Donald Trump recently took to Twitter to complain about how “illegal” voters were denying him victory in the popular vote. Picking up on a common right-wing conspiracy, Trump was insinuating that Democrats had stacked the voter rolls with dead people, felons, and illegal immigrants.
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
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
Legendary reporter Dan Rather took to Facebook tonight to express his disapproval with such childish refutations. Donald Trump has lost the popular vote by at least 2.2 million votes, and that much is indisputable. But while he continues to complain about his inability to recapture the popular vote – which clearly bothers him on a personal level – he is disregarding the duties of state and the office he now is going to hold, a fact not lost on Mr. Rather:
Could someone who has Donald Trump’s ear please take away his phone and tell him that he now has a very big job to do that requires paying attention to reality? There are no training wheels for being president. You go from a common citizen to the most powerful person on the planet. And that is not a joke.
“He’s got the whole world in his hands” is an old spiritual that has become a favorite of camping trips and sing-a-longs about the power of the Almighty. But when it comes to the affairs of humankind and the planet, you could make the case that you could almost say the same thing about the powers of the president of the United States.
War and peace. Justice and the economy. Even now with the looming catastrophe of climate change, the very health of our Earth. All are in the hands of the president. But here we have Donald Trump, who will soon be sitting behind the desk of the Oval Office tasked with decisions that will shape millions of lives and our world, tweeting lies – lies – about illegal votes.
The very job description of the presidency is you can’t afford to be petty. Richard Nixon was and it destroyed him. But I can’t think of anyone else who was so obsessed with apparent slights and minutiae. Donald Trump has won the presidency. I know there is a movement to recount votes in a few key states, but barring a plot twist worthy of the Twilight Zone I can’t see all of this changing much. For Trump it should be a minor distraction to task a junior aid to keep in touch with not what dominates his mind to such a degree that he issues multiple public statements about it – statements far adrift from any reported fact.
Donald Trump is the very definition of petty. He smeared his sexual assault accusers as being “not attractive enough” for him to molest and insulted the former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, for being a “terrible” Miss Universe and told his followers to “check out her sex tape” (which does not exist, for the record). His behavior has been nothing but unpresidential ever since he won the election. Donald Trump has always been and still is the antithesis of a presidential figure, and it is the duty of the electoral college to reject him when the time comes.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.