Trump Is Appointing Michael Flynn As National Security Adviser
President-elect Donald Trump has been assembling his cabinet and transition teams in the days since he clinched the presidential election, and his appointments have people jumping down wells with a four-year supply of peanut butter.
Today, CNN reports he has offered retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn a job as national security adviser.
Flynn has supposedly accepted this position, and the formal announcement will be made later today.
Now, appointing a general to be a national security adviser seems like a totally reasonable move.
That is, unlike offering a climate change denier the chance to oversee the Environmental Protection Agency --bye polar bears and coastlines! We'll always have Paris!
(Because, like, Paris is located inland and will not be affected by melting ice caps.)
By the way, Flynn looks exactly like a cartoon drawing of a general. This, I can say without doubt, is his best quality.
Unfortunately -- for both us and the world -- General Flynn is a contentious choice for the position, to say the least. To say the most: He publicly expresses racist views toward Muslims.
He has called Islam a political ideology, not a religion, and referred to it as a "cancer."
And now he's going to be one of the people in charge of influencing how we treat Muslims here and abroad.
Honestly, I don't even know what to say anymore.
Whoever you voted for, you can see this is as absurd as it is frightening. It's like hiring a child therapist who, before they start, tells you they hate all children and considers them a disease.
Think I'm exaggerating here? Please, just hold on.
We can get a glimpse into his character by taking a look at his very active and extremely vile Twitter activity.
Flynn makes his Islamophobia clear as day in tweets like this:
I took a screenshot of it because I suspect that although it's been up for months, considering this new job offer, he may take it down.
After all, the national security adviser saying we should be afraid of all Muslims may not play well in the media.
Of course, I'm probably extremely wrong about that, considering that rhetoric like that won a reality TV star the presidency of the United States.
Here is the grotesque video Flynn shared with a tweet entitled, "Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL."
The video includes obscene and straightforwardly racist arguments like this:
Fearing Islam, which wants 80 percent of humanity enslaved or exterminated, is totally rational and hence can not be called a phobia.
Let me remind you, this is coming from the man who will be the chief adviser to the president regarding all national security issues.
And people are scared.
Now, if you find Flynn or that video's argument compelling in any way, watch Dr. Reza Aslan explain just how unintelligent it is to generalize 1.5 billion Muslims.
I mean, again, the problem is that you're talking about a religion of 1.5 billion people, and certainly it becomes very easy to just simply paint them all with a single brush by saying, well, in Saudi Arabia, they can't drive and so therefore that is somehow representative of Islam. It's representative of Saudi Arabia.
These 1.5 billion people live in dozens of different countries, speak dozens of different languages, elect different leaders (many of them women) and have entirely different viewpoints, ways of life and principles.
I can't believe I even have to write a sentence like that still. It's like having to explain how to add and subtract to a group of adults.
People have been demonizing people based on their religions since the advent of the species. It's never the right move. Literally ever. The Romans literally crucified Jesus Christ over it.
Guys, don't be like the Romans.
So, yes, Flynn is openly racist toward Muslims.
Now, to be clear, when I type a phrase like "Flynn is openly racist," as a journalist I'm usually supposed to say "in my opinion."
But when I am writing about a person who is actually agreeing with the statement, "Islamophobia is an oxymoron because Muslims ARE scary," there really isn't much editorializing going on.
Flynn's professional history is also fraught with controversy, and this recent appointment signals a resurgence for his career.
The Obama administration fired Flynn from his position as chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency after only two years because of, as CNN puts it, "his contentious management style."
The New York Times reported on Flynn's controversial time as the chief of the D.I.A.:
They also both exhibit a loose relationship with facts: General Flynn, for instance, has said that Shariah, or Islamic law, is spreading in the United States (it is not). His dubious assertions are so common that when he ran the Defense Intelligence Agency, subordinates came up with a name for the phenomenon: They called them “Flynn facts.”
Democrats are already opposing this appointment, as they have done with nearly all of Trump's unsettling picks for his administration thus far.
Representative Adam Schiff, who is on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, explained it to Wolf Blitzer like this: "I'd be worried about an impulsive president with an impulsive national security adviser."
As I said at the top of this article, this is only the most recent of Trump's appointments to his administration.
There's also his chief strategist Steve Bannon, whom you can read about in an article I wrote -- if you can handle yet another gut punch to the constitution today.
Elizabeth Warren delivered an impassioned speech yesterday regarding Trump's transition team appointments, who she called "an investment banker's dream."
Trump's campaign promised a shake up of Washington and a sharp move away from special interests and lobbyists.
And yet, as Warren points out, he has literally appointed half a dozen lobbyists to his transition team:
After one week, we've seen what Donald Trump's promise means: nothing. His word, his promise to the American people is worth nothing. Well, Mr. President Elect, let me be clear, I am ready to fight on behalf of the millions of Americans you lied to. That includes the millions of Americans who voted for you. And the millions who didn't.