Represent All Americans
Current Status: BrokenAs of
"I will be a president for all of our people... I would be a president for all of the people. African-Americans, the inner cities...."
- Donald Trump, Second Presidential Debate, Oct 2016
"My message tonight is for all Americans, from all parties, all beliefs, all walks of life. No matter your age, your income, your background, I am asking you to join this incredible movement. I am asking you to dream big and bold and daring things for your country. I am asking you to believe in yourself, and I am asking you to believe again in America."
- Donald Trump Victory Rally in Des Moines, Iowa, December 2016
Initially, the best measure of how inclusive Trump's leadership would be could be found in his list of cabinet picks. Thus far, his list has a dearth of minorities and only a handful of women. Three of these women represent immigrant groups: Nikki Haley, a daughter of Sikh immigrants, was picked for U.N. Ambassador; Elaine Chao, born in Taiwan (and wife to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), was picked as Transportation secretary; and Seema Verma, a daughter of Indian immigrants, picked as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Unfortunately, his choice of Stephen Bannon and Jeff Sessions, both known to foment racist sentiments, are considered by many to run counter to his promise. Trump did disavow the support of white supremacists just days after a high-profile meeting in November 2016 of the "National Policy Institute" - an avowed white supremacist group - in Washington D.C. featured Nazi salutes and cheers of "hail Trump!" Similarly, earlier in the year Trump was eventually compelled to distance himself from David Duke, a member of the KKK and avid Trump supporter.
The issue of white supremacy came to a head in August 2017 when a group of white supremacists descended upon Charlottesville, VA and were met by anti-fascist demonstrators. The White House response to the chaos and violence that ensued was widely seen as anemic if not implicitly supportive of the white supremacists. Subsequent tone-deaf responses to the ongoing NFL national anthem protests during September 2017 did little to assuage the idea that the administration does not support racism.
In a glaring and unusual statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day in late January 2017, no mention was made about Jews or anti-Semitism in Trump's statement. The omission is troubling in that no previous statement from the White House has purposefully omitted such mention, and that the White House defended the omission, leading many to wonder if the omission was a deliberate snub.
Looking at class differences, Trump has assembled the richest cabinet in modern American history. For reference, George W. Bush's first cabinet had a combined, inflation-adjusted net worth of about $250 million — which is roughly one-tenth the wealth of Donald Trump’s nominee for commerce secretary alone. In fact, by mid-December 2016 the wealth possessed by the 17 cabinet picks, at least $9.5 billion, is greater than the 43 million least wealthy households in America. It's questionable that a cabinet of millionaires and billionaires will understand the vast majority of Americans in the problems they face.
On January 20th, 2017, immediately after Trump took office, the official White House web site dropped content on LGBTQ rights and also removed the Spanish language version of the site. It is not clear whether these editorial actions were deliberate signals against these communities or a side-effect of the process of transitioning the site to new ownership. For example, despite removing content related to LGBTQ rights, Trump announced that his administration would continue a 2014 Obama executive order which protects LGBTQ employees of Federal contractors.
Any doubt as to the stance of the administration towards LGBTQ people was erased in October 2017 when Trump addressed the "Values Voters Summit," an event hosted by the Family Research Council, an organization with well known, extreme anti-LGBTQ positions. But even before this address, Trump took measures to prevent transgendered people from serving in the military and the Department of Justice under Jeff Sessions took several steps to eliminate protections for trans-people.
Trump's stance on Democrats, "Never-Trumpers," and anyone who doesn't explicitly support him has been more than self-evident - to the point of threatening to withdraw funding from entire states whose electoral votes did not go to Trump, threatening urban areas with "sanctuary" policies, and so on. While this sort of rhetoric may play well with his supporters, it shows that Trump has hardly been a unifier in any sense of the word. His message has been consistent in one respect, however: if you praise him he will support you; if not, he won't. This doctrine is fundamentally incompatible with representing a diverse nation of over 300 million people.