It will be intriguing how the Trump era unfolds. The hope is that it is not too dismaying through widespread reversals of hard-earned gains.
On the one hand, the president-elect nominates a large handful of hardline (ultra) right wingers for key positions; yet, on the other, he names two women, and fierce critics at that, for cabinet level posts. As if that is enough, there are reports that Mr Trump is reaching out to one-time competitor, Dr Ben Carson, to interest him in taking the helm of the sprawling Housing and Urban Development portfolio.
Let there be no mistake: whether critics or former competitor, the ideological bent and fellowship is tight and secure, though there are different densities of both in some of the chosen. I think, being the savvy and successful businessman that he is, he is trying manfully to be all things to all people; or to most people.
I can see Mr Trump feeding the red meat conservatives with further inroads into illegal immigration (and legal, too), and also giving back the street to the police under the banner of law and order. Remember that loaded coded phrase: giving back the street to the police. Already, there is a Deep South (Alabama) Attorney General-in-waiting in the person of Sen Jefferson Sessions. Remember him, too: he is reported to have said that he had no problem with the KKK, until he discovered that they used pot. Minorities should beware.
Miranda has already been gutted through station house subterfuges and Dickerson v United States (2000); affirmative action has taken repeated blows starting with quota restrictions in Regents of the University of California v Bakke (1978); minority preferences were quashed in City of Richmond v J.A Croson Co., (1989); and there occurred the what was clearly court sanctioned disenfranchisement of black voters in Florida in Bush v Gore (2000). In these four randomly selected incendiary realms, the courts have neutralized, if not reversed developments favouring minorities. Now the stage is well set for Mr Trump to appease supporters’ anger and sound the death knell in those residual areas that provoke majoritarian hostility.
In addition, I think that the president-elect will take aim at the Equal Opportunity Commission, and both the Graham-Leach-Bliley and Dodd-Frank Acts (Wall Street reforms), while introducing a new round of tax cuts and a host of other deregulatory actions. In this way, the Republican base is energized and encouraged. Milton Friedman and Arthur Laffer should be celebrating, wherever they happen to be.
In some of this, the president-elect is positioned to do some positives, but make no mistake he can seriously harm the interests of the poor, the foreign, and the discoloured. He can unveil hard decisions and implement some real harsh measures. In business, such is termed re-engineering and right-sizing; it is business, nothing personal. From a purely conservative perspective, it would be the long overdue righting of many egregious wrongs.
Still, his Thanksgiving Day message showed a mellower, more human Donald Trump. Maybe, just maybe, he is sincere in some of the sentiments and thoughts expressed. Perhaps he will be moved to make good on them. Like I said earlier, this will be an intriguing time. Now I have written as much as I want on Mr Trump to last the next few years.