Donald Trump lost the vote for president by well over two-and-a-half million votes and counting, and it’s driving him out of his mind. Because our odd electoral system gives more weight to voters in small, rural, mostly white states, the loser of this year’s popular vote will take the oath of office on January 20th.
The popular vote this year matters more than ever. In an election that was more deeply about values than any in recent memory, it’s important that a clear majority of Americans rejected a campaign premised on racist attacks against Mexicans and Muslims and a man with a long history of misogyny. The majority rejected a near-sociopathic celebration of ignorance and the least qualified person ever to become a major party’s nominee for president.
Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the United States, but he’s a loser, and he can’t stand it. That’s why he tweeted a lie about millions of Americans voting fraudulently to give Hillary Clinton the popular-vote victory. It doesn’t matter whether he believes that to be true – he needs it to be true. Our thin-skinned baby president-elect hates the idea that millions more people voted for his opponent than for him, so he’ll accept whatever made-up facts he needs to make it not so.
The schadenfreude over Trump’s feelings of inadequacy is all well and good until you realize the impact his infantile need for approval will have on our country. Make no mistake: Trump isn’t a poll reader who will, say, cancel plans to repeal Obamacare just because it turns out the majority of Americans don’t want him to. Trump seems more the type to recede into his bubble. He’s already back holding the sorts of rallies he misses from the campaign trail, where his strongest supporters wait hours in line to cheer his nonsense. Thursday night he bragged to a surprisingly thin Cincinnati crowd about his victory, which he amusingly characterized as a “landslide.”
This didn’t sound much different from the rambling stump speeches he gave throughout his campaign. He promised to build the wall. He railed against immigrants. He said he’d fix all our problems so quickly it would make our heads spin. He also revisited his old classic of calling the press dishonest.
Only now it’s not a candidate questioning the veracity of the media – it’s the next president of the United States, a man who promised to “open up our libel laws” and who responds to virtually any insult with petty counterattacks on Twitter. What will he do with the power of the federal government behind him when reporters start poking their noses where he doesn’t like it? He calls them liars now; is it so hard to imagine him hauling them off for questioning? This isn’t a man with a deep – or even thin – understanding of constitutional rights. (Thursday night, he reiterated his call to punish people who burn the flag, after threatening earlier in the week to revoke their citizenship.)
That’s what makes the prospect of a Trump presidency so terrifying. A man who brazenly lies, is desperate to punish insults (real and perceived) and has no conception of the rule of law is about to assume a position of immense power. A man with a need for validation as desperate as Trump’s is dangerous.
Earlier Thursday, Trump went to Indiana to brag about the great deal he’d struck with United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier, to save jobs at a local plant.
Only the deal wasn’t great. More than half the jobs Carrier threatened to send to Mexico are still headed there. Trump saved fewer than a thousand jobs in exchange for tax breaks delivered by his running mate – who is still Indiana’s governor. That’s certainly good news for the men and women who will keep their jobs, but it’s anything but a good deal. Trump had promised to use threats of tariffs to protect jobs from outsourcing; instead, he saved some jobs by offering a gift of tax breaks. Now corporations across the country know the new president will reward them for threatening to send jobs overseas.
Trump lost his negotiation with Carrier. But he’s spinning it as a big victory, just as he’s lied about his popular vote loss being a win. That’s what a loser who can’t handle losing does, and we’re in for at least four more long years of this. It’s going to get ugly.
Paul Horner thought he was trolling Trump supporters – but after the election, the joke was on him. Read the headlines that may have helped Trump get elected.