Listening to Donald Trump always leaves me speechless

Robert Koehler

Well, thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Please sit. Thank you. This is without question the latest news conference I’ve ever had. Thank you. I appreciate it very much. And I want to thank the American people for their tremendous support, millions and millions of people voted for us tonight. And a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people and we won’t stand for it. We will not stand for it.

— President Donald Trump, election night

CHICAGO (PeaceVoice) — It’s post-election, but still up for grabs as I write, creating a post-Election Day void of painful proportions.

A blue wave didn’t wash over the newly constructed wall around the White House, flush out the least competent president in American history and present the planet with President Joe, the guy who would make it all better.

So I find myself gaping open-mouthed — what else is there to do? — at the transcript of Donald Trump’s 2 a.m. press conference blather, in which he made everything perfectly clear:

If you didn’t vote for him, if you do not support him, you aren’t an American.

At least that’s my interpretation of the above words:

The “very sad group of people” who are trying to disenfranchise the proud Americans who voted for Trump are, I guess, that group of socialists who voted against him.

And I imagine, if he could, he’d put every anti-Trumper in the country into border cages.

All 72,410,820 (and counting) of us.

That’s the Biden vote count as of this writing, which represents a popular vote lead over Trump of almost four million, a number eerily similar to, but even greater than, Hillary’s victory total over Trump in 2016, which turned out not to be sufficiently large to grant her the actual presidency.

More TrumpTalk:

… we were getting ready for a big celebration. We were winning everything and all of a sudden it was just called off. The results tonight have been phenomenal and we are getting ready. I mean, literally we were just all set to get outside and just celebrate something that was so beautiful, so good. Such a vote, such a success to citizens of this country have come out in record numbers. This is a record. There’s never been anything like it to support our incredible movement.

Help!

As I immerse myself in the language of Trump.

I feel like I’m drowning.

Trump supporters are winners — that’s all you need to know.

Pesky facts that try to convey otherwise don’t matter.

If you are a Trumper, you are a winner.

“Defeat” is a word that points eternally at the enemy.

As far as I can tell, Trump’s ability to convey this reality is his primary appeal.

This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election. We did win this election. So our goal now is to ensure the integrity for the good of this nation. This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud in our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at four o’clock in the morning and add them to the list. OK? It’s a very sad moment. To me this is a very sad moment and we will win this. And as far as I’m concerned, we already have won it.

Do you hear him?

Stop your voting!

Now!

Or maybe he means that it’s time to stop counting the votes — at least the mail-in ballots, which are mostly going to be from Democrats.

Biden’s campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, put it this way:

“Having encouraged Republican efforts in multiple states to prevent the legal counting of these ballots before Election Day, now Donald Trump is saying these ballots can’t be counted after Election Day either.”

In Trump world, that’s called being a winner.

And so this is what the world’s greatest democracy gives us to contemplate the day after the election.

Issues don’t matter as much as cleverness at outsmarting the game.

And victory is everything.

Or as Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi told us:

“Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.”

That seems to nail not only the Trump philosophy but that of the mainstream media, which seem incapable of covering American elections in any context except that of a sporting event.

Hence the focus throughout coverage night was how the candidates were doing in the so-called “battleground states,” which sounds like the new civil war has already started.

Anything the election might have been “about” was suddenly irrelevant.

All of which leaves me pondering the headline on a Nov. 4 Newsweek story:

“Election 2020 Voter Turnout at 67 Percent: Highest in 120 Years.”

In the 1900 election, which pitted William McKinley against William Jennings Bryan, there was a turnout of 73.7 percent.

In the elections that followed throughout the tumultuous century, voter turnout hovered between 48 and 60 percent.

Those numbers are pretty pathetic.

What they appear to indicate is that a disheartened electorate is the norm: in every election, a sizable chunk of the public sees no reason to bother voting; they have no stake in the outcome.

So what pushed this year to its best-in-over-a-century turnout?

Well, the New York Times surmised that Trump supporters embraced “his message of hard-edge nationalism and cultural grievance,” by which, I believe, they mean racism.

Biden, meanwhile:

appeared to have succeeded in making himself a kind of safe harbor for a wide array of voters unhappy with Mr. Trump. … But Mr. Biden’s coalition was more impressive for its breadth than its depth, and despite its size and diversity, most voters supporting him appeared more excited to reject Mr. Trump than to install Mr. Biden in his place.

In his middle-of the-night rant, Trump got it half right.

There’s a “very sad group of people” here, but their sorrow is due to their own disenfranchisement.

Robert Koehler, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is an award-winning journalist and editor from Chicago. He is the author of “Courage Grows Strong at the Wound.” Readers may send emails to koehlercw@gmail.com.

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(11) comments

Pitbull

What drivel! If you want more of this uber left garbage, check out PeaceVoice, where this clown writes. He is infected with TDS and shows permanent damage. If you want some more "Trump voters are bad people" messages, listen to Michelle Obama, the great uniter, about 3 days ago. She claims those of us who voted for Trump, support "lies, hate, chaos, and division". Democrats say, "Now that we have vilified the other side let's invite them to join us in "healing the nation's soul""! You know what? I want my country back! Where does the WDT Editor find these stupid articles specifically targeted at half the American population? And why does he feel free to sow lies, hate, chaos, and division?

hermit thrush

the wdt just ran a bunch of terrible columns from the right-wing hack shop inside sources, so it's only fair to run some columns from the other side of the ideological spectrum. this column is much better than any of those ones, too! michelle obama did not say that all trump voters support lies, hate, chaos, and division. lies like this are what has now gotten you president biden.

Airball55

I was with you!! Until you said this was much better. They all are bereft of fact and reek of hate and divide. Fact remains for folks like me...although I voted for Biden...remain dead center and think your all nuts. One party loyalty and mainstream/social media have killed us for some time now. Now that Biden has won(I do hope it sticks) who will Stephen Colbert attack next? That’s what haters like that do. I just hope we don’t get the same reaction from republicans spending four years trying to overturn an election (when verified.). That is all

hermit thrush

airball i am not saying this column is actually good. those inside sources columns were truly terrible and this one is only much better in comparison. it is genuinely weird to hear you go on about "haters" when your own hatred for cuomo could easily power a small home if we were able to harness it properly. it is also really not great that you are even dipping your toe into the possibility that biden did not win. he won much more convincingly than trump did four years ago. any uncertainty is purely manufactured by republicans and the right-wing media machine. it's really not great that people like yourself can't immediately see through it.

Pitbull

Read the link. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/11/08/michelle-obama-joe-biden-kamala-harris-donald-trump/6213558002/ Tens of millions. Did she say "every single Trump voter? No. Did she imply it? Of course, unless you're an excuse maker. Who was in the tens of millions, hermit thrush? Sounds like you know.

hermit thrush

pb this betrays an incredibly level of insecurity on your part. it's like you thrill to being looked down upon and are looking for any excuse to feel that way. read her statement again. the status quo under trump is absolutely one of lies, hate, chaos, and division. this is absolutely true. this is not all there is to the status quo -- the world is a complicated place -- but these are core parts of the trump status quo. tens of millions of people are willing to turn a blind eye to that. that is what michelle obama said. she's right!

Pitbull

Thrush, if I want psychobabble I have health insurance. I'm not looking for you to analyze me as being insecure or otherwise. Thats simply an expression of your liberal/fascist arrogance. You feel as if you are capable of diagnosis of a person you don't even know? Odd stuff.

Pitbull

And hermit, saying MO is right, with a !, does not make it so. Your characterization of Trump is warped. TDS.

hermit thrush

i am sorry pb but your commenting record is what it is. you regularly twist what your political opponents say so that you can take maximum grievance from it. if you are not being forthright in your comments -- if you are going through an insincere performance of grievance, presumably to score political points -- then that would be another thing and yes, talking it through with a professional therapist may be helpful to you. i am all for people getting the care they need.

you are also quite right that michelle obama would still be right if i chose different punctuation. look, like half a week ago you were talking about how you disagree with trump on environmental issues, yet you vote for him anyway because of the overall package. that is the only sensible overall approach to voting there is. when you vote for trump, it does have the practical effect of supporting everything in the trump package, but that doesn't mean you directly support every aspect of the package. a vote for trump lends political support to his policy of dumping mining waste in streams, even if you oppose that particular policy on its own. what is clearly true, however, is that when you vote for trump, it shows that your opposition to dumping mining waste in streams is not a dealbreaker for you. exactly the same principle is at play in michelle obama's tweet. she is saying that the lies, hate, chaos, and division lying at the heart of the trump package aren't dealbreakers for the people who voted for him. and please make no mistake, those qualities really are at the heart of trumpism. he launched his political career on a racist lie about president obama's birth certificate. he launched his campaign by calling mexicans rapists. he called for a total ban on muslims coming here. his rally-goers chanted "send them back." he decries refugees and celebrates violence against journalists. in response to his election loss, he has decapitated the civilian leadership at the pentagon. and on and on and on. the only thing deranged is turning a blind eye to all this.

hermit thrush

don't forget, trump supporters at one of his rallies chanted "send them back." trump told the proud boys to stand back and stand by. lies, hate, chaos, and division are at the beating heart of his movement. it's not true that all trump supporters are all-in for lies, hate, chaos, and division -- many simply condone that stuff, which in itself is not great -- but michelle obama didn't say they all were either.

Eagle24

Pretty much nailed it... Can you imagine if in 2016 Hilary had taken the same position has POTUS... ?? Can you see what will now be the norm in elections...most of which are close...? Can you imagine if Obama put the DOJ and gov't supporting Hilary's claim the election was rigged?

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