Mark Greenberg
Life-long Progressive Who Got Woke

Trump’s Legitimate Mandate

I get the complete incongruity associated with the words “President Donald Trump”. That makes about as much sense to me as “Prime Minister Simon Cowell” or “Prime Minister Richard Branson” – the latter would probably please many around the world.

Regardless of Donald’s having been born with a proverbial silver spoon in his mouth and his constant reminders that he attended the highly regarded Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, there is a genetic pettiness about him above which he seems incapable of rising.

Get To Work!

No one in America cares how many people attended his Inauguration in person nor whether the cumulative ratings across all media platforms exceeded those of Obama’s. Once he took the oath of office, his performance will be judged on the basis that all presidents are judged: will you follow through on those commitments/pledges you made to the electorate during the course of your campaign?

Now, as a matter of ideology, if you happened to be a supporter of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, then you would have a fundamental philosophical disagreement with the commitments/pledges Donald had made. And had he lost the election, as no doubt, you suspected he would, these commitments/pledges would have rendered moot.

That’s how I felt when Barack Obama ran for office. He pledged to fundamentally¬†transform the country. I didn’t understand why that was necessary. He intimated, in off the cuff remarks to “Joe the Plumber” that “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody,” that redistribution of wealth was a part of his agenda. I worked against him, as many others did, and we lost. He did his utmost to implement his agenda, literally into the final hours of his administration when he attempted to surreptitiously release $220 million to the Palestinian Authority which had been blocked by Congress.

The Left Has Lost It

The conduct of the American Left since the shock of having lost the election to the repugnant Donald Trump has been mind-boggling. He has been smeared as having won the election illegitimately because Clinton won the popular vote.

Unfortunately, if you exclude the heavy majorities Hillary enjoyed in Los Angeles County and the boroughs of New York City, Trump would have won the popular vote. Which, of course, is the beauty of our Electoral College system. The President is not to chosen solely by highly concentrated population centers (although their size is reflected by receiving a larger number of Electors than Montana), so their argument is a hollow one. We all know that Los Angeles and New York are hyper-liberal¬†areas and they will be dominated by Progressives for….ever.

He’s also been called illegitimate because Vladimir Putin rigged the election. Conspiracy theorists believe that Putin and Trump worked together with some intentional or unintentional assistant from James Comey, stole the election from Hillary and should have been impeached before ever taking the oath of office, although there is no provision for such action in our Constitution.

The bitter truth of the matter is that Hillary was a terrible candidate. It all started with the incredibly stupid, self-destructive, extra-governmental email construct and the inept excuses she delivered in an effort to rationalize the inexcusable. She had no one but her husband and herself to blame for the creation of the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, and it was her decision to place Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills on private and public payrolls. And most damning of all, even with a campaign war chest of $1.2 billion, her staff couldn’t figure out where she needed to be to hold the “blue wall” to prevent a Trump victory. It was a catastrophic campaign that humiliated the all-knowing media as they mocked Donald’s chances perpetually and were stunned into silence as the results of the election became inescapable.

All of this went uncovered by the media. There was far more interest in the daily leaks of John Podesta’s emails and Julian Assange’s source. It was obvious, despite the paucity of coverage, that Trump was attracting crowds far larger and more enthusiastic than Clinton’s, but his crowds were criticized as predominantly white, working class and – by inference – xenophobic and racist.

Rage: On Facebook, In the Streets

This build up has triggered an unprecedented outpouring of anger, bitterness, and division. It is impossible, for example, to go on Facebook and not be barraged by posts that are inexplicably venomous, that attack the President’s family very personally, that commonly use profane language (I suppose the tape of Trump’s misogynist use of a vulgar term for female genitalia has now rendered the broader use of that word “acceptable”) and changed what was once a rather pleasant experience into something creepy and coarse.

I’m not sure anything embodied this combination of the unhinged with the fear of the ideological dismantling of the eight dark years of Obama than the rambling rant of Ashley Judd, actress and Kentucky basketball fan, at the Washington Women’s March. I will not repeat anything she said here because I refuse to use that language, but her appearance and her comments make it impossible to understand the March’s aim: Is it because they believe Trump was ineligible to take the oath of office? Are they concerned he will appoint justices who will strike down Roe v. Wade? Do they fear that he will pursue legal action against sanctuary cities that have been defying Federal law for years? Do they really believe he is Hitler reincarnated? Is she really that pissed off about having a monthly cycle? Is it all of the above?

As Barack Obama once told Speaker Paul Ryan during a budget meeting as he listened to gripes about his stimulus package, “I won.”

What Lies Ahead

For at least the next two years, while President Trump enjoys Republican majorities in the House and Senate, since Harry Reid deployed the nuclear option and nearly anything (except Supreme Court Justices) can be passed with a simple majority, and since Obama rendered the frequent use of Executive Orders an acceptable exercise of executive authority, there will be an enormous amount of activity as the Obama “legacy” is rapidly unwound. He was even able to stop that $220 million from getting transmitted to the Palestinians (just as an aside: I wonder how many homes we could build for wounded veterans here in America rather than having that money used to pay Palestinian civic employees or martyrs families or delinquent power bills so Gazans can get more electricity?).

If you guys are mad now, you’ll be as unhinged as Ashley within two years. Unless…by some bizarre chance…he gets more things right than wrong…the economy starts growing by meaningful percentages…the tax code is simplified and loopholes minimized…Israel (and other real allies) is made to feel more safe and secure.

Speak your mind, by all means. Hit the streets. It’s an honorable and long-standing tradition. But reject violent elements. Reject ad hominem attacks. Do not generalize that people who support the President want to rid the country of immigrants, do not want to see improved educational and economic opportunities for disadvantaged people of all colors, who sympathize with white supremacy and anti-Semitic forces. It’s a nutty notion like the invention of “alt-right”, an invented term in search of a movement.

About the Author
Professionally, Mark Greenberg comes out of the world of New York Media. He was a member of the management team that started MTV. He turned down a job at ESPN to move to Austin to raise his family of four boys in a more rational atmosphere. He was also a member of the bicoastal media elite that he critiques on a regular basis.
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