Donald J. Trump has chosen South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to serve as ambassador to the United Nations. On the surface, it may seem as though Trump may be trying to shine up his image and mend some fences. There has been huge backlash surrounding his other administration choices, which include misogynists and racists like Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions, but Gov. Haley, the first female Cabinet-level official Trump has nominated, is the daughter of Indian immigrants. Perhaps Trump is not all bad. Right? Wrong. As with all things Trump, you don’t have to dig much deeper to discover it is rotten to the core.
The U.N. ambassador is, in fact, an important post. The U.S. is one of five permanent members, along with Russia, China, France and Britain, who have veto-power on decisions made by the 15-member U.N. Security Council. Of the 193 nations involved, the US is the largest funder, “‘paying more than a quarter of the $8 billion peacekeeping budget and 22 percent of the several billion dollar regular budget.”
Whoever holds this high-level position is responsible for advising the White House on foreign policy issues and representing the U.S. in discussions and negotiations with other countries. Given the anxiety expressed by world leaders since Trump was elected president, in particular, because of his campaign rhetoric which included promises to beat ISIS, build a wall along the Mexican border (and get Mexico to pay for it), renegotiate or pull out of international deals and get NATO members to pay for their own defense, Governor Haley will have her work cut out for her.
But is Haley cut out for this role? According to Trump, she is:
“Governor Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country. She is also a proven dealmaker, and we look to be making plenty of deals. She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage.”
Gov. Haley seems to understand the enormity of the job that lies before her, saying in her statement:
“Our country faces enormous challenges here at home and internationally, and I am honored that the President-elect has asked me to join his team and serve the country we love as the next Ambassador to the United Nations.”
So, exactly how much experience with foreign policy and international affairs does the former South Carolina state lawmaker have? None. Nil. Nada. Some reports say she has only actually traveled abroad eight times, and that was for trade shows.
But why would Trump choose her then?
Well, first of all, Trump himself has zero experience with foreign politics, and as we saw during the debates, has no interest in learning about anything that doesn’t affect him personally or further his hateful rhetoric. It would lead one to believe that Trump deems the UN ambassador as a powerless, useless position – perfect for a non-white woman. He killed two birds with one meaningless stone. Two checks on the diversity checklist. That should shut up the liberals for 2.4 seconds, long enough for him to send out a barbaric tweet or two.
The second reason Trump would choose Haley to represent the US on the world stage is to keep her away from domestic policy debates. In other words, to shut her up.
As the South Carolina governor, Haley is most known for being instrumental in removing the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state capitol. This was in response to the tragic the massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston.
Gov. Haley was also one of the most outspoken critics of Trump throughout his presidential campaign. During the Republican primary campaign, Haley blasted Trump for refusing to disavow the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan, in particular, its former leader, David Duke, who vocalized support for Trump and his policies. A supporter of Sen. Marco Rubio, Haley said in February, “I will not stop until we fight a man that refuses to disavow the KKK.”
Trump was outraged at the remark and tweeted a month later, “The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley” and she tweeted back, “Bless your heart.”
Considering the racist administration Trump is putting together, Haley’s focus being placed on international matters bodes well for Trump’s plan here.
It wasn’t just Trump’s racist affiliations Haley had an issue with. As recently as October, Haley said,
“This election has really turned my stomach upside down. It has been embarrassing for both parties. It’s not something the country deserves, but it’s what we’ve got.”
However, relations have appeared to soften with the nomination. On Wednesday, Haley said in a statement,
“When the president believes you have a major contribution to make to the welfare of our nation, and to our nation’s standing in the world, that is a calling that is important to heed.”
Wow, with that kind of flip-flopping, maybe she does belong on Trump’s team.
Last January, Haley rebuked Trump’s intolerant stance on immigration and civility in politics, saying,
“During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation.”
Apparently, being a part of Trump’s team is one temptation the Republican Governor just can’t resist.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images