On the last three mornings I awoke feeling something was wrong. Then, as I fully awakened, I realized something IS wrong. Terribly wrong! Donald J. Trump won the Electoral College requisite of 270+ votes. Though losing the popular vote, he will likely be confirmed by the Electoral College on December 19th as President-elect and sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on Friday, January 20th.
As I have said in these blogs before, it’s not that a republican won, it’s that an amoral, immoral sleaze won that has me so upset. And I am not sure I can ever reconcile that. In fact, I know I can’t.
It was this morning that I saw President Obama place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns for the last Veterans’ Day of his presidency that I came to realize how much I have enjoyed the ceremonial aspects of our presidency for all my adult years, especially while in the news business.
The pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkeys, the lighting of the White House Christmas tree, the State of the Union addresses before joint sessions of Congress, the inaugural ceremonies that include the incoming and out going presidents and first ladies riding over to the Capitol together, the swearing-in, the inaugural address, the post inaugural luncheon, the farewell to the outgoing president as Marine One flies the former First Family back to Joint Base Andrews and then wherever. (The Obamas will be staying in DC). Later, the inaugural balls and then, eventually, those first 100 days in office. And the honeymoon begins.
Like a new school year, like the smell of fresh crayons, and pencil sharpenings and stiff new shoes and a tabula rasa, the incoming new president should be looked forward to, greatly anticipated, cherished for all that is right with our Republic. The new president should become a leader to whom we can look up, in whom we can have faith and confidence, almost a parent figure who we know will have our backs and in a way, take care of us.
But for me, this time, there will be a taint. Indeed it will a fetid stink that surrounds it all because the moment the elegant, grace filled, brilliant and gracious Obamas leave the peoples’ house, the peoples’ house will be inhabited by someone who does not belong there. It will be inhabited by, to quote the late talk radio host Bob Grant, “a fake, a phony and a fraud.”
Donald Trump’s history as a racist, as a homophobe, as a misogynist, as a con man, as a self admitted sexual predator makes him unqualified for this role no matter what the electoral college total says. These are just numbers, his were very public deeds.
And no, I cannot look up to Donald Trump. I like my presidents to be way smarter than me. I like that Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan knew a hell of a lot more than me about a hell of a lot of things. For the most part, they knew about foreign policy, about monetary policy, about working with people, not in spite of them. They had healthy egos that did not need constant praise and they could be wrong now and then and not feel the need to strike out because they felt personally attacked. What does Trump know about anything other than buying cement mix, hotels’ revenue per available room, running beauty pageants and how much it costs to gold plate a toilet?
Sorry but Trump as president is a hard sell for me and for millions of others who see what he is and know that he is not what a president should be.
“Now is the winter of our discontent” wrote Shakespeare in Richard III. And I fear this Trump term will be a long and bleak one and I can only pray that there are enough sensible people on the Trump team that he is not allowed to go unchecked, unmonitored and unsupervised.
American has gotten it right a lot of times in its 200+ years. I trust the strength and the resilience of the Union can handle this orange bump in the road for the next four years and come away stronger, like an immune system that has fought a virus and come away all the healthier for it. In the meantime, I’m not buying Trump. He is indeed a tough sell.