I have great respect and admiration for John Lewis, one of the most iconic members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
This brave and gallant man who was nearly beaten to death during the civil-rights marches of the 1960s, has not only survived, but he has become one of the great voices of Congress.
But he is getting way ahead of himself when he calls Donald J. Trump an “illegitimate” president.
Why is that? Rep. Lewis is concerned about the Russian involvement in our electoral process and allegations that Russian geeks/spooks sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election — in Trump’s favor.
Let’s hold on, sir!
I happen to share your distaste of Trump as a president. Believe me, I preferred the other major-party candidate over the Republican nominee. I also am concerned about the Russian involvement as confirmed by U.S. intelligence agencies.
However, nothing at all has been established about whether Russian hackers had any tangible impact on the outcome of the election. No one has proved that Russians tilted significant numbers of Americans to vote for Trump over Clinton.
I’ve never been prone to question the “legitimacy” of presidents elected in a controversial manner. I never once, not for a second, questioned President George W. Bush’s election in 2000 — even with the Supreme Court ruling and the fact that he got fewer popular votes than Al Gore. The U.S. Constitution worked as it was supposed to work in that election and Bush’s presidency was granted its legitimacy at that time.
Donald Trump won more Electoral College votes than Hillary Clinton. He, too, is a “legitimate” president-elect by virtue of collecting enough of the votes that count to be elected.
Unless someone can determine beyond a doubt that Russians — or some mysterious unknown intervener — actually had a tangible impact on the 2016 presidential election, then calling Trump’s presidency “illegitimate” is a major step too far.
Do I wish the outcome had been different? Absolutely! It wasn’t. Too bad for those of us who voted for someone else. I’m going to wait to see how this Russian-hacking probe plays out.