1. It’s Tuesday, November 22, 2016.
2. President Kennedy was murdered 53 years ago today.
He will mark the day in the same way as the other 37 deceased presidents – turning in their graves at the thought of No. 45.
3. There’s so many things to loathe about Trump that it’s hard to know where to either start or stop.
But here’s what sticks in your craw the most. He won.
It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Two weeks later, it’s turning out that this is not just a bad dream, and that you can’t just wish this away.
Now here’s the other problem.
Winning has its rewards.
I bring this up because of the new CNN/ORC poll out this morning. The poll shows that 53% of the country believe Trump will do a good job as president.
Considering that a little less than 47% of the American electorate thought enough of Trump to vote for him for president, that’s a sign that he’s getting at least the majority of the country behind him.
It’s hard to believe for those of us who see him as an unspeakable creature. The guy who has picked a racist as attorney general, a white nationalist as his strategic adviser, picked a fight with the “Hamilton” cast and the TV networks, and offered just muted resistance to the idea that his election has spurred neo-Nazi sentiment in the United States.
But the thing is that this is a natural tendency after a presidential election. Even one as cantankerous as this one.
The country has had to deal with election crap for the better part of two years. It’s sick of it. It wants to get on with its life.
And so the people who are not as nearly invested emotionally in this fall in behind the guy who won. Only the true believers – my hand is raised here – dissent.
Believe it or not, the same dynamic would have occurred if Hillary Clinton had won. In fact, there’s a chance the optimism rate would have been higher than 53%, since she would have started from the higher base that comes from getting – as of this moment – 1,754,867 more votes than he did.
4. Does that mean the anti-Trump forces should just throw in the towel?
It just means that demonstrations like the ones that have taken place for two weeks – and which are completely understandable given the despicable way Trump campaigned – are nonetheless counterproductive. Right now.
All they look like to the people on the other side or in the middle is sour grapes. There hasn’t been anything new or substantive to protest.
Now, that’s about to change. We have the identity of some of Trump’s cabinet and chief advisers and revelations about policy direction. We have disclosures about his conflicts of interest and the admission to the IRS revealed today that the Trump Foundation did – as the Washington Post has intrepidly reported – that the charity’s money has been used to benefit Trump, his family or his business.
The policy disclosures are the big thing.
Because his campaign was pretty much a few broad ideas and trashing Clinton, lots of what Trump stands for is unknown.
For example, I highly doubt that Trump voters, many of whom either are Medicare recipients or close to that age (again, my hand is raised), signed up for wholesale changes in a program they rely on for their health care. And yet, that’s what the Republicans in Congress have up their sleeves.
While there are people who grouse about Obamacare, they’re generally not the people who benefit from it. The backtracking began early when the transition team floated the ideas of keeping the no-preconditions and the cover-kids-until-they’re-26 provisions – which probably can’t be sustained if the rest of the Affordable Care Act goes.
And so it goes.
Not to mention that today it seems Trump broke one of the biggest campaign promises: He doesn’t want to pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton.
All those people shouting “Lock her up”? It ain’t gonna happen – unless Trump cowers, as he often does, in the face of protests by Breitbart and the like.
At some point in the not-too-distant future, there will be actual things to protest that can garner support from the people who voted for this turkey.
When that happens, when it seems as though the people protesting are more than sore losers, the honeymoon – as limited as it is – will end.
With a thump.