We’re about 90 days out from the installation of a new president of the republic, number 45. I’m still in shock at the outcome of the election, wondering what possessed the American people to express their frustration in this way, but I will respect their will, no matter how foolish I believe it to be.
It’s traditional to talk about a president’s ‘first 100 days’ as being a barometer of what the administration will be like for four years. I think the ‘next 90 days’ and the past few days have already given us a taste of what the Trump Administration will be like. Allow me to point out a few of those points on the barometer of what we can expect.
When the Green Party candidate asked for vote recounts in a few states, Trump went on a Twitter whine (the media calls them rants, but he really sounded like a whiny, spoiled little rich kid here) claiming that he would have won the popular vote if it hadn’t been for all those ‘illegal’ voters in the states that he lost. Remember, in the run up to the election he said if he lost it would be because the polls were rigged. Now, he’s claiming that there were millions of illegal votes cast. Why is he not demanding a recount? Well, for one thing, he’s not offered one scintilla of evidence to support his wild claim.
When VP-elect Mike Pence went to a performance of ‘Hamilton’ the cast thanked him for coming and delivered a polite request that he and his new boss be more inclusive. He said he wasn’t insulted by this, but Trump went on a real Twitter rant this time, demanding that the ‘Hamilton’ cast apologize. Apologize for what . . . exercising their right of freedom of expression?
Trump has announced that on December 15, he and his family will hold an event to announce that he’s pulling away from his business interests, ‘totally,’ to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest. Of course, he qualified this by pointing out that even if he didn’t, as president, he would not be violating any conflict of interest rules. And, he’s apparently leaving the business in the hands of his sons and daughter, who will no doubt have frequent and unimpeded access to papa. Hey, no ‘appearance’ of impropriety there, folks, so just move along.
When pressed on the support he gets from racist groups, his response was ‘he didn’t want to energize them,’ and he’d look into it. No tweets or rants there, and I’ve yet to see his reaction to the number of violent, over-the-top incidents in his name since the election. He didn’t, for example, disavow by name the Nazi-saluting group that celebrated right here in DC, complete with ‘heils’ and Nazi stiff finger salutes.
When students on one US campus burned an American flag, he went on Twitter to suggest that flag burners should have their citizenship revoked and/or be sent to jail. Forget the Constitution, or the Supreme Court’s finding that flag burning, despite being despicable, is protected speech under the Constitution. I’m willing to bet that if he could, he’d emulate John Adams and have an Alien and Sedition Act passed, making it illegal to insult the president. On the other hand, he’s probably not aware of that bit of legal chicanery by one of his predecessors who had delusions of imperial grandeur. This is, after all, the guy who pays no attention to his intelligence briefings, so it’s foolish to expect him to have read history. He brings to mind a passage from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1810,
‘Take any race of animals, confine them in idleness and inaction whether in a stye, a stable or a stateroom, pamper them with a high diet, gratify all their sexual appetites, immerse them in sensualities, nourish their passions, let everything bend before them, and banish whatever might lead them to think, and in a few generations they become all body and no mind.’
And, with that, I will leave you to ponder what is to come.
Published by Charles Ray