It’s a simple fact that most Americans did not vote for Donald Trump. But our republic is not designed to reward the top vote-getter. It’s designed to guard against tyranny-of-the-majority, and ensure that minority voices will help shape public policy.
But the fluke of this election is that, despite Democrats winning the most votes for president and the Senate (Republicans won slightly more House votes), Democrats are nearly shut out of power.
You can’t fault Trump for that. But he could have, perhaps more than any previous President-elect, shed ideological rigidity to build a Cabinet that reflected the vote, and the nation’s political diversity. And he certainly could have kept special interest influence out of his government, especially since he explicitly promised he would.
Instead, he is creating an executive branch of government in service to a narrow set of special interests that no Democrat, and not even all Trump voters, would ever want.
A Labor Secretary who got rich off the backs of minimum wage workers, yet opposes raising the minimum wage.
An Environmental Protection Agency administrator who doesn’t accept climate science and lets oil lobbyists write words in his name.
An Education Secretary who lacks any education policy experience but used campaign cash to pressure Michigan into a disastrous experiment in for-profit education.
A Health and Human Services Secretary who will administer a Medicare program he would like to privatize.
An Attorney General who has tried to play both sides of the Voting Rights Act — voting for it then celebrating the Supreme Court Ruling weakening it, and may be lying about his role in desegregation cases as a federal attorney.
A Housing and Urban Development Secretary who lacks any public housing experience but plans to stop the agency from enforcing the law intended to reduce segregation.
And a Treasury Secretary who profited of off the last foreclosure crisis and plans to undo regulations designed to prevent another one.
America as a whole did not vote for a right-wing Cabinet so clearly oriented to protecting the interests of the CEO class at the expense of working-class Americans and people of color.
And for the minority of Americans that voted for Trump, they may still hold out hope that the (phony) Carrier deal signals the focus of the Trump agenda. But the cabinet is a far stronger indicator of who his government will really be working for.