Giving the People a Voice

“For those of you just tuning in, we’re here with political pundit Adam Regis, talking about the new president’s recent wave of unusual staff appointments. Adam, can you give us a little background here?”

“Well, Jake, this president’s first 200 days in office will definitely be one for the history books. He promised the people grand reforms and, one way or another, we’re going to be seeing some striking changes. So, most incumbents try to fill their cabinet with a leadership team that have strong backgrounds in their various positions, but previous administrations have garnered criticism that their appointments lack diversity and are not taking the opinions of the American public seriously.”

“What’s are we seeing that’s different in this president’s approach?”

“He seems to have opted for the strategy of ’the squeaky wheel gets the grease.’”

“Can you explain what you mean by that?” 

“Well, in many of his appointments, the job has gone to whoever’s been the most annoying or relentless in railing about a particular topic.”

“And where is he finding these people?”

“That’s a very good question, Jake. They seem to be a smattering of YouTubers and social media influencers with large subscriber bases, prolific bloggers, people who have written letters to previous administrations, and a few protesters who have a history of wielding megaphones at public events, among others.”

“Well, he does seem to be following through with his campaign slogan, ’Giving the People a Voice.’ Adam, would you call this a move toward democracy by the people, for the people?”

“It certainly is increasing the diversity of the cabinet.”

“What sorts of positions are we talking about?”

“Everything from national security and economic affairs to education and health care.”

“Can you give us some examples of recent appointments?”

“Well, I’m pleased to say that at least the new Secretary of Defense will be someone who has extensive experience. In fact, he’s agreed to resign his previous position as Supreme Commander and Overarching Overlord of the Galaxy. This gentleman has been writing handwritten letters to the White House in red crayon on yellow construction paper for more than 20 years, sometimes three or four times a week.”

“That takes some real commitment.”

“Yes, um, the only downside is that his visits to the office will have to be supervised, but the White House is making appropriate accommodations for his needs.”

“It’s good to hear the White House is stepping up to model, uh, inclusive staffing.”

“Another recent appointment, to Secretary of Commerce, is an eccentric multi-millionaire businessman with a Twitter account. He has almost as many followers as dollars in his bank account, and is a staunch proponent of international trade. For example, his undisclosed number of untraceable Swiss bank accounts make him eminently qualified at advising the president on foreign economic policy.”

“No doubt, no doubt. Who else?”

“The new Secretary of Education is a mom who started blogging three years ago, when her first child started kindergarten. She has amassed a truly incredible number of blog posts since then, criticizing everything her child’s teacher says and does.”

“Does she have any experience in education herself?”

“Her resume does indicate that she’s a product of 12 years of our public education system, and of course, her daughter is now in third grade.”

“Wow, 15 years in education. Amazing.”

“Uh, very true, yes.”

“How many positions still need to be filled?”

“The top 100 leadership positions, including the Cabinet secretaries, should be filled soon. Another 300 critical positions throughout federal agencies should be filled by the congressional recess in August.”

“And how is congress taking this? Don’t they have some say in the appointments?”

“Well, Jake, that’s a very important question. All Cabinet positions require Senate confirmation, and as you can imagine, the unusual appointments are igniting some controversy. In fact, one of the criticisms of the current appointments is that the president isn’t going far enough.”

“What’s your response to that, and do you think he’s holding back?”

“So, the president’s campaign promised to give the people a voice, and he certainly is taking strides to do just that. It may be too soon to know what the fallout from this will be, and whether it’s going too far or not far enough. I mean, what we know so far is that there doesn’t seem to be a rigorous effort to form a team with a unified agenda, and the leadership team that is chosen will drive the new administration’s agenda for the next four years. If there’s a high amount of dissension or disagreement, it could be difficult to enact policy.”

“Your point is well taken, Adam. Um, have you heard anything from the White House about their position on this?”

“We did get some response from the White House in the form of a statement acknowledging that the president’s senior leadership team is critical to ensuring the government can effectively carry out the president’s agenda and serve the American public.”

“That’s a pretty generalized statement. It seems as though a president would want to reassure the American people that he has a plan for his administration. What else is being said from the White House to explain all this?”

“That’s the other point. The White House actually isn’t saying much. The president seems to feel that if he uses his own voice, he’s not giving a voice to the people, so I think we can expect very little in the way of explanation. About anything. This is certainly going to be an interesting four years.”

“Adam Regis, thank you for joining us tonight.”

“My pleasure, Jake.”

“This is Jake Murry for Today’s News Tonight. Come back after the break for more on the president’s stunning new health care proposal.”

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