Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Doing the Wrong Thing

The Electoral College failed to do the right thing on December 19 when it completed the confirmation process of ratifying the legitimacy of President-elect Donald Trump. This was expected. Most government bodies such as this are loathe to upset the apple cart, to set any kind of historic precedent that would have huge ramifications presently, and in the future. Still, one could argue the electors abdicated their true responsibility to the welfare of our nation at large.

Before you dismiss the rest of this commentary as just another Trump-bashing editorial, please understand that ordinarily I would praise the Electoral College for not rocking the boat, regardless of what political party stood to prosper. This is an exception given at least two very disturbing conditions that presently exist. We have it on good authority that there was foreign interference in the election cycle itself. Also, our President-elect has shown complete disregard for conflicts of interest as applied to both himself and his Cabinet appointees. One more thing: Trump has not attended intelligence briefings regularly, if at all.

It turns out that there is good reason that the Electoral College convenes more than a month after the public vote. The window between the two events permits a glimpse into the behaviors and tendencies of the next potential Commander-in-Chief. This is where we gauge the prospective effectiveness of the President based on his actions, appointments, press conferences, willingness to learn from advisors of previous administrations, and other decisions made in this pre-inauguration time period. At this point, any evaluation, even an unbiased one, should raise several red flags. At the very least, the Electoral College might have considered delaying their vote until at least some of these troubling circumstances were better illuminated. That alone might have gotten the President-elect's attention, made him realize his power is not going to be rubber-stamped, and that we, the people, take his new job seriously.

The fact that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Administration (NSA), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) all concur that there were cyber-intrusions into the election process makes the validity of the election highly questionable. This has a lot less to do with who emerged victorious than it does the value of the public electorate and the sanctity of what is supposed to be a democracy. The fact that our newly-elected leader could apparently care less speaks volumes about how much he values democracy, and the citizenry, save those, maybe, who are attending his post-election victory rallies. Rallies. Nothing of substance, no press conference. Rallies.

It seems clear to me that the President has no intention to "make America great again," but only make America appear great.

The Trump presidency is going to be all about keeping up appearances. This is a man of Wall Street and the marketplace, where perception equals reality. Advertising equals truth. There can be no conflict of interest if you equate governance with business management. The only "intelligence" you need to collect amounts to focus groups, surveys, and polls. It seems clear to me that the President has no intention to "make America great again," but only make America appear great again. We have a remarkably good salesman as our leader now. In what business model does the salesman call the shots, wield all the power?

By now I am stunned that Trump has not named Howard Stern as his Press Secretary. This is how low my expectations have sunken. Trump apparently wants to retain command of publicity himself, but there is no one home anywhere but Twitterville. The whole impression of how the administration is shaping up is somewhere between The Wizard of Oz and....what, Young Frankenstein? It defies logic, lacks credibility by even the most basic standards, and ignores all legitimate questions, regardless of how impartial the interrogating party may be. Where is my faith, you ask? Elsewhere.

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