One might be tempted to think of Donald Trump’s latest insane tweet that he won the popular vote if you “deduct” the millions of people who voted illegally as just one further example of The Donald’s quirky irresponsibility. But it isn’t. There’s a difference.
The difference is that he is now president-elect of the United States, and I just had to replace my computer several times because it kept locking up and burning out when I typed that phrase.
But nevertheless, that’s what he is, and because he is still willing to make such baseless and damaging assertions about the actual electoral apparatus of our democracy, by blaming the voters themselves, it’s pretty clear that he is simply an irresponsible person, in the worst possible place for such a person to be.
There was always a small unfounded hope that Trump would start acting presidential after the election, like he promised to do, but that was just another lie. We have demonstrated to him pretty clearly that we are slow learners.
And this tweet follows hard on the heels of his naming of a dividers-not-uniters Cabinet and administration, his wallowing in rather than separation from his business conflicts, and his obvious lack of any remorse or atonement for the damage he did to the American norms of tolerance and inclusion to get elected.
This is not a man with whom any remaining honest people in government are going to be able to work. And they will find this out either sooner or later, and not in a pleasant way. Some will find themselves conducting business with him successfully. But instead of offering us reassurances and optimism, they had better check what they are actually doing to see if they are not part of the problem rather than the solution.
We are going to discover that Trump’s compulsive lying, bad as it is, is less an issue than his pathology. This is what we are going to have to contain. One looks around for the tools available to contain him. And as of now, things are not looking so good.