice of Steve Bannon as his top aide signals that white supremacists will be represented at the highest levels in Trump’s White House". What about Ben Shapiro? The American conservative political commentator? He had this to say about Bannon: "He is a vindictive, nasty figure – infamous for verbally abusing supposed friends and threatening enemies". Yet, he remains as Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist; is Trump’s presidency still not going to be extremely right leaning?
Next up is good old Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who competed against Trump in the Republican elections before ultimately losing. Carson is tipped as the Housing and Urban Development Secretary. What do we know about Ben that would lead us to question his humanity? Well he did say the following; "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that".
On whether being gay is a choice, Carson said: "A lot of people who go into prison are straight and when they come out they’re gay, so did something happen when they were in there? Ask yourself that question". He also believes that the Egyptian pyramids were built by the biblical Joseph to store grain and were not, as archaeologists believe, tombs for Pharaohs. That last one is comical for sure; however, this is a man that could well have a prominent voice in Trump’s administration. What a scary thought.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Mike Huckabee – who is in contention for the Health and Human Services Secretary position in Trump’s administration. ‘Huckleberry’, as he’s often affectionately known, is known for his staunch opposition to gay marriage. In fact, in 1992, he said: "I feel homosexuality is an abhorrent, unnatural and sinful lifestyle and we know it can pose a
dangerous public health risk".
More recently, he expressed his absolute discontent at the Supreme Court which ruled in favour of gay marriage which was legalised nationwide – he told his supporters to ‘resist and reject judicial tyranny’. A man that evidently holds such ill-will towards homosexuals is in the running to gain supreme governmental power. Yet another scary thought.
So, there we have it. Amongst all the candidates reported to be in the running for positions in Trump’s cabinet, Stephen Bannon, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee embody all that is horribly wrong with a Trump presidency. Each of the three have expressed homophobic views, one was the executive chair of an infamous alt-right website, another couldn’t entertain the possibility of a Muslim becoming U.S president, whereas the last believes his supporters should rise up and reject same-sex marriage.
Whatever about Trump reversing on some of his core extreme promises, he still persists with surrounding himself with people who spout such bigotry. Also, look no further than Vice-President Elect Mike Pence, to gather a true idea of what a Trump Presidency may entail. Pence believes in the use of gay conversion therapy. Indeed, these men are all dangerous and worst of all - they may all have the ultimate platform to push their sinister agendas very soon.