For the past three weeks, President-elect Donald Trump has been looking very different than he did as a candidate. His rhetoric has been measured and largely conciliatory. His choices of administration officials have been more thoughtful than many were expecting. He’s even been walking back his most provocative campaign promises (an insult to his base, but a relief to many others).
In fact, in contrast with the unhinged Left, who’ve been busy focusing their angst on doomsday predictions and delegitimizing the electoral process, he has come across as quite reasonable, and even — yes — presidential.
One also has to credit Hillary Clinton. In defeat, she has conducted herself quite well. She delivered a graceful concession speech that offered words of unity and support, and she hasn’t contributed to the fears and hysteria put forth by her base. At least, that had been the case until it was revealed last week that Clinton’s campaign is participating in the Wisconsin recount, started by Green Party candidate, Jill Stein.
The recount, of course, is a political stunt designed to stoke doubt in the results of the presidential election. Whether it’s being done to nurture the base or increase political fundraising, it’s a dishonest effort and a big waste of time and money. The fate of Wisconsin wouldn’t change the outcome of the election anyway. Neither would an increase in the popular vote (which Clinton already won by nearly 2 million votes). The fact that the Clinton campaign is taking part in this pointless, divisive exercise is really quite remarkable.
With Trump seemingly having turned over a new leaf, one might have expected him to just sit back and let the lunacy of his opposition play itself out in the public eye. After all, their foolishness only makes him look better.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. He instead took a page out of his old campaign playbook by weighing in on the controversy with an outrageous, patently false statement of his own — one that will assuredly take the heat off his opponents by generating a media firestorm around himself.
Sunday on Twitter, Trump tweeted: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
Yes, the President-elect of the United States just threw out a totally unsubstantiated and painfully reckless statement to undermine the very election process that made him the leader of the free world. There were not millions of illegal voters, and Trump did not win the popular vote.
Why did he say it? Because his notoriously fragile ego simply won’t allow him to concede that more people in this country voted for Hillary Clinton than him — a fact of no electoral significance.
Remarks like this, and the inclination of his loyalists to rationalize them, were embarrassing and undignified when Trump was merely a candidate. Now that he is the president-elect, and his words carry far more weight than before, such rhetoric can no longer be glossed over. It shouldn’t be excused or normalized. Our country needs an adult leading it…not a thin-skinned man-child.
I’ve been highly critical of Trump, and I did not vote for the man, but he is my president. I want him to be a good one. I want him to make me and the nation proud. It should go without saying that a good start would be to finally knock off the casual lying and the delegitimizing of our country’s electoral process.
The election is over. So is amateur hour and all of the nauseating political relativism. It’s time to grow up…or at least learn how to act like a grown-up when people are watching.