On March 18, Right-wing businessman and “reality” television celebrity Donald Trump announced plans to form a presidential exploratory committee.
“I am the only one who can make America truly great again,” he declared.
With this in mind, it’s well to recall his behavior during the 2012 Presidential election.
On April 17, 2011, toying with the idea of entering the Presidential race, the always self-promoting Trump said this about Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and GOP candidate:
“He’d buy companies. He’d close companies. He’d get rid of jobs. I’ve built a great company. I’m a much bigger businessman and have a much, much bigger net worth. I mean my net worth is many, many, many times Mitt Romney.
“Mitt Romney is a basically small-business guy, if you really think about it. He was a hedge fund. He was a funds guy. He walked away with some money from a very good company that he didn’t create. He worked there. He didn’t create it.”
Trump added that Bain Capital, the hedge fund where Romney made millions of dollars before running for governor, didn’t create any jobs. Whereas Trump claimed that he–Trump–had created “hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
So Romney himself may have been puzzled when Trump announced, on February 2, 2012: “It’s my honor, real honor, and privilege to endorse Mitt Romney” for President.
“Mitt is tough, he’s smart, he’s sharp, he’s not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to this country that we all love. So, Governor Romney, go out and get ‘em. You can do it,” said Trump.
And Romney, in turn, had his own swooning-girl moment: “I’m so honored to have his endorsement….There are some things that you just can’t imagine in your life. This is one of them.”
Throughout the 2012 Presidential race, Trump continued to “help” Romney–by repeatedly accusing President Barack Obama of not being an American citizen.
Had that been true, Obama would not have had the right to be President–since the Constitution says that only an American citizen can hold this position.
Of course, that was entirely what Trump wanted people to believe–that Obama was an illegitimate President, and deserved to be thrown out.
Come election night–and disaster for Romney. And Trump.
When it became clear that Romney was not going to be America’s 45th President, Trump went ballistic on Twitter. Among his tweets:
- More votes equals a loss…revolution!
- Lets fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us.
- We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!
- The phoney electoral college made a laughing stock out of our nation. The loser one!
- He lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. We should have a revolution in this country!
To put Trump’s rants into real-world perspective:
- According to Trump, the electoral process works when a Republican wins the Presidency. It only doesn’t work when a Democrat wins.
- “We should march on Washington” conjures up images of another Fascist–Benito Mussolini–marching on Rome at the head of his Blackshirts to sieze power. Which is no doubt what Trump would love to do himself.
- “The phoney electoral college made a laughing stock out of our nation. The loser one!”
This is absurd on three counts (four, if you count Trump’s misspelling of “won”).
First, the 2012 Republican Platform spoke lovingly about the need for preserving the Electoral College:
“We oppose the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact or any other scheme to abolish or distort the procedures of the Electoral College.
“We recognize that an unconstitutional effort to impose ‘national popular vote’ would be a mortal threat to our federal system and a guarantee of corruption as every ballot box in every state would become a chance to steal the presidency.”
Second, the loser didn’t win: He lost. With votes still being counted (as of November 8) Obama got 60,652,238. Romney got 57,810,407.
Third, in 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote (50,999,897) to George W. Bush’s 50,456,002. But Bush trounced Gore in the Electoral College (271 to 266).
Still, that meant Bush–not Gore–would head the country for the next eight years. And that was perfectly OK with right-wingers like Trump.
It was only when Obama won the Electoral College count by 332 to 206 that this was–according to Trump–a “travesty.”
And Trump’s solution if voters dare to elect someone other than Trump’s pet choice: “Revolution!”
This comes perilously close to advocating violent overthrow of the government. Otherwise known as treason–a crime traditionally punished by execution, or at least lengthy imprisonment.
In 2016, Americans would do well to consider the implications of this in the case of Donald Trump.