Holding our breath: What’s around the corner for the US?

President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence stand onstage together at US Bank Arena on December 1, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (AFP)

Political observers are eagerly awaiting the announcement of President-elect Donald Trump’s White House Cabinet. In normal circumstances, there would be the possibility of looking at a president-elect’s previous record to gauge insight into how their administration would assert its prerogatives. No such luxury is available at the moment since Donald J. Trump has no political record. There are three indicators that do begin to shed some light on what’s around the corner and where the administration could be going, however. Two of the cases are the appointments of Vice-President-elect Mike Pence and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Both will have large impacts on the domestic front during their time in the administration. The secretary of state has yet to be announced but the contenders imply a shift in Trump’s desired policy. What all three will have are (1) strong support of and direct access to the president, (2) a clear mandate from the president to identify and assert the interests of the administration when needed, and (3) the recognition from the president that they are the experts in their chosen fields.

Vice-President Mike Pence was selected for two primary reasons: (1) to show that a Trump Administration would be Conservative in origin and (2) since the president-elect hasn’t been versed in the intrigues of Pennsylvania Avenue politics, the vice-president would be a credible player in implementing and advocating for the interests of the Trump Administration.

Vice-President Pence would be able to clearly demonstrate to current members of the House of Representatives and the Senate that he is a known entity for them to work with. Previously, he served 12 years as a Congressman representing the State of Indiana’s 2nd and 6th Congressional District while also serving as governor of the State of Indiana. Simply put, the vice president-elect is a staunch Conservative and will be the bulwark of these interests when the White House Cabinet meets. As governor, Pence pushed the largest tax cut in the history of Indiana and also aggressively pushed for education initiatives such as funding for pre-schools, voucher programs and charter schools. His experience in initiating tax cuts, challenging teachers unions, while using his policies to provide Indiana with the largest budget surplus in history, will be incalculable for President Trump.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVor will have the potential to make as much dynamic change as anyone with a focus on domestic issues. This appointment by President Trump all but announces a concerted effort on the behalf of the administration to directly take on the educational establishment within the United States. Her experience in advocating for school choice and community advocacy will work very well with Vice-President Pence who helped implement these very objectives as governor of the State of Indiana. Upon announcing her appointment, President Trump said that DeVos is “a brilliant and passionate education advocate” who will help him “reform the US education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families.” When it comes to educational spending per capita and the results that the United States obtains, it is hard to make a case that the best possible results are being achieved. Secretary DeVor will have a large mandate, a House and Senate run by the Republican Party and the support of the office of the president and vice-president to carry out the above-mentioned quote. The bureaucracy mentioned is a well-entrenched one, and a formidable one at that. However, if she is successful in carrying out her vision, and the administration’s as well, it would be a powerful legacy left that would change the educational system of the United States for several generations.

The White House Cabinet official yet to be named but of keen interest to everyone is the secretary of state. What we are attempting to do here is merge the views of the candidates with some of the names being discussed at the moment. All of the potential candidates currently being considered can be considered reliable in regarding the Moscow-Tehran-Beijing axis as a hostile one. In terms of specific policy objectives, President Trump will be focused on the Western Pacific, Iran, Syria, Russia and central and eastern Europe. The United States talked to Dictator Joseph Stalin. The United States talked to subsequent General Secretaries Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov and Gorbachev. The United States talked with Yeltsin, and this continues today with Putin too. The United States and Russia will continue to talk under President Trump too but what the countries will negotiate on – that is the key issue.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:59 - GMT 10:59