The inauguration and conduct of vote-challenged President Donald Trump might provide impetus to keep momentum going to change the way we elect presidents, especially since the candidate with fewer votes has now achieved the office five times ― twice in sixteen years.
Nonetheless, with the outpouring of people, not only in America, but in over fifty countries, protesting his ascension, I’m dumbfounded at continued pronouncements from Trump and associates.
Trump lied throughout the campaign, but his predilection to foment controversy since Election Day, when he was declared elected despite almost three million more people voting for Hillary Clinton, and even after he was sworn in, is beyond belief.
First, he said the popular vote didn’t matter, because it wasn’t his strategy, that he could’ve won it if he’d tried. Later, he castigated our intelligence services regarding Russia’s election hacking, then after his inauguration had the cheek to tell the CIA he loved them.
He’s not moderated his views, nor extended a hand to the greater number of Americans who didn’t want him in charge, and has gone forth with a sledge hammer, from right-wing appointments to his first executive orders.
His fragile ego can’t accept inaugural attendance was dismal compared to Obama’s, then he spewed fury about media misstatements concerning sparse crowds, even as aerial photos contrasting different turnouts proved the point.
The next day, the women’s march in Washington produced far greater numbers, stalling the metro system in a manner not equaled Friday. Similar marches were held across America, including hundreds of thousands in Los Angeles and New York, amassing more than a million people, not to mention those worldwide. All this, two and a half months after the election.
Post-election disapproval to George W. Bush paled by comparison, himself a “winner” with fewer votes than Al Gore, but this was more tumultuous, not simply because Trump’s popular loss was much bigger, but also by his behavior since, with no assurance it won’t continue in years to come. Additionally amazing is, just because he has the same executive authority as someone who’d won in a landslide, he doesn’t possess political smarts to recognize that, though he can do things in the short run, it might not be the best course of action.
He’s not helped by his staff, namely Counselor Kellyanne Conway, nor his Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who echo Trump’s lies. Spicer is new, but it was uncanny how he couldn’t let a relatively small issue such as inauguration numbers go by without fibbing.
Ms. Conway has been prevaricating since she replaced his first two managers last summer. As always, she denies the truth and when pressed, as Chuck Todd did on Meet the Press, disagreed Spicer committed a falsehood, saying he uttered an “alternative fact” ― that’s a new one ― and wouldn’t back down as it escalated into a shouting match. She threatened if such interactions continued she’d “rethink our relationships.”
As media feuds continue, one hopes this is indicative that frustration and anger with Trump won’t abate, continuing calls for a change in the methodology we elect our president.
One hopes more Americans watching news outlets will see through the perfidy, when even Fox News’ Chris Wallace argues, re the inaugural crowd, Trump folks are lying. However, I’m continually amazed that a moderate network like CNN, in its attempt to remain fair, has among its commentators people who are unable to defend what Donald Trump does and says without sidetracking arguments with deceptions or unrelated facts.
Let’s take the trio of Reagan staffer Jeffrey Lord, Kayleigh McEnany and Paris Dennard, a Bush 43 minor league staffer, whose executive assistant salary was on par with a West Wing receptionist . His assertions aren’t only mechanically supportive of Trump but often show scant knowledge. Contrast this with CNN Democrats like Obama advisor David Axelrod, who’s criticized Hillary, even as she was his preferred choice. Trump folks, however, rarely say anything bad about Trump. When confronted with Access Hollywood remarks, they’ll say it wasn’t nice, then shift to Bill Clinton’s philandering.
I happened to be watching CNN Sunday morning and, regarding Saturday’s events, Lord brought up a 1983 march, which he said Reagan dismissed as traitorous, declaring such demonstrations rarely affect a president. Lost in his analogy was Reagan might’ve felt he didn’t have to care because he’d won in a landslide, whereas Trump clearly had not.
When the 2.9 million vote loss was mentioned, Paris Dennard, with equal “astuteness,” shouted Trump still won in the same system that elected Obama and Clinton, apparently not realizing it wasn’t comparable, because those two presidents won the popular vote.
Why do they get airtime, and why do some CNN reporters not call them on what they say? They often assert to Trump naysayers that he still won, seldom remarking his case was unique and perhaps it might be smart for Trump not to move so radically in light of Americans’ feelings. That revolutions start in this manner, and not necessarily only those waged with guns. If his actions continue there must be consequences, starting with congressional leaders who sense tides may turn, perhaps remembering Nixon, who won his second term by a landslide, yet 21 months later was helicoptered from the White House lawn.
So, please, Mr. Trump, continue blustering. Despite your election fluke, sustained outrageous actions made you the most unpopular new president in memory. Worldwide demonstrations didn’t result in a vacuum and with your persistent lies unfriendly crowds will become larger, the media will incite more negative polls, all of which hopefully sooner or later will either drive you from office and/or transform this damned archaic presidential election system to proclaim as the true winner who the American people really wanted.
Michael Russnow’s website is www.ramproductionsinternational.com
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