Politics

Trump’s Pick For DHS Pledges To Crush Political Correctness

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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GOP President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for the Department of Homeland Security has pledged to put a stop to the political correctness that has dominated the discussion on national security.

Retired Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly said openly in a statement Monday that “The American people voted in this election to stop terrorism, take back sovereignty at our borders, and put a stop to political correctness that for too long has dictated our approach to national security,” Military Times reports.

During his presidential campaign, Trump made a point of emphasizing the importance of veterans and military generals. Based on candidates screened at Trump Tower and subsequently tapped for key cabinet positions, it seems clear Trump wasn’t throwing around empty rhetoric, especially given the roles handed to retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

Trump’s pick for DHS head, however, is crucial to his administration, as many of his campaign promises relate to terrorism, drugs, illegal immigration and border security. Kelly, the former head of U.S. Southern Command who retired from the position in February, is a hawk on both issues and is now set to take over as chief of the third-largest department in the cabinet. But he will have challenges, as the department is plagued with issues of low morale and bad management.

Kelly’s views cohere with Trump’s on other issues like Guantanamo Bay. During the Obama administration, Kelly intensely disliked President Barack Obama’s attempt to shutter the facility. Trump, in comparison, has mentioned expanding the prison and filling it with more detainees involved in terror operations.

Kelly has also loudly brought up concerns with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s decision to open all combat roles to women. In his outgoing speech at the Pentagon, Kelly said, “They’re saying we are not going to change any standards. There will be great pressure, whether it’s 12 months from now, four years from now, because the question will be asked whether we’ve let women into these other roles, why aren’t they staying in those other roles?’”

Tough-mindedness on border security, objections to closing Gitmo and his concern about opening combat roles to women make Kelly’s opposition to political correctness more weighty than simple political expediency.

It is unlikely that Kelly will face any real opposition in the Senate during his confirmation hearing, as he has the favor of many Republicans.

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