Donald Trump, October 27, 2016.
Carlo Allegri / Reuters

Following the electoral victory of Donald Trump, the mood of U.S. Democrats and the left-leaning world was somber. It was perhaps best summed up by the headline of France’s daily newspaper, Libération on its November 9 issue: “Trumpocalypse.”

We will surely hear more end times doom and gloom as Trump continues to assemble his cabinet. The best-case scenario is that much of his divisive campaign rhetoric was “serious, but not literal,” as PayPal co-founder and Trump transition team member Peter Thiel and some optimistic Democrats have suggested.

But his first round of cabinet appointments has belied such hope.

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