President-elect Trump starts cabinet picks

On Election Day, Donald J. Trump walked away as our president-elect in the race to 270 electoral votes, contrary to nearly every pollster’s predictions.

The shock and uncertainty at the prospect of a Trump presidency has yet to dissipate for some, such as the many still participating in speak-outs and events around Burlington.

On UVM’s campus, professors and students alike are still processing the news of their new president.

“I was not only surprised, I was devastated. A national government led entirely by him and today’s national conservatives will mean destruction for the planet,” said Felicia Kornbluh, professor of history and gender, sexuality and women’s studies.

Pablo Bose, professor of urban and cultural geography and political economy, said that even many of Trump’s advisers were shocked by his win.

“[Now] it all depends on who he appoints as the heads of different agencies.”

In the three weeks since the election, Trump has already offered cabinet positions effective Jan. 20.

Myron Ebell, one of the likely choices for Environmental Protection Agency administrator, has come under flack by environmental protection groups for being a known climate change denier, according to Politico.

“[Ebell] has been referred to as the leading climate-denier-in-chief,” Bose said. “He feels that [climate change] has been extremely exaggerated.”

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney are both current candidates for secretary of state, while Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions is being considered for secretary of defense, according to Politico.

Another one of Trump’s potential cabinet selections is Stephen Bannon, executive chair of the Breitbart News Network, which has been referred to as a “white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill,” by a Nov 15 New York Times column.

The New York Times Editorial Board, who endorsed Secretary Hillary Clinton, wrote in a Nov. 15 op-ed that Bannon opposes “immigration, feminism, multiculturalism, Jews, Muslims, and other vulnerable groups.”

“[Trump] is a racist, a nativist, a bully, a casual anti-Semite and walking advertisement for GSWS program ideas like compulsory heterosexuality and compulsory able-bodiedness,” Kornbluh said. “He is also intellectually lazy, making a mockery of the values of free and rigorous inquiry we hold dear in the University.”

Some compare Donald Trump and his campaign strategies to former German Chancellor Adolf Hitler circa 1933, but Bose said that it is important to remember this is not the case.

“We have to remember he is constrained by American democratic institutions,” he said. “Perhaps Trump will run just his Twitter, and someone else will be in charge of the country.”