According to Ana Navarro, a Republican consultant and political pundit, Donald Trump is well on his way to breaking nearly every one of his major campaign promises, including his promise to serve every American equally and heal the wounds created by the divisive election. Navarro states that Trump should be more openly opposed to the violence that is being perpetrated in his name, yet because that violence seems to primarily target people of color and religious minorities, Trump seems to be largely ignoring it.
Perhaps more revealing than his silence on the issue of violence was his recent appointment of Steven Bannon to the position of his chief strategist for the White House. Bannon has a long history of shady rhetoric and unfounded accusations against those he either disagrees with or simply looks down upon, and experts have questioned the reasoning behind Trump’s appointment of such an obvious white supremacist and hate-monger.
Navarro stated rightly that the first steps taken by a president after an election will be a sort of divining rod for the type of presidential action that will be undertaken when he is sworn into office. Many pundits out there, and many millions more within the general public, deeply despise Trump for his incendiary remarks and obvious lack of empathy or clarity. However, he has won the presidency, so those who opposed him are attempting view the situation with open minds. They’ve hoped Trump’s victory would lead to peace and unity within the United States, but their earlier fears regarding a Trump presidency look as if they might be realized sooner than expected.
Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon shows that Trump has no clear desire to heal any divides that were created or amplified during the election cycle. Bannon has a track record of controversial behavior as the ex-CEO of Breitbart News, an alt-right propagandist network for extreme conservative values. In recent years, the Breitbart News network has taken on a rhetoric of anti-Muslim, anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, and many other white nationalist racist ideals. Interestingly enough, Bannon is also famously known for blasting Republicans who aren’t ‘conservative enough’ for the alt-right movement.
The idea that someone like Bannon is going to be whispering in the ear of the most powerful man in the United States should throw some alarms to those paying attention to the development. Trump also named Reince Priebus his Chief of Staff, but that story is taking a backseat to the news that Bannon is on board with the Trump staff. Priebus served as a leader in the Republican party for years, and while he is still a conservative Republican, he has very little controversy attached to him compared to Bannon. Many pundits who are actively trying to avoid any negativity toward the Trump White House are downplaying Bannon’s appointment and showcasing Priebus’, only because Priebus is the more normal, moderate of the two.
Navarro went on to say that the majority of the country is concerned over Bannon’s appointment not only because of his connection with the Breitbart News network, but because his rhetoric is a perfect reflection of the violence being perpetrated by Trump supporters in the wake of his victory. In other words, Trump could have denounced the violence on national television, but instead he remained silent and appointed a chief strategist who is strongly in favor of such violence.
Make no mistake that these pundits all want Trump to succeed, whether they realize it or not. Trump will be the next President of the United States, and his success will translate to the country’s success. Should he fail in some way, we will all fail. That is why those who oppose him are worried. They feel the country is about to experience some of the worst divisiveness in history thanks to the ideals of those Trump is filling his cabinet with.