Election 2016

Every presidential election has produced a President – 2016 was no different. Often the result is clear cut and there’s no dispute. Sometimes the result is murky and leads to debate. And sometimes, in an oddity of the American system, the victory goes to the one who received fewer popular votes.

But one thing has been consistent; the victor has accepted his victory and left the grumbling to the losing side. Until today. Now the wailing and gnashing of teeth comes from the winner.

Trump lost the popular vote. Hillary fans leaped on this to throw shade at Trump’s victory. The Russians hacked the DNC. And cries of ‘fix’ sprang from the left. So what? Trump won by the rules. Left alone, these protests would have sputtered into historical oddity. The answer to a trivia question and no more.

But Trump is too fragile to turn the page on any blot on his copy. He announced a crusade to track down the millions of illegal votes cast for his opponent – votes cast only in his mind. Joining him in his tilt at windmills was no one – except the usual conspiracy suspects. Conservative media, the Republican Party. the Congressional GOP were at best silent – and at worst, dismissive of Trump’ fact-free rantings.

Trump’s belief in foul play was bolstered by a story told to him by Bernard Langer. Who? Langer is a pro golfer, a German citizen, and a resident of Florida. The details are murky, but the gist of the tale is that Langer witnessed a whole bunch of people voting who didn’t look as if they had the right to vote.

I’m guessing here, but I suspect their sin is looking Hispanic. Which is hardly proof of anything in Florida, where 17% of the citizens are Hispanics.

Now let’s have some fun. Let’s allow Trump his fantasy that millions of votes were cast illegally. Where does that leave us? Trump imagines vindication, a lot of crowing, and the crowd’s adulation. However, what about all the down-ballot races? Has Trump thought it through? What if the investigation revealed that some Senators, Representatives, Governors and other state officials were illegally elected.

What if an inquiry shows that Trump only won Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania with illegal votes. Does he resign? Should another election be called?

Is he really that dumb – or is he crazy like a fox? There is an understandable reluctance to think that a man so manifestly unqualified by temperament or ability to be President could actually attain the office. Naturally, there is a search for justification. Perhaps Trump is playing a masterful long game – whining about his vote loss in order to advance yet more vote suppression measures.

However, that is to give him credit for skills he does not possess. Trump is what you see. That’s not to say that Republican opportunists might not sense an opening to restrict the Democratic vote.

But Trump is incapable of that sort of strategic thinking. I’ll warrant he’s a lousy chess player. And not just because he’s dumb.

 

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