Here is John Fund writing at National Review about what isn’t surprising to some of us — Trump’s move to the right:
He owes nothing to the old guard, he sees a window for bold reforms, and he knows who his enemies are.
The biggest surprise Donald Trump has provided as president-elect is just how conservative a cabinet he is putting together. “This is a more conservative cabinet than Reagan assembled in 1980,” says Ed Feulner, a key Trump transition adviser. As president of the Heritage Foundation at the time, Feulner provided guidance for Reagan’s choices.
The conservative cast of the nominees thus far is somewhat unexpected, given Trump’s well-known reputation as a non-ideological thinker who has often backed big-government solutions. Plus, Trump was a registered Democrat until 2009. Indeed, Trump’s entire family is largely non-ideological. It was only last August, in a meeting with New Jersey governor Chris Christie, that Donald Trump Jr. ticked off a list of his father’s new positions and said, “Well, I guess that means we’re conservatives!”
Clear traces of the old, more liberal Trump remain as he employs the bully pulpit against companies who move jobs overseas. Trump labels such firms the “dumb market.” He has also selected non-ideological Goldman Sachs bankers to run the Treasury Department and direct the National Economic Council.
But, more broadly, Trump has pleased conservatives with his picks. Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and Chris Christie are moderates, but they have been excluded from the cabinet (though, at this writing, it’s not certain whether Romney will have a place or not in the administration). Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, has frequently sued the agency. Betsy DeVos, his nominee to run the Department of Education, has consistently supported school choice. Labor Secretary–designate Andrew Puzder opposes increases in the minimum wage. Ben Carson, Trump’s choice for secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has railed against some public-housing advocates as “Saul Alinsky poverty pimps.” Tom Price, the Georgia representative slated to head Health and Human Services, has been a fierce critic of Obamacare has supported Medicare reform.
Read more: National Review