Many students have expressed concern over the individuals Donald Trump has been considering appointing to his cabinet. Talk of appointing potential members like Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, and Myron Ebell has caused significant distress among many Purdue Students, and not for nothing. Bannon was executive chair of Breitbart News, which he admits has become a platform for the alt-right and has allegedly suggested that voting rights should be limited to property owners. Ebell is a climate change skeptic and opposes the Clean Power Plan that seeks to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation.
However Giovanni Malloy, president of Purdue’s College Republicans, reminds us that not all of Trump’s appointments are so controversial.
“I think that was a smart move to kind of bridge the gap between his administration and any sort of question marks that other Republican leadership might have had,” Malloy said with regards to Trump’s Chief of Staff appointment, Reince Priebus.
Malloy also discussed possible Secretary of State appointments.
“Nikki Haley I think would be a great fit,” he said. “I think that’s another one of those appointments that would appeal to maybe more traditional Republicans, rather than populist Republicans.”
As for some of the more troubling appointments like Myron Ebell, Malloy said that there is good reason for their consideration.
“I think that a lot of folks who voted for him [Trump], particularly in coal country, in agricultural industries, where the EPA has continuously been overreaching and hurting those industries, I think they might be excited about this,” he said.
This is something worth keeping in mind; there are many people whose experiences render Trump’s appointments attractive. Mark Castaneda and Sid Madhu, freshman members of College Republicans, explain why they are hopeful about Trump’s appointments.
Castaneda supports Rudy Guiliani because of his loyalty to New York City.
“I still remember the days back since 9-11, and Rudy Guiliani was mayor at the time… he contributed a lot to New York City, and I felt that he really helped bring the city back together,” Castaneda said. “I felt that he really united the city together.”
Madhu, who is familiar with Breitbart News, offered a defense for Bannon’s reputation as an openly racist public official.
“I don’t think he’s [Bannon] a white nationalist at all, he’s just a plain and simple nationalist,” Madhu said.
As conservative people of color, Castaneda and Madhu are both wary of people who enforce political stereotyping. Both students said that many assume they would have a liberal bias based solely on their ethnicity.
“Isn’t it stereotypical to think that just because you’re a person of color means you’re supposed to vote a certain way?” Madhu said. “Isn’t that kind of racist on its own? They [the Left] might be tolerant of minorities, but they don’t tolerate minorities who hold different opinions of events.”
Some of Trump’s appointments are controversial and those who view them with apprehension are justified in their feelings. At some point though, Americans must come together and work through these differences productively.
“There’s a lot to be wanted”, said Malloy, “but everyone deserves a shot.”