Who Are They?

Yesterday I read one of those articles I was semi-used to in the Bush era and now am very used to in the Trump era. Trump has a new “labor” advisor. His name is James Sherk. His big issue is federal workers are paid too much and have too many job benefits. They also don’t work enough, according to Sherk. Trump has empowered him to fix the problem by cutting salaries and benefits for federal workers. In other words, James Sherk seems like a really nice guy.

Federal workers, you’re welcome.

So I figure I’ll look James up on Linkedin and see what his background is. It was a good hunch.

James is a 2003 graduate of Hillsdale College, the uber-ideological rightwing college in Michigan, which churns out far-right shock troops. (Hillsdale first became a rightwing cause celebre when it refused all federal aid so as to not come under federal regulations opposing racism. They’ve maintained the tradition. Just a few years ago the College’s President got in trouble for snarking that he guessed the school “violated the standards for diversity because we didn’t have enough dark ones, I guess, is what they meant.”)  Then James did three years getting a Masters at the University of Rochester. From the time he left there until a few months ago he’s held various policy jobs at The Heritage Foundation.

Now, I don’t consider Oberlin the leftwing equivalent of Hillsdale. But to the extent you can come up with some analogue that’s as good as any. I’m sure there are people I’ve known who went to Oberlin or equivalent liberal arts colleges who then went to work in left-leaning think tanks. I don’t think they’re terrible. But still. C’mon.

Sherk thinks that federal workers are fat and lazy and need to be kicked into shape. He has literally had no experience in the private sector, ever. He has had no experience working in government, ever. Given the nature of these jobs at Heritage (check out the link above) there’s a relatively legit (though perhaps ungenerous) argument that he’s never held a job job in his life. His entire professional life has been spent at Heritage.

His life experience ranges from Heritage to Hillsdale.