- What do they mean?
Before I give
an explanation, letís be sure we all know what an
explanation is. An explanation is not a justification.
The collapse of education in the US is so severe that
many Americans, especially younger ones, cannot tell the
difference between an explanation and a defense,
justification, or apology for what they regard as a
guilty person or party. If an explanation is not damning
or sufficiently damning of what they want damned, the
explanation is interpreted as an excuse for the object
of their scorn. In America, reason and objective
analysis have taken a backseat to emotion.
We do not know
what the appointments mean except, as Trump discovered
once he confronted the task of forming a government,
that there is no one but insiders to appoint. For the
most part that is correct. Outsiders are a poor match
for insiders who tend to eat them alive. Ronald Reaganís
California crew were a poor match for George H.W. Bushís
insiders. The Reagan part of the government had a hell
of a time delivering results that Reagan wanted.
on a presidentís ability to form a government is Senate
confirmation of presidential appointees. Whereas
Congress is in Republican hands, Congress remains in the
hands of special interests who will protect their
agendas from hostile potential appointees. Therefore,
although Trump does not face partisan opposition from
Congress, he faces the power of special interests that
fund congressional political campaigns.
When the White
House announced my appointment as Assistant Secretary of
the Treasury, Republican Senator Bob Dole put a hold on
my appointment. Why? Dole had presidential ambitions,
and he saw the rising star of Republican Representative
Jack Kemp as a potential obstacle. As I had written the
Kemp-Roth bill that had become Reaganís economic policy,
Dole regarded me in the Treasury as a one-up for Kemp.
So, you see, all sorts of motives can plague a
presidentís ability to form a government.
under heavy attack prior to his inauguration, he cannot
afford drawn out confirmation fights and defeats.
choice of Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary mean that
Goldman Sachs will again be in charge of US economic
policy? Possibly, but we do not know. We will have to
wait and see. Mnuchin left Goldman Sachs 14 years ago.
He has been making movies in Hollywood and started his
own investment firm. Many people have worked for Goldman
Sachs and the New York Banks who have become devastating
critics of the banks. Read Nomi Prinsí books and visit
Pam Martens website, Wall Street on Parade (
http://wallstreetonparade.com ). My sometimes
coauthor Dave Kranzler is a former Wall Streeter.
are jumping to conclusions based on appointees past
associations. Mnuchin was an early Trump supporter and
chairman of Trumpís finance campaign. He has Wall Street
and investment experience. He should be an easy
confirmation. For a president-elect under attack this is
suppport Trumpís goal of bringing middle class jobs back
to America? Is Trump himself sincere? We do not know.
What we do know
is that Trump attacked the fake ďfree tradeĒ agreements
that have stripped America of middle class jobs just as
did Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot. We know that the
Clintons made their fortune as agents of the One
Percent, the only ones who have profited from the
offshoring of American jobs. Trumpís fortune is not
based on jobs offshoring.
billionaire is an oligarch. Trumpís relation to the
financial sector is one as a debtor. No doubt Trump and
the banks have had unsatisfactory relationships. And
Trump says he is a person who enjoys revenge.
What about the
hot-headed generals announced as National Security
Advisor and Secretary of Defense? Both seem to be death
on Iran, which is stupid and unfortunate. However, keep
in mind that Gen. Flynn is the one who blew the whistle
on the Obama regime for rejecting the advice of the DIA
and sending ISIS to overthrow Assad. Flynn said that
ISIS was a ďwillful decisionĒ of the Obama
administration, not some unexpected event.
And keep in
mind that Gen. Mattis is the one who told Trump that
torture does not work, which caused Trump to back off
his endorsement of torture.
So both of
these generals, as bad as they may be, are an
improvement on what came before. Both have shown
independence from the neoconservative line that supports
ISIS and torture.
Keep in mind
also that there are two kinds of insiders. Some
represent the agendas of special interests; others go
with the flow because they enjoy participating in the
affairs of the nation. Those who donít go with the flow
are eliminated from participating.
is a good place to get rich. That Mnuchin left 14 years
ago could mean that he was not a good match for Goldman
Sachs, that they did not like him or he did not like
them. That Flynn and Mattis have taken independent
positions on ISIS and torture suggests that they are
mavericks. All three of these appointees seem to be
strong and confident individuals who know the terrain,
which is the kind of people a president needs if he is
to accomplish anything.
with beating up on an administration before it exists
and has a record is that the result can be that the
administration becomes deaf to all criticism. It is much
better to give the new president a chance and to hold
his feet to the fire on the main issues.
among all the presidential candidates said that he saw
no point in fomenting conflict with Russia. Trump alone
questioned NATOís continued existence 25 years after the
collapse of the Soviet Union.
said that he would work to bring middle class jobs back
And Trump said
that he would enforce immigration laws. Is this racism
or is this a defense of citizenship? How is the US a
country if there is no difference between illegal aliens
all stripes are making a mistake to damn in advance the
only government that campaigned on peace with Russia,
restoring middle class jobs, and respect for the
countryís borders. We should seize on these promises and
hold the Trump administration to them. We should also
work to make Trump aware of the serious adverse
consequences of environmental degradation.
Who is blowing
these opportunities? Trump? Mnuchin? Flynn? Mattis?
The more Trump
is criticized, the easier it is for the neoconservatives
to offer their support and enter the administration. To
date he has not appointed one, but you can bet your life
that Israel is lobbying hard for the neocons. The
neocons still reign in the media, the think tanks,
university departments of foreign affairs, and the
foreign policy community. They are an ever present
personality means that he is likely to see more reward
in being the president who reverses American decline
than in using the presidency to augment his personal
fortune. Therefore, there is some hope for change
occuring from the top rather than originating in the
streets of bloody revolution. By the time Americans
reach the revolutionary stage of awareness the police
state is likely to be too strong for them.
So letís give
the Trump administration a chance. We can turn on him
after he sells us out.
Dr. Paul Craig
Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury
for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall
Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week,
Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He
has had many university appointments. His internet
columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts'
latest books are
The Failure of
Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the
How America Was
Neoconservative Threat to World Order.
expressed in this article are the author's own and do
not necessarily reflect Information Clearing House
U.S. judge denies pro-Trump
groups' effort to halt Wis. recount:
U.S. District Judge James Peterson rejected their
request for a temporary restraining order to immediately
halt the Wisconsin recount. A hearing on the lawsuit is
scheduled for Dec. 9.