With the entire world watching, it’s hardly surprising yet perpetually frightening to observe how completely incompetent Donald Trump’s transition has been so far. In addition to picking administration goons based on name recognition rather than policy expertise (for example: Dr. Ben Carson, a frontrunner for HUD, confessed he has no governmental experience), Trump continues to exploit Twitter as the most convenient method of embarrassing himself and, by proxy, the rest of the nation.
So far, he’s used Twitter to engage in several online jihads including series of decidedly unpresidential trollings of The New York Times, and another against the cast of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. Neither set of tweets helped to boost our confidence in his ability to lead with tact, dignity and humility. When an incoming despot exploits his newly won power by attacking the integrity of the press and the free speech rights of theater actors, it confirms all of Trump’s pre-election red flags. No, he doesn’t have “the best temperament.” No, he doesn’t even know what “temperament” means. And yes, he will use his presidential powers seek revenge against his opponents.
But perhaps the most disturbing series of tweets appeared on Sunday, once again prompting the warning: This is not normal. None of it is.
In response to Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s successful effort to launch an audit of the vote in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Trump took a gigantic shit all over his Twitter feed in an apparent protest against the recount. I use “apparent” because Trump, who’s clearly very confused, both slammed the idea of a recount while also endorsing a conspiracy theory about widespread voter fraud.
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
Trump thinks a recount is ludicrous, yet he seems to believe millions of undocumented immigrants voted illegally this year. While Stein and, with her, millions of Normals believe there were irregularities that led to Trump’s shocking victory in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Trump additionally believes there were millions of cases of voter fraud, making a recount mandatory if for no other reason than to confirm or debunk the existence of those fraudulent votes.
This is so phenomenally dumb on so many levels, beginning with the politics. Only a political dilettante who’s not thinking very clearly would tweet such a thing — it’s the words of a newbie who, time and time again, blindly stumbles his way into losing arguments.
It’d be like tweeting, “In addition to winning the American League Championship Series, the Cleveland Indians won the World Series if you count the millions of runs scored by the invisible shapeshifting lizard people from outer space.” If this is so true — true enough to prompt the freshly ordained president-elect to confirm “millions of people who voted illegally” as a factual statement, then shouldn’t there be an official investigation to find out?
Of course there should be.
Does Trump support such an investigation?
Of course not.
In another tweet, Trump was more specific:
Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California – so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
There’s that phrase. “Voter fraud.” The president-elect thinks there’s rampant voter fraud, even though countless investigations have disproved its existence. Nevertheless, the president-elect says it absolutely exists in, coincidentally, three states he didn’t win. Jill Stein and Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, aren’t specifically citing voter fraud, they’re certainly seeing evidence of irregularities in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Once again, Trump attacked the recount by announcing the existence of evidence that ought to trigger recounts in three (or more) other states. He’s both opposing and supporting the justifications of his political opponents. Like an idiot.
He’s Daffy Duck getting his beak blown off after accidentally blurting, “Duck season!” You don’t yell “duck season!” if you’re a duck. Likewise, you don’t argue against a recount by volunteering a massive justification for having one.
So, fine. Let’s have recounts in California, Virginia and New Hampshire on top of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Hell, let’s make it a national recount, if only to disprove Trump’s insane conspiracy theory.
The serious question here is if Trump is correct, why wouldn’t he want to audit the vote to correct the record and apprehend the culprits? Trump seems to think there were millions of fraudulent votes, but that we shouldn’t look into it? Or, more accurately, he thought he discovered a clever way to undermine Hillary’s popular vote victory by repeating the “millions of people who voted illegally” myth. This is actually the worse option. Trump is forming his own fact-free tabulation of the popular vote in order to amplify his power. There’s a word for this. It’s called propaganda and, just three weeks into his transition, Trump is already dealing in weaponized, propagandized conspiracy theories that have zero factual basis. And if he seriously believes there’s a factual basis for his fraud claim, then the onus is on him to prove it.
But he’s opposed to proving it, which says everything you need to know.
Ultimately, we’re looking a president-elect who is so completely inexperienced that he completely flummoxed the one thing he knows best: Twitter trolling. Even if he didn’t include the conspiracy theory about “millions of people who voted illegally,” his public behavior on social media is not normal. This isn’t how presidents are supposed to behave. This isn’t how anyone in a position of power is supposed to behave. And it’ll get much worse than this. Look, I get that Trump voters want a different approach to politics. Fine. But do it in a dignified way. Show some restraint. Be presidential. One of many fears about a Trump presidency involves stupidity and kneejerking on Twitter when the subject of the tweetstorm is a character in charge of a military or an arsenal of weaponry — someone who’s not going to reply on Twitter but who will definitely reply using force.
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