If you’ve been following along with President-elect Donald Trump’s potential Cabinet appointments, then you’ve probably been startled by how alarming they all are. Just days after President Barack Obama offered Trump some extra tutoring in light of how ill-prepared he is to run a country, the apprentice returned the favor by appointing white supremacist Steve Bannon as his chief strategist.
Only the treachery doesn’t stop there—not even close. To get a handle on how much Trump’s Cabinet could resemble something like, say, the Legion of Doom (minus the diversity) we thought we’d match up the appointees with their respective onscreen evildoers and rank them from least to most evil. Keep scrolling to find out how Trump plans on filling out his Cabinet.
Reince Priebus, Chief of Staff =The Matrix’s Agent Smith
Tea Party “patriots” have argued against Priebus taking this high-level position, arguing he’s too deeply entrenched in politics and the Republican establishment to adequately “drain the swamp.” He’s not as radically unqualified as the rest of Trump’s cronies, but he’s bureaucratic and boring enough to compare to the authority-loving bad guy from The Matrix.
Michael T. Flynn, National Security Advisor = Nurse Ratched
Like One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest Nurse Ratched, Michael T. Flynn appears to be a fan of locking people up for no apparent reason, as evidenced by that time he led a crowd in chanting “lock her up” at the Republican National Convention. And similarly to Cheetofinger, Flynn doesn’t care very much for facts and spends his free time encouraging Islamophobia. Much like Jeff Sessions, his career would be continuing its downward spiral right now had Trump not plucked him from the abyss. And this guy could have a central role in shaping foreign policy and the U.S. military. Let that sink in.
Mike Pompeo, C.I.A. Director = Emperor Palpatine
Mike Pompeo is most famously known as being a harsh critic of Hillary Clinton, mainly because he hasn’t done anything as remotely noteworthy as Hillary Clinton. The representative plays henchman to the Darth Vader-like Koch brothers, is a big fan of the fossil fuel industry, widespread surveillance, and waterboarding, and thinks Edward Snowden should be put to death. He reaches Emperor Palpatine’s level on the evil scale for all the above reasons, but their striking resemblance certainly doesn’t hurt.
Jeff Sessions, Attorney General = Buffalo Bill
Sessions is as enthusiastic about depriving minorities of basic human rights as Buffalo Bill is about depriving people of their skin. He’s criticized the NAACP, claiming the organization is “un-American” for having “forced civil rights down the throats of people.” Slate describes Sessions as “an outwardly racist, xenophobic, homophobic misogynist—and he will now direct the enforcement of federal civil rights law in the United States.”
Steve Bannon, Chief Strategist = Lord Voldemort
Bannon and Voldemort have a lot in common. They both share extremely “nationalistic” views—which is code both here and in Harry Potter country for bigotry. As the head of fake news site Breitbart, Bannon has built his own coalition of death eaters that inflict misery on humanity with soul-sucking, circuitous Twitter rants. The only discernable difference between the two is the sliver of humanity Ralph Fiennes was able to bestow on his interpretation of Voldemort, something we have yet to find in Bannon.
How bad is this situation, really?
To be clear, Cabinet members don’t just control their respective departments. They reveal how and in what direction the president hopes to lead the country. While the Senate’s role in approving some Cabinet appointments might give us some hope for redemption, the stronghold Republicans currently have should make us very worried about how the executive branch might shape up. Trump’s perfect world is so starkly dismal it couldn’t even compare to a poorly-written action flick. Those stories require at least a few redeemable characters to be marketable.
Comparing them to classic villains might help vent some steam about these baffling decisions, but ultimately these amusing comparisons should echo one important point: None of this is normal. We can’t normalize the behavior of blatant xenophobes and policies that clearly value affluent white males over all other people. To fight for the equality of all Americans, we have to hold these men and particularly Donald Trump accountable by calling them what they are—not “alt-right executives” or “white nationalists,” but racists, homophobes, and misogynists. After all, if you want to fight evil, you must first know its name.