I don’t like Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders, Bobby Jindal and he would have been the last of all of the candidates for whom I would have voted. He was on the list in large part, because of his outrageous statements and his pandering to the far-right wing haters in America. More than anything else, however, he lost me at being “un-presidential”.
After all, why would I want someone to be President of the United Sates if I were ready to kick him out of my house if he were my guest? Who wants to put up with such a self-absorbed man whose offensive conduct was matched only by his abusive behaviors?
Yet, he won the Electoral College vote, lost the popular vote as the polls had projected, and will be enrolled as our 45th President.
On Friday, I assume he will mouth lofty words such as bringing the country together once again, that he wants to be the President of all Americans.
Unfortunately, his work is cut out for him and he is handicapped by himself. This country is torn apart by a great political and cultural divide, largely based on race and ethnicity. Obviously, it is not a clean divide, but it is a deep one, nonetheless.
So, how exactly does he bring the warring factions together where we can perhaps live in American harmony, as one?
The answer is simple. He must change if he wants others to do so. He must lead by example, not lead with intimidation and insults.
Right now, he is riding high on a low horse. The billionaire is rich in promises but his wallet is barren with results. His policies are all over the map and the existing map, like that of Europe, is ready to explode in fear and anger. Same with our allies in southeast Asia now question if America will live up to its commitments under President Trump.
Based upon news reports revealing court records, many of his detractors believe he has not revealed his relations with Russian Oligarchs or Russian lenders. They are concerned that his abrupt tilt in favor of our traditional foe, Russia, and mass-killer Putin, is simply bizarre. Yet, we want to get along with Russia. But, he has protected them anytime they have come under attack. Odd is an understatement.
The more he continues to fight the American intelligence who have made it clear that Russia intruded into our elections, the more childish, selfish and hypocritical he looks. I know he wants the respect the president deserves and does not want an asterisk next to his name as President, thanks in part, to Putin and Russia and Wikileaks. But, his election was aided by others, his anger and refutations won’t change facts. And, the more he refuses to share his income taxes, the more that Americans will question his motives for his sudden tilt towards Russia.
He should know something about delegitimizing a president. As we know, for six years, he was the Head of Birtherism, until he suddenly turned face, late in the election, never explaining why he was previously wrong and never apologizing for the outrageous behavior and insults to Barack Obama and to America.
Yet, amazingly, just this weekend, he tweeted that those who criticize him should apologize to him. Coming from a man who really has not apologized for anything in his life, except maybe to his mother, once--his words of counsel have little value.
His credibility has little worth either as he has refused to cut the ties to his immense business. Instead of a blind trust, his sons will run the company and he claims he won’t speak to them about business. He claims all profit from the hotels coming from foreign money will go to the US treasury. On both counts, Americans, instead of having comfort with a blind trust, will have to live on blind faith, only. For one, his daughter and son-in-law will be close advisors, will have knowledge about the inner thoughts of the President and will not be prohibited from discussing same with the boys. Also, how would America know what money was foreign money?
Whether there is communication or not, whether everything is on the “up” and “kosher”, the fact remains, there is and will always be the perception of impropriety with every decision he makes in government. This is inescapable. He’s had a chance to change this perception but won’t.
Trump has been on a tour through hypocrisy over the past few weeks. He now blasts those who question his victory, yet, he won power by making false claims of voter fraud and system rigging. He now claims others are creating fake news, yet his entire campaign was one false conspiracy and statement, after another.
He is not the only one to be faulted in this game of blame. There must be some “give” if one wants some take. Democrats can be the loyal opposition. But they must not follow the steps of Senator Mitch McConnell and the politics of “No”. Americans want action. They want results.
The Democrats should cancel their inauguration revolt. Protest is appropriate, bad decorum is not. Our now Attorney General, Jeff Landry showed bad manners when he sat with a sign of protest during one of Obama’s State of the Union speeches. Democrats, despite the loyalty to John Lewis, should put American first, something Trump failed to do when he slammed our intelligence community, our voting system--for his own selfish purposes.
Democrats should pick their fights. An all-out assault against Trump will end up being a blood bath with few winners. Who really cares if the idea is Democratic or Republican? Let’s listen to possibilities. If it works, it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t.
The Democrats must accommodate if they want to remain relevant. Whether they feel cheated at the polls, whether they feel right in their beliefs, they are the clear minority. They didn’t just lose the presidency, they lost congress and lost support in every branch of government nationwide over the past eight years. This is a sign that America wants to go in a different way. It is now time for Republicans to make it or break it. It’s time for all of us to be Americans, not loyal party members.
The burden is not just on the incoming administration and political parties. All of us, Americans, share the obligation to make American whole. Our own defensiveness destroys our chances. We won't admit fault. We don't admit our weaknesses. We blame others without caring to understand the significance of our actions. The "thems" are fighting the "us's". We all lose.
Still, more than anything else, the onus is on Donald Trump. He now personifies America. He stands for what we need to be and how we need to act. He is our child's role model.
Right now, despite the glow of inauguration and self-praise, he is failing in that role. The recent polls, regardless how he and his parrots spin it, reveal he is the most unpopular President-elect in recent American history. This is not a fluke. It is not fake news. Nor is it due to “media bias”. He is unpopular not because of his beliefs, for nobody really knows what those might be. It is his personality, his temperament. He has had many chances to remake himself and he refuses to do so. If he wants this country to come together, he must learn to get along with others. He must learn that much of the country perceives his behavior as brattish, bullyish, hateful, vindictive, boorish and downright sub-juvenile.
While his fans love his tweets, the rest of America frets them. They don’t see a man of strength, but a toddler in a Trump suit without impulse control. Worse, they see a man who loves himself more than he loves the country. They see a man who has tremendous potential but cannot tell the truth if his life were to depend upon it.
America is indeed at crossroads. Never has this country had a president-elect who personifies such a “can-do” personality? That attribute indeed provides the incentive to us all that we can overcome odds. But never has a man on the verge of taking over the reigns of power been so disrespected and disliked. Ironically, the man who makes millions on his “brand” is making billions of enemies worldwide which inure to America’s disadvantage.
It’s not over. Donald Trump really can make it--if he wants. As the song kinda goes, “if he can make it there, he can make it anywhere”. Well, he made it in New York and he made it on the world stage against the greatest of odds. But now, once he takes the oath, he must make it his duty, not just his talk, about putting America first and about bringing this nation together.
For a man who has refused to relinquish his business, his oversized ego and his twitter account, putting presidential first—is--Donald Trump’s greatest challenge, of all.