Does Donald J. Trump know that he won?

The supporters of Donald Trump, still dumbfounded by his unexpected win, keep telling the rest of us (the wretched mortals who think that electing a self-absorbed and mediocre TV host as American President was not a great idea) that we must accept his win.

Fine! We accept it! Despite the fact that Trump has less skills for the job than millions of other Americans, despite the fact that he lied throughout the election, despite the fact that he has a long track record of treachery and self-aggrandizing, despite the fact that Hillary Clinton received almost three million more votes (more than the total number of voters in Wyoming, Vermont, D.C., Alaska, and North Dakota combined) than he did, Trump is elected!

But the real question is whether Trump himself accepts it. He is certainly not behaving as if he does. Trump is still often on Twitter, writing unfiltered, poorly phrased, and often irrational posts as if he was a teen casually writing to his friends, not a President-elect writing to the world.

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Let’s take as example the recent incident of U.S. underwater drone captured by China. The U.S. government negotiated with China who agreed to return it, but then Trump tweeted that China should “keep it”! China responded that, “Trump is not behaving as a President who will become master of the White House in a month”. No kidding!

What does Trump’s “keep it” even mean? Has Trump already analyzed the risk of leaving such technology in the hands of China? Does he even understand what the technology is? Does he realize that he is not yet President and therefore does not speak for the U.S.? And finally, does he realize that as President-elect, he should preferably not contradict the official U.S. position on a dispute with a major foreign power to which the U.S. owes a debt of over $1 trillion?

Those who did not fall for Trump’s dubious charm and did not support his undeserved candidacy are now begrudgingly accepting that he will be President of the United States, but that certainly does not mean that we must accept everything that he does without questioning it. In fact, as President-elect and soon as President, we expect him to behave the part, even if he never behaved the part of a serious candidate.

We expect Trump to realize that he was elected to the world’s leading position, and that in this role, unlike his role as host of a reality TV show, what he says matters and can cause wars and millions of deaths.

We expect Donald J. Trump to at least realize that he was elected.

About the Author
Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports the Palestinians' right to self-determination in their own state. Fred supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can co-exist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere.
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