For the second time in modern political history a Republican will be seated in the Oval Office after his rival Democrat won the popular vote. That was the fate of Al Gore in 2000 that gave us George W. Bush. And now, Donald Trump, the unhinged billionaire developer having lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. Have we all had a good cry, not for our own choice but for the stained reputation of a nation as the preferred choice of immigrants who sought more freedom and promise than what they had in their homelands.
With grandparents on both sides who came here from the Beirut area in the early 20th century, it’s now possible for me to think that I am among the lucky ones not born in the Trump era. I would not have been welcomed by the U.S. government that lies just ahead. Trump’s pots, as he often reminded us, do not melt. Ironically , it was the Founders’ fear of what Alexander Hamilton called “ any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with requisite qualifications” that led to the Electoral College. That would serve as a firewall of electors that makes the final decision about whether a candidate is qualified.
Nice try, Founders. As we most recently learned, quite the opposite happened.
As I watched the Trump gang of sycophants, opportunists, thugs, hacks and fixers assemble on stage Election night, it told me that his voters had dismissed all references to their guy’s racism, sexism and bizarre vision of himself as the Second Coming with a rap sheet fit for the mob.
The narrative would tell us of his fake university, which will see him in a San Diego courtroom on Nov. 28 to respond to a class action suit accusing him of scamming students of tens of thousands of dollars. Never at a loss for a cleanser of his self-styled noble lies, he has already said he can’t get a fair trial because Presiding Judge Gonzalo Curiel is a Mexican.
To Trump, climate change is a hoax. He would return miners to their lung-rotting mines. No more jobs, except those that benefit his hotel empire, would be shipped overseas.
He asserted he “doesn’t even know” Vladimir Putin, who was the first to congratulate him – Putin, who Trump openly called to hack Clinton’s emails. Some of his boastful dealings with the Russian empire came terribly close to subversion.
But back on the farms of the Ruralocracy, and all of the euphemistic white guys longing for a return of industrial America, and the conservative Christians who excused Trump of all of his wickedness (see Mike pence, who tagged along as the intended moral cover) the crown was passed to Trump in a victory lap – a triumph, come too think of it – that wasn’t. For all of their good intentions, the Founders were not perfect.