Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Day After

It's official: President-Elect Trump!

Note to the reader: I began this post the day after the ascension of Donald Trump to the presidency became clear.  Watching the results as they unfolded on Tuesday night was unsettling.  I did not vote for Hillary Clinton (of COURSE I voted!  And if you have read me at all, you should know that I consider our de facto two-party system an abomination) but the idea that Donald Trump might become President was very … troubling.  Never in our history, at least in MY lifetime, has a candidate been so unfit for the job: personally, politically, internationally and ethically.

More than any other day, this day makes me reflect on the world-wide rejoicing following the election of Barack Obama, a black man, to the most powerful office in the world, the American Presidency.  This election feels like a day of revenge for those who never accepted Barack Hussein Obama as President, and a day of puzzlement and mourning around the world.

Many voters who voted for Trump thought that they were electing a King, a monarch who could get done everything that he claimed to want to do.  Sometimes I thought that Trump thought he was running for King too.

When Donald J Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency (June 16, 2015), his home-town paper, the NY Daily News, a reliably Republican tabloid, plastered a clown-face on its front-page with the words “Clown Runs for Prez.”  New York knows Trump.

Trump couldn’t win the Presidency.  After all, there were reasons aplenty not to vote for him:
  • He had no experience in politics.
  • His need to belittle virtually everyone and his thin-skinned need for personal revenge were reason enough to consider him unfit for any public office (he would not have won a race for Congress in New York).
  • He had the highest unfavorable ratings of any person who had ever run for the presidency, including Hillary Clinton.
  • He had the highest liar ratings of any person who had ever run for the presidency, including Hillary Clinton (says every serious Fact Checker online).
  • Rank and file Republicans didn’t like him.
  • Tea Party Republicans didn’t like him.
  • Most of the 16 Republicans who ran against him in the primaries refused to endorse him.
  • Many Republican Senators and Congressmen refused to endorse him.
  • Virtually no newspaper of rank endorsed him.
  • Few Republican or conservative columnists endorsed him.
  • He had no world leader endorsements (Vlad Putin possibly excepted).
  • Every poll had him losing, at least the electoral vote.
  • And even Exit Polls showed he would lose.

Nevertheless, he won the election.

But, more than any other people, Americans don’t like to be told what to do and the whole world seemed to be conspiring against Donald Trump.  Our people love an underdog.  Refusing to bow to authority is an admirable trait and it has often worked in our favor.

But this is all water under the bridge, the deed is done.  And God bless America!

Donald Trump is the guy who long ago challenged President Obama to reveal his grades in college and in Law School.  And, as if to demonstrate just how stupid the Democrats have become, none ever countered with “OK, Mr. Trump, President Obama will be happy to take your challenge if you reveal your college (no graduate school) grades at the same time.”

Will Trump ever reveal his Tax Returns?  Will he reveal his health record?  Will he put aside all his Conflicts of Interest as every president before him has?  Will his conduct be so outrageous that his own party will try to find cause for impeachment?  How often will there be anti-Trump demonstrations and will he try to lock them up?

Did Donald Trump honestly win the election (the Electoral College’s vote)?  He lost the national popular vote to Clinton by 2.8 million votes (as of 12/13) and counting.  There are recounts moving forward in several states.  Indeed, the fact that human beings no longer tally actual votes one at a time should disturb us all (it is not that voting machines are fallible, or dishonest, but why should they be honest when they are not at least selectively monitored?).  “We won the election fair and square and we will fight all recounts all the way up to the Supreme Court” said a high-ranking member of Team Trump.  Why would the honest victor of a contest ever protest a recount?  I can’t imagine.  As an American, you have to stand for things, and 100% honest vote tabulation has to be very high on everyone’s short list.

As a real token of his desire to be the president of all the people, to work with Democrats as well as Republicans, Trump should put forth the name of Merrick Garland to be the next associate justice of the Supreme Court.

Trump’s presidency will be an interesting time.  Will he remain as outrageous as he seems or will he become “presidential”?  Will he keep twittering every few hours?  Will he need to appear on TV more than five times / week?  How often will he go on late night TV?  Will he be the butt of jokes on Late Night TV for 4 years?  Stay tuned.