Our hopes lifted a bit as we watched President-elect Donald Trump’s performance on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” He tried his best to appear reasonable, dignified, even conciliatory on some key issues.
Millions of Americans who are shocked and dismayed by his election began hoping that he might make some wise choices for his support team. Perhaps, we thought, if he surrounds himself with experienced, level-headed individuals, offering a variety of perspectives and points of view, our nation won’t be so bad off, after all.
His mind must be whirling as he tries to sort this out. Think of it. Wake up one morning and realize that you are about to become president, one of the most powerful people in the world. Exhilarating? Sure. Scary? Definitely, even to someone with the ego Trump has put on display for the past several months. One is tempted to believe that his mind is racing, one minute contemplating the power he will have to make big changes in everyone’s lives, then shifting to feeling overwhelmed, terrified by it.
Must appear decisive. I’ve got to look as if I know what I’m doing, that I am in charge. Presidential.
So he begins to choose, and we contemplate his early selections for leaders in his government: Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama for attorney general, Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas for CIA director, Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for national security adviser, Stephen Bannon as chief strategist, John Bolton for secretary of state. Trump admires Jared Kushner, his son-law, and wants him to work in the White House and attend classified daily briefings.
President-elect Trump is surrounding himself with yes men, those who agree with his values and priorities. This is the first refuge of the insecure and unprepared. We, who cling to hope for some measure of sanity, worry.