Have a smile — Below the beltwayFriday, January 6, 2017
The Trump card
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — As a public service, I am going to start the new year by making peace with a Donald Trump presidency, and by offering my fellow —liberals an aggressive, three-pronged plan for how to do the same in the interests of national unity.
Step back. Accept the inevitable with grace. And most important, stop whining, particularly about the fact that Trump did not win the popular vote.
Several presidents were elected without winning the popular vote. Yes, it is true that they are mostly a parade of nitwits and weirdos, such as Benjamin Harrison, who presided over the installation of electricity in the White House but then never flipped a switch because he was morbidly afraid of being electrocuted. (He ordered his staff to do it.)
Also, there was Rutherford B. Hayes, widely known as “His Fraudulency” because the election was stolen from Sam Tilden. Hayes was America’s first ayatollah: he banned drinking, smoking, dancing and card —playing from the White House.
Another president who didn’t win the popular vote was George W. Bush, but in the interests of national reconciliation — and also because he is looking much better right now — I will not savage him here. (But I must note that he left office with the lowest-ever final approval rating of any president, and that even includes Richard Nixon, who actually needed a pardon to avoid going to jail.)
I digress. My point is, we need to accept the results as legitimate. Think of the election as a game of Scrabble. You played your brains out, using sophisticated words like “syllogism,” but you lost by a point to a near illiterate who had memorised a list of all the stupid two-letter words that are technically allowed, like “xu,” which is a Vietnamese monetary unit, and “za,” which means, apparently, somewhere, pizza. The guy got more points than you, and he won fair and square, even though he is sitting there at the table picking his nose with a chopstick.
Lose the nicknames. It has been tempting for people like me to attempt to diminish the US president-elect by giving him amusing titles, such as Cheeto Benito, Mein Trumpf, T-Rump and The Angry Creamsicle. Well, in a couple of weeks the man is going to be the president of the United States, and the office deserves more dignity. That is why I am specifically recommending that we come up with no new nicknames, such as The Rancid Cantaloupe, Tweety Bird, Sniffleupagus, and definitely not BLOATUS.
This is the important one. We have to give the man a chance. It’s not only fair, but it’s pragmatic. Observers agree that there is a distinct possibility that Trump meant virtually nothing that he said during a campaign that was drowning in demagoguery, xenophobia and sexism, and that attracted ardent support from white supremacists.
When faced with the actual responsibility of running the country, it is entirely possible he will become a completely different person, jettisoning virtually all of the positions of his campaign, reneging on every single noxious position he took, unmoored from ideologies he enthusiastically embraced, turning into a reasonable custodian of the ship of state.
In other words, perhaps the incoming president of the United States is a great big liar, a conscienceless opportunist and an unprincipled, amoral, convictionless fraud.
We can only pray!