But then there’s a question: given that run-of-the-mill Trumpism is racism and dismantling of the state (and we have no reason to believe the next 4 years will be any different), what does it mean to “do good” in that context? I think it depends on the extent to which different Cabinet departments are their own separate domains, or whether they are infiltrated and dismantled. I am no expert, but I assume that Defense is a much different place than State, which in turn is different from HHS or the EPA. Each could be ruined by Trump, or left untouched. Bannon could ride roughshod over any attempt by Mattis to retain the US’s place in the international order; the VA’s health care system could be crudely privatized even if Shulkin and his team are working on reform of an already well-performing system subject to unfair scrutiny.
Given what we have seen, I am afraid the expectation (in the economic sense) is a large negative: it seems very likely that Trumpism, and Bannonism, will affect the entirety of the Federal government, even if there are good actors here and there.
If I am right, and of course I welcome correction, it is our duty to oppose even the nomination of the relatively inoffensive nominees, and to try and gum up the works as much as possible. The good actors’ attempts will be thwarted by the incompetence and malevolence of the Administration as a whole, and any collaboration will sap strength from a growing movement whose aim should be the restoration of a liberal order.
Some thoughts, perhaps only to buoy myself, but also to consider when deciding who to call, with what demands, and why.