A friend of mine has acknowledged a greater-than-normal disappointment in the presidential election result.
He said he’s having trouble accepting that Donald J. Trump is now the president-elect of the United States of America.
I am now going to admit the same thing.
Just as my friend said, I’ve voted for losing presidential candidates many times over the years. I’ve voted in 12 presidential elections, dating back to 1972. My record as of Nov. 8 is now 5-7 … that’s five winners and seven losers.
I know how it feels to be on the losing side.
This one is different than all the rest of them. It’s even different from my first vote, when Sen. George McGovern got smashed to smithereens in a 49-state blowout to President Nixon. I was young, full of piddle and vinegar, just home from service in the Army, newly married and I worked my butt off in my hometown to elect a good and decent man to the presidency.
It’s not that I believe Trump was inferior to his chief opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton. It’s deeper than that. He’s patently unfit for the office. I will maintain that belief more than likely for the entire time he serves as president.
That could change. Trump could prove me wrong. He could turn out to be a quick study. He could muster some semblance of the decorum needed to serve as head of state and the leader of our government. Trump could actually grasp the concept of limited presidential power and he could accede to the will of another co-equal branch of government, the one on Capitol Hill, aka Congress.
I cannot get past the notion, though, that he’s going to try to run roughshod over the system. That he’s going to do some incredibly stupid things, issue some incompetent — or unlawful — orders.
I want none of that to happen. I want the new president to succeed. In some perverse way, I’m actually pulling for him. I know that sounds like a huge contradiction, given what I’ve written already in this post, along with what I’ve stated in countless previous posts on this blog.
It’s not. I have declared already that I do not subscribe to the hope that he will fail. Presidential failure means failure for the entire country. I will not forsake my citizenship; I won’t move to another nation. I will stay put and speak out whenever I feel like it. I’ll praise the good things Trump does and will criticize the bad.
So help me, I cannot yet come to grips with the notion that this guy — the former reality TV celebrity, the hotel mogul, the guy who admits to cheating on his wives, who acknowledges seeking to impose his sexual will on women, who mocked a physically disabled reporter, denigrated Gold Star parents and flung insults at opponents — is about to become the 45th president of the United States.
It’s not like the previous times I’ve voted for the losing candidate. Yes, I know Trump won the election fair and square. I accept the fact that he won the required number of electoral votes. And yes … he will be my president.
I’m just having trouble moving forward and putting the result behind me.
Do I need an intervention?