From the Washington Post
Trump could cause ‘the death of think tanks as we know them’By Josh Rogin Global Opinions January 15 at 7:04 PMFor decades, Washington think tanks have been holding pens for senior government officials waiting for their next appointments and avenues of influence for sponsors of their research. Donald Trump’s incoming administration is bent on breaking that model.Trump’s appointments have so far have been heavy on business executives and former military leaders. …
Much of the outrage over Trump is from the few thousands of people in the Republican and Democratic establishments who had good cause to hope back in 2015 that their resumes and thus net worths would be permanently burnished by spending a couple of years in a Hillary or Jeb White House, thus upping their market value to private industry.
The president-elect favors people who have been successful in the private sector and amassed personal wealth over those who have achieved prominence in academic or policy fields. Those close to him, including chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner, see think tanks as part of a Washington culture that has failed to implement good governance, while becoming beholden to donors.“This is the death of think tanks as we know them in D.C.,” one transition official told me. “The people around Trump view think tanks as for sale for the highest bidder. They have empowered whole other centers of gravity for staffing this administration.” …If the Trump team succeeds in diminishing the influence of Washington think tanks and keeping their scholars out of government, policymaking will suffer. Many of these scholars hold the institutional knowledge and deep subject matter expertise the incoming administration needs. Trump should see them as an asset in the marketplace of ideas, not a liability.
Or maybe the real problem is not with think tanks per se, just that there is so little money for think tanks devoted to patriotic policies.
For example, you’ll notice that the lavishly funded SPLC i
s constantly outraged
that there’s this one retired eye doctor
in a little town in northern Michigan
who has helped scraped together money for a few small immigration restrictionist think tanks. If they could just take John Tanton
out, the SPLC reasons, there’d be practically nobody left
to oppose the Establishment on immigration policy.
[Comment at Unz.com