The president-elect just tweeted something petulant, wildly incorrect, and dangerous. In other words, it’s a day ending in “y.”
At 3:30 p.m. on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when most people were enjoying the final hours of peace before returning to work from the holiday, Donald Trump raged like a toddler being dragged around the supermarket about his popular vote loss.
“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,” the next leader of the free world tweeted to over 16 million people.
Trump is currently losing the popular vote by over 2 million to Hillary Clinton, the person who is not about to be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. This lead will likely grow as more ballots are tallied in California, a predominately blue state.
There is absolutely zero evidence that “millions of people voted illegally,” and to suggest so undermines the entire electoral process; the very process that actually made Trump the next president. The claim, which has been widely spread and thoroughly debunked, was pushed by Trump acolyte Alex Jones, who traffics in conspiratorial lies including a theory that the Sandy Hook massacre was a staged event.
The tweet was one of many sent in the aftermath of a decision by the Clinton campaign to take part in a recount of vote totals in a few key states, including Wisconsin, after Green Party candidate Jill Stein raised money for the effort. Marc Elias, the Clinton campaign’s counsel, made it clear that they found no evidence of tampering with voting machines in the states in question but wanted to “ensure that it is fair to all sides.”
This is not going to affect Donald Trump. There isn’t going to be some massive, unearthed discovery of secret votes that usurps his fairly won election and throws it into the hands of his opponent. It is merely a cautionary procedure in an election that was decided by small margins in a handful of Rust Belt states.
Yet the man who is set to become the most powerful person in the world is treating it as if his life is on the line. It is outrage for the sake of outrage; selfish attention-grabbing to ensure that, no matter what, he has something to sit and gripe about. It is stoking resentment for resentment’s sake and sowing doubt as a means for him to be the final arbiter of what is fair, right, and true.
“Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in. Nothing will change,” Trump admitted in the middle of his hours-long Twitter tantrum.
If nothing will change, why waste time screaming into the abyss like this?
The funny thing about his wild, and frankly pathetic, flailing is that if there were millions of people who voted illegally, that in and of itself would justify a recount; the very thing that he is spending his time railing against. And one of the only documented cases of voter fraud in 2016 was when a woman in Iowa, who happened to be a Trump supporter, was charged with voting twice.
This is a man who expects to earn respect in the office of the presidency, who instead of receiving daily intelligence briefings is meeting with foreign developers who have a stake in his company and waging a war against a Broadway musical instead of condemning near-daily acts of hatred committed in his name.
There was no such thing as a sore winner until Trump won the election.