● Published by J. Chambless
The three-ring circus that is the 2016 Presidential election continues.
At this point, we would all like to be able to move forward with our lives, but the slow-motion car crash of Donald Trump's ascension to the White House is grinding away. On Sunday, Trump tweeted -- without a scrap of evidence -- that "millions of people" voted illegally for Hillary Clinton, costing him the popular vote.
CNN called it "an unprecedented allegation by a President-elect," and that's right. At this point, it's clear -- we think -- that Trump won the Electoral College and the White House, but Clinton leads him in the popular vote by about 2 million ballots.
Putting aside, for a moment, the landslide of other news about Trump, this latest tweet could mean that he is reading and believing several fake stories on conspiracy websites that said he actually beat Clinton in the popular vote count. He later added, "Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California - so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias - big problem!"
Whatever you think about our Electoral College process, which has become a monolithic enterprise that few people can grasp, we are stuck with it for the present time. In light of the widespread recommendations that we all take a deep breath and let democracy take its course, Trump continues to make a lot of people very nervous. Yes, he seemed conciliatory in some of his recent public comments, and he didn't insult President Obama to his face while touring the White House, but picking up his phone and randomly tweeting fake news is not helping the nation maintain calm.
As we await the day when President-elect Trump actually acts like a President, it is depressing to see how quickly he spreads rumors and lies. This is a man who will shortly be in charge of this nation -- and, by extension, a large share of what happens in the world -- and he is still sending out messages that are inflammatory and false.
A significant number of Americans, and people around the world, are either seriously concerned or utterly terrified of what Trump might do in a fit of mild annoyance. Some people love him. But this is no time to be blindly swinging in cyberspace, hoping to appeal to his followers. This is a time to instill some measure of calm among people who are very worried.
Whatever happens in the coming four years -- or in the next few minutes -- it's clear that we are a nation divided. What we need is a reason to work together toward a future that is, at least, not standing on a razor's edge. We need some reason to believe, and for too many people, that reason is elusive.