Donald Trump, November 25, 2015
Think about this:
* In September 1967, people said Governor George Romney of Michigan (Mitt Romney's father) shouldn't be President, because he said in a TV interview, of a November 1965 trip and a subsequent debriefing by the Pentagon, "When I came back from Vietnam, I'd just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get." By the end of February 1968, his support having dried up, he had to drop out of the race. His campaign never got far enough for his Mormon faith to become a factor, so we'll never know whether it would have.
* In February 1972, people said Senator Ed Muskie of Maine, already the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 1968, shouldn't be President, because he appeared to be crying as he made a speech defending himself and his wife Jane from a viciously unfair attack by a local newspaper. Apparently, it wasn't okay for a person who wanted to be President to cry until Ronald Reagan did so over the space shuttle Challenger 14 years later. Muskie still won the New Hampshire Primary, but by a much smaller margin than expected, and he won none of the remaining major primaries.
* In November 1979, people said Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, brother of one President and another man who could have made it two, shouldn't be President, because, in a single interview, he gave rambling answers about why he was running, the state of his marriage (it wasn't good), and the Chappaquiddick incident of 10 years earlier. It would have been an uphill battle anyway, since this was the one time between 1964 and 1992 that the incumbent President was a Democrat. But he never really had a chance after this, and never ran again.
* In January 1984, people said the Rev. Jesse Jackson shouldn't be President, because, in a conversation with a reporter that he presumed to be off the record, called Jews "Hymies" and New York City "Hymietown." Chances are, as the 1st black candidate to get even as close as he already was, he wouldn't have won the Democratic nomination anyway. He did finish 3rd in delegates. Had he never said it, the nomination might have been his for the asking in 1988. He did finish 2nd. But he knew that if there was ever to be a "first black President," it wouldn't be him.
* In May 1987, people said former Senator Gary Hart of Colorado shouldn't be President, because it was revealed that he was cheating on his wife. He had to drop out of the race -- and then, making things worse, got back into it, before being essentially laughed back out of it. In 1992, Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas handled that issue, and a few others, far better, and made the point that they shouldn't have mattered when compared to the competence of the candidates.
* In January 2004, people said former Governor Howard Dean of Vermont shouldn't be President, because his overly enthusiastic reaction to finishing 3rd in the Iowa Caucuses made him look crazy. In fact, his campaign was already damaged by finishing 3rd -- to John Kerry and John Edwards, the former a great statesman but not the most charismatic of men, the latter the other way around.
* In February 2008, people said Senator Hillary Clinton of New York shouldn't be President, because she had once supported the Iraq War, which she no longer did. Any other "scandals" Hillary was perceived as having wouldn't have mattered a damn: Had she just said, "I was wrong to support the war, and I'm sorry," she would have been elected, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois might have been her Vice President, and Senator Joe Biden of Delaware might have been her Secretary of State. Instead, it was President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary of State Clinton.
* In February 2012, people said former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania shouldn't be President, because he commented on President Obama's remark that anybody who wanted to go to college should have the government-funded chance, by saying, "What a snob!" It undermined Santorum's support with the very blue-collar whites he thought he could ride to the Republican nomination. Whether he could have beaten Obama is a longshot at best, but, up until then, he had a shot at the nomination, despite a few other issues.
* In that same month, people said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia shouldn't be President, because he wanted to restart the space program so that we could go to Mars. It would be a nice idea, but we have about a hundred more important priorities. It made him look nuts. It shouldn't have been a disqualifier. Besides, he had a few other issues that should have disqualified him. Namely, several things on his actual governing record, which were far more important than his repugnant personal life.
But none of those people ever encouraged violence against their opponents during a campaign speech. None of them endorsed torture. None of them, during a campaign speech, ever said of civilian populations in a potential war zone, "I would bomb the shit out of them!" None of them ever, upon being caught in a lie, continued to insist that their statement was true. None of them, during a campaign speech, ever openly mocked a disabled person. None of them, during a campaign speech, ever compared a man who gave his life for America in an action that won him the Congressional Medal of Honor to a terrorist, and then mocked the dead hero's parents. None of them ever repeatedly interrupted their debate opponents with lies. None of them ever outwardly appealed to bigotry (with the exception of the virulently anti-gay Santorum). None of them ever called an entire ethnic group "rapists." And none of them ever turned out to have confessed to multiple rapes himself. And none of them ever, even vaguely, called for the assassination of a political opponent, let alone did so on 3 separate occasions.
Donald Trump -- who, by any definition, was not materially qualified for the Presidency, did all of these things. Any one of which should have caused his support to evaporate. Proving himself to be not psychologically qualified for the Presidency.
None of them, except for Hillary (and even then, she had to wait 8 more years), ever got their party's nomination for President. Trump did.
None of them, except for Hillary, won the popular vote. Trump didn't, either.
None of them won the Electoral Vote. Trump did, thanks to Russian hacking and an incredibly dirty trick by an FBI Director who should have remained non-partisan.
Since the election, and, indeed, since his Inauguration, Trump, his psychotic team, and his idiot fans have only gotten worse. As a result, a month into his ill-gotten Presidency, his approval rating has dropped from the just under 46 percent he got in the popular vote to 38 percent, the lowest any President has had after so brief a time in office.
It's as if millions of people, who may have voted for him not because they were stupid or bigoted, but because they were afraid, or they genuinely thought that a man with his life experience was the right person for the job, have come to see what a horrible mistake they made.
In his March 9, 1954 installment of See It Now, CBS News' Edward R. Murrow summed up his exposé of the anti-Communist, alcoholic, reckless Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin with words that now easily fit Trump:
The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies.
And whose fault is that? Not really his.
Edward R. Murrow, March 9, 1954,
when journalists were men
In each case, McCarthy's and Trump's, it would have been better to say, "Not entirely his."
Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame Donald Trump for Being Donald Trump
5. Upbringing. Donald Trump is the son of Frederick Christ Trump, a real estate developer from The Bronx. Although both of his parents were born in Germany -- Fred's grandfather had changed the name from "Drumpf" -- long after World War II, Fred told people that his family was of Swedish origin. According to his nephew John Walter, "He had a lot of Jewish tenants and it wasn't a good thing to be German in those days."
On Memorial Day, May 30, 1927, the Ku Klux Klan marched in Queens to protest that "Native-born Protestant Americans" were being "assaulted by Roman Catholic police of New York City." (What, you thought the KKK only hated black people? They hate Catholics and Jews, too.) Fred Trump was one of 7 men who were arrested that day "on a charge of refusing to disperse from a parade when ordered to do so."
When asked about the issue in September 2015 by The New York Times, Donald lied and denied that his father had been arrested.
In 1950, folksinger Woody Guthrie rented one of Fred Trump's buildings, and wrote a song titled "Old Man Trump" (he was in his mid-40s, but older than Guthrie) about how he stirred up racial hate "in the bloodpot of human hearts."
In 1954, Fred was investigated by a U.S. Senate committee for profiteering from public contracts, including overstating his Beach Haven building charges by $3.7 million -- about $33 million in today's money. He ended up not being charged.
By 1973, 27-year-old Donald was president of the Trump Organization, with his father as chairman. That year, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against the Organization, charging them with violating the Fair Housing Act of 1968. After 2 years, it was settled, with both sides claiming victory.
From his father, Donald learned that discrimination was okay, and that you had to be strong and fight every perceived slight.
Alas, Donald was not Fred's oldest child: That would be Maryanne Trump Barry, now a federal judge appointed by, oddly, President Bill Clinton. Unlike her father and her brother, she has never been accused of any impropriety.
Nor was Donald Fred's oldest son. That was Frederick Christ Trump Jr. But being the eldest son and the namesake didn't help Freddy. He wasn't strong like his father. He was weak. Weak enough to become an alcoholic. (This is known, as opposed to Donald's cocaine addiction, which remains, for the moment, pure speculation.) Freddy became a pilot with Trans World Airlines. (Another company associated with the Trumps that has since gone out of business, although I don't think any member of the family can be blamed for it.) Freddy died in 1981, as a result of complications of his drinking.
For this reason, Donald has not only sworn off alcohol -- except for his brief marketing of Trump Vodka, which apparently didn't wash Trump Steaks down well -- but learned to be the strong, tough son for his father that Freddy wasn't.
The results speak for themselves: Donald merely talks tough, but is truly a bigoted, whiny little bitch. Just like his daddy was.
4. New York City. It's a big city, and it likes a big show. And Trump, like George Steinbrenner, learned so many of the wrong lessons of New York. Yes, show matters. But you have to get the job done. Give a bad performance, and people will, rather quickly, stop giving a damn about the packaging.
Think about who knows Trump best. In the State of New York, he got 36 percent of the vote. He lives in Manhattan, where he got 10 percent. He's from Queens, where he got 22 percent. Even in the mostly-white Borough of Staten Island, he got just 57 percent.
He got 45 percent of the vote in Atlantic County, New Jersey, including Atlantic City. There's some people who know Trump all too well.
3. The Republican Party. They had the chance to deny him the nomination, and didn't take it. Indeed, the 2016 Republican field included 9 men who had been Governors (incumbents Chris Christie of New Jersey, John Kasich of Ohio an Scott Walker of Wisconsin; and former Governors Jeb Bush of Florida, George Pataki of New York, Jim Gilmore of Virginia, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Rick Perry of Texas); and 4 men who had been U.S. Senators (incumbents Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania).
Regardless of their political positions, or their mental fitness for the Presidency, all 13 of those men were more qualified for the Presidency, based on political experience, than was Donald Trump. So was Carly Fiorina, the business executive who'd never held any office, but had at least run a previous political campaign (for U.S. Senator from California).
The Republicans could, somehow, have rigged their Primaries, or even their Convention, to deny the clearly unfit Trump the nomination. They didn't. When proven in the general election campaign to be the most despicable person ever to win a major party's Presidential nomination, they could have removed him from the ticket. They didn't.
When it became clear after the election that the Russians had hacked it, they could have instructed the Electoral College to deny Trump 270 Electoral Votes -- not necessarily to insure a Hillary victory, but enough to insure that no candidate got 270 and thus a majority, and thus throw the election to the House of Representatives, which would, presumably, have elected either Governor Mike Pence of Indiana (the Vice Presidential nominee) or Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (the Speaker of the House), each representing a particular wing of the GOP (Pence, the religious conservatives who pervert the message of Christianity to justify bigotry; Ryan, the economic conservatives, for whom money, particularly tax cuts, are everything). They didn't do that, either.
On August 7, 1974, the Minority Leaders of the Senate, Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania; and of the House, John Rhodes of Arizona; and the leader of the conservative movement, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, went to the White House. They told President Richard Nixon that they no longer had enough votes to deny his impeachment in the House, or his conviction in the Senate, and that, for the good of the party, he had to resign. He did.
If it is ever revealed that there is, as there was with Nixon, definitive proof that Trump himself committed an impeachable offense, there is no way on God's green Earth that their 2017 counterparts -- Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Ryan, and whoever represents mainstream conservatism today, certainly not Cruz, whom Trump despises and vice versa -- will go to the White House and tell him to resign and go home.
The only way they will do that is if it looks like Trump is going to cost them their Congressional majorities in 2018 or 2020. As they proved in 2012, they don't care that much about who holds the White House, as long as they still control Congress. If they still hold the majorities after 2018, and it looks like the Democrats will get their Presidential nominee elected in 2020 but not win enough seats to take either house, they'll leave everything alone. But if it looks like the majorities will be gone, it'll be goodbye Donald, hello Mike Pence.
2. The Media. They're so disgusted by him now, and he calls them "the enemy of the American people." They could have exposed him as soon as he got into the race, but they didn't. They chose the ratings goldmine over what was best for his country.
Chris Matthews and Donald Trump, March 30, 2016,
when journalists were tapioca
1. Us. Nobody -- not his family, not his party, not even the media-- is as great an enabler of Trump as is the American people.
As I said earlier, Donald Trump did so many things, any one of which should have caused his support to evaporate faster than he could ride a single-flight escalator.
Instead, while Trump got 45.9 percent of the popular vote to Hillary's 48.0 percent, he won enough States to give him 306 Electoral Votes to Hillary's 232. In the end, "faithless electors" made the total as follows: Trump 304, Clinton 227, Colin Powell 3 (all from the State of Washington, which otherwise went to Hillary), Ron Paul 1 (Rand's father), John Kasich 1 (both Paul's and Kasich's coming from Texas, which otherwise went to Trump), Bernie Sanders 1 (from Hawaii, which otherwise went to Hillary), and Faith Spotted Eagle 1 (a leader of the fight against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, the 1st Native American ever to receive an Electoral Vote, from Washington, instead of Hillary, she and Hillary becoming the 1st 2 women ever to receive Electoral Votes).
Due to various 3rd-party candidates, Trump won (this is in alphabetical order) Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin with less than 50 percent of the vote. He won Michigan, Utah and Wisconsin with less than 48 percent. On the other hand, of the States that Obama won in 2012, low turnout probably swung Florida, Iowa and Ohio from Democratic to Republican. And the presence of Republican-turned-independent Gary Johnson in the race swung Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and the 2nd Congressional District in Maine from Democratic to Republican.
If we presume that the "faithless electors" would have stayed put, an additional 10,705 people voting for Hillary in Michigan (6 percent of Johnson's voters in that State, and 21 percent of Jill Stein's), and 22,749 people in Wisconsin (21 percent of Johnson's), and 44,293 people in Pennsylvania (30 percent of Johnson's), would have turned it from 306-232 Trump to 278-260 Clinton. If those electors still strayed under these conditions, it would still have been 272-258 Clinton.
Think about that: 77,747 people. Not even enough to fill MetLife Stadium. If only that many more people had shown up to vote for Hillary, or voted for Hillary instead of Gary Johnson, or had not been illegally denied their right to vote and then voted for Hillary, then, by however slim a margin, Hillary Clinton would be President of the United States right now, and Donald Trump would be reduced to whining about how the election was, as he said it would be, rigged. (About that, he was telling a half-truth: It was rigged, for him.)
But if those 77,747 people, in those 3 States had shown up, and voted for Hillary, it would, literally, have made all the difference in the world. But they couldn't bring themselves to vote for the one person who could have beaten Trump.
And now, some of the people complaining that Hillary was too tied to corporate America, in particular Goldman Sachs, have seen Trump appoint a Cabinet so corporate, it makes George W. Bush's look like the Weather Underground. Including a Goldman Sachs executive.
And many other people, who voted for Trump, hoping he wouldn't be as intolerant as he was during the campaign, and that he wouldn't waste taxpayer money on golf vacations, are seeing him do those very things. And embarrass our nation on the world stage.
And they're all saying, "My God, I had no idea... "
Yes. You did have an idea. We gave it to you. You didn't listen. You should have listened.
Trump is doing nothing to this country and its people that your failure to vote for the correct candidate didn't allow him to do.
What was it that Edward R. Murrow said to the nation, on that Winter night, 63 years ago? He closed with a quotation from William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, and then with his own timeless sendoff, which may be more appropriate than ever:
The actions of (the individual question) have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies.
And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn't create this climate of fear. He merely exploited it, and rather successfully.
Cassius was right: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."
Good night, and good luck.