Great article, Luke! I liked the approach.
Clearly this is a pragmatic administration and what desireable political principles we glimpse or just imply are mixed and are neither strongly rooted nor consistent.
But I've been thinking that it might not be feasible, at this point in time, to make a shift from the progressive nature of our current government in the direction of a more libertarian government by fighting political ideologies with political ideologies - certainly not in the usual ways. Been there. Done that. This might be a point in time where someone closer to a "strong man" - a pragmatist - a populist might have the best chance of achieving two things:
1) Making temporary but substantial improvements in removing onerous taxes, regulations and the view of business as evil - and letting the economy gain some strength.
2.) Buy 4 to 8 years of relief from the constant barrage of ever more strident progressivism. If there is material success from a Trump administation, and an increase in optimism and hope, then it becomes a fertile intellectual ground for attacking the progressive ideology (they will be very loudly attempting to get control back this whole time).
I don't have to mention that those very qualities (pragmatist, populist, strong personality... can also lead to fascism :-( We are at a high risk juncture.
The end goal has to be a degree of political education of the majority of voters. In today's context that is exposing progressivism and it would be wonderful to point at the economic and emotional realities of Obama's conflict-ridden and economically-deprived period to a period of powerful economic recovery and emotional uplift. Those concrete and experienced results would drive home the lessons of free enterprise versus progressivism with great force. (And make a much clearer road for the greater depth of argument that is needed long term to ground our society in Objectivism).
That chart on years of cumulative experience as a leader was fun to look at. One caveat is seeing how many years of cumulative experience existed with Bush appointees and the balance between government and private, yet his administration was very big government ("compassionate conservative"). But the measurments for the incoming Trump picks is heartening.
The article attempts to frame the question as: Trump administration: Aggressive and thoughtful or Agressive and reckless. That is a good question, but those of us on this forum know that the right principles are the proper starting place. "Aggressive" is good - its needed - but it has to go in the right direction. If they all believe in tariffs (not as a negotiating threat, or as punishments for violations of copyrights or patents) a lot of harm could be done.
The chart showing how congress has become more conservative is interesting, but there are two issues here. It doesn't say what kind of conservative. Social conservatives are helpful. And I don't really trust the line that shows Democrats staying about as liberal - no way! They have moved far to the left during that time period.
On the chart of the ideology of the various presidents nominees versus the ideology of the presidents party at the time... there is a problem, at least with Obama. He worked with a people who would never have been confirmed. He had czars (two of them were self-declared communists). I think that his administration's ideological position isn't accurately represented by his nominees.
This quote from the article says alot: "By and large, deal-maker businessmen will be running the government. Their boldness will almost certainly make the next four years incredibly interesting and will keep us all on our toes."