Trump was elected to govern without these people

Democratic government is healthiest when the people understand that a leader they chose is of one mind with the colleagues that he chooses in turn: that elections matter and produce something like coherent results, with real differences depending on who wins. The alternative is that a self-chosen coterie of advisers, esteeming themselves wiser than the president and the people, set policy according to the preferences of their class. Even a little of such behavior can do grave damage to the idea of a representative republic.

Two years ago, majorities of voters in a majority of states chose to put Donald Trump in the White House not despite but largely because of the fact that he was an economic nationalist and campaigned on a foreign policy that would be neither as fecklessly grandiose as Mr. Bush’s nor as hemmed in by humanitarian concerns as Barack Obama’s. That President Trump wants his staff to help him carry out his commitments is an act of good faith, however much others might disagree with his policies. If the situation were reversed, and a very different president had promised to implement a very different policy, those who worry now would be calling for every aide and cabinet member to follow through on a promise.