Earlier this week, it was revealed that President Trump would be appointing his son-in-law Jared Kushner to be head of a new White House office on innovation, the members of which would report directly to the President.
The office will be staffed and advised by a number of current and former business executives. Advisers will include Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, Elon Musk from Tesla and SpaceX, Marc Benioff from Salesforce, Bill Gates, the former CEO of Microsoft, and Ginni Rometty, the chief executive of IBM.
This office will possess “sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions,” according to The Washington Post.
There are concerns, raised by an individual writing for the Rachel Maddow show’s blog, among others, that this new “office on innovation,” although it might sound nice, is really nothing more than a volatile instrument for Trump and his inner circle to wreak havoc across the American political and social landscape.
See, as Steve Benen writes, there have already long been concerns surrounding Kushner’s role in the Trump White House. He has basically no experience in politics, government, or anything of the sort, and yet he’s been tasked to be a chief adviser to Trump. Without any experience guiding Kushner, the only thing left to direct his advising and decision making is whatever serves him and the Trumps with the most personal benefit, and that’s not exactly an ideal way to run the national government.
Now, instead of new advisers rising up to temper Kushner’s influence, the Orthodox Jewish scion of a family of wealthy real estate developers is getting more influence and more power. And it’s not just any power — Kushner now has the role to oversee the execution of the aim behind one of Trump’s first executive orders in his new job, that which froze hiring in nearly every federal agency. He now has the authority to be like a eugenicist over government bodies, although the only interest who could legitimately operate in such a role is the American people.
Kushner’s office, according to The Washington Post, “is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements.”
It’s a startling assessment for Trump to be so concerned with making a “lasting legacy” while ignoring the “finer points” of his presidency, such as not bombing civilians overseas in the name of asserting American power.
People have criticized Kushner’s new role as nothing more than a bunch of empty phrases put into one big mosh pit, but there’s more to it than that, as Benen — and Maddow — have pointed out.
Kushner has literally already been revealed to have taken over the role that officials at the State Department normally play in a presidential administration.
Now, he’s gotten this new job title in a further indication of just how far Trump and his cronies are willing to go in their effort to turn the presidency — and indeed, the entire United States — into a monument to Donald Trump.
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