EDITORIAL by Peter WestmoreNews Weekly
Trump installed but the left refuses to accept it
, January 28, 2017
During the third presidential debate in last year’s U.S. election campaign, Donald Trump was challenged on whether he would accept the result of the election, regardless of the outcome.
For reasons that are still unclear, Mr Trump demurred, saying he would wait until the outcome was known. At the time, he seemed likely to lose the election, so his failure to commit to accept the outcome was a gift for the Democrats.
"Unelectable, that's what you are."
Hillary Clinton responded: “That’s horrifying. Let’s be clear about what he is saying and what that means. He is denigrating – he is talking down our democracy. And I am appalled that someone who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that position.”
The New York Times, one of the leading U.S. newspapers, commented at the time: “With 20 days left before election day and early voting already under way in Florida, Ohio and several other key states, the debate felt less like an argument between equals than a last-ditch attempt by a fading candidate, Mr Trump, to save himself.”
Other media commentators at the time said that Mr Trump’s gaffe would cost him the election.
Well, Mr Trump won the election … easily. And who has refused to accept the election result since then.
Hillary Clinton, who clearly expected to win right up to election day, attributed her defeat to Russian “dirty tricks”, including cyber-espionage.
Incumbent President Barack Obama belatedly ordered the U.S. intelligence community to investigate Russian interference in the election, and its report was released on January 6, 2017. Even before this report had been completed, Mr Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the United States in December, allegedly because of their involvement in cyber-espionage.
The allegations of Russian interception of emails were widely reported during the election campaign, but at the time, Mr Obama did nothing. Surely, if the interference justified expulsions, this action should have been taken at the time, not six months later.
A leading black Democrat, John Lewis, told a television interviewer that he believed the Russians had delivered the presidency to Donald Trump. He added: “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.” Interestingly, Hillary Clinton did not find this “horrifying”.
All this points to a sustained effort by the American left to refuse to accept the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, and a determination to attack Mr Trump’s legitimacy and to cripple his presidency.
Since then, the American left has called for a series of mass demonstrations against the incoming president. The campaign kicked off with a march in Washington on January 14. But the biggest protest was planned for Inauguration Day, January 20.
Last month, left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore used Twitter to call on his followers to turn up in Washington to disrupt the inauguration.
The left called for a “bold mobilisation against the inauguration of Donald Trump”, including civil resistance, protests and “direct action”.
The organisation planned to block all the major roads into Washington DC, promising to make traffic a nightmare, and to also stop trains headed into the city. They also intended to prevent people from attending by crowding around checkpoints leading to events.
It is not going too far to anticipate that the protests could well lead to threats on President Trump’s life, as has happened far too often in America’s history.
The whole campaign is not only unprecedented; it is profoundly undemocratic and in fact authoritarian. By trying to make the country ungovernable, the left is demonstrating its contempt for democracy and its determination to impose its will on the American people.
With the election of Donald Trump, the administration has been entrusted with the challenge to take the United States in a different direction from that of the Obama years, and, in economic policy, to reverse the policies of unrestrained free trade and globalisation, which have been the dominant paradigm for decades.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade policy for the Asia-Pacific region, is expected to be the first to go. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s attempt to push Mr Trump to support the TPP shows how out of touch Canberra is with the rapidly changing political world.
In foreign policy, Mr Trump has also signalled a big shift from the policies of his predecessor in relation to Russia, China, Israel and the United Nations.
The appointments that the new President has made point clearly to his determination to carry through on the election commitments he made to the American people. Let's see if Mr Trump’s economic, tax, energy, trade, infrastructure and defence policies will boost industry and employment, reduce inequality, make the world a safer place, and make America great again.
Peter Westmore is national president of the National Civic Council.