Trumped! The Don­ald de­fies crit­ics again

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE -

Don­ald Trump has yet again shat­tered ex­pec­ta­tions by pre­vail­ing in his bid for the pres­i­dency.

After more than a year of prov­ing his crit­ics wrong, Don­ald Trump again shat­tered ex­pec­ta­tions and pre­vailed in his race for the high­est of­fice in the land.

De­spite his undis­ci­plined, hos­tile and de­mean­ing rhetoric on the cam­paign trail, The Don­ald trumped his an­kle-biters in gath­er­ing enough elec­toral sup­port Tues­day, and now he reigns supreme.

The for­mer re­al­ity TV star can take his show to the White House.

We hoped our coun­try’s con­tem­po­rary fas­ci­na­tion with him would fade be­fore the ob­vi­ous dan­ger of a Trump pres­i­dency. That the blus­tery bil­lion­aire man­aged to hi­jack the party of Lin­coln with his racist and misog­y­nist ways sug­gests darker times ahead for the coun­try.

Un­less, that is, Trump’s act has been an act, and as Pres­i­dent Trump he has a more se­ri­ous agenda in store.

Democrats share in the blame in al­low­ing this gam­ble.

The party was too loyal in nar­row­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton’s path to nom­i­na­tion, and the re­sult was an os­si­fied can­di­date with enough bag­gage to fill a truck, whose re­liance on the Demo­cratic ma­chine pre­vented her from mak­ing a con­vinc­ing ar­gu­ment.

Though we saw the for­mer first lady, se­na­tor and sec­re­tary of state as eas­ily the more qual­i­fied can­di­date in the race, her var­i­ous scan­dals were too much for too many vot­ers to bear.

Women still wait­ing

Ninety-six years after the na­tion se­cured women’s right to vote into the Con­sti­tu­tion, the Amer­i­can peo­ple de­cided Clin­ton was not the one to lead them as the first fe­male pres­i­dent.

Clin­ton went into the fi­nal two days of the elec­tion cy­cle freshly cleared of wrong­do­ing by FBI di­rec­tor James Comey. No doubt the en­tire jar­ring episode over her pe­cu­liar e-mail ar­range­ment as sec­re­tary of state played a role in the close­ness of the race in its fi­nal days.

Yes, the FBI di­rec­tor’s an­nounce­ment ended more than a week of re­newed ques­tions about Clin­ton’s pri­vate server. But Comey’s an­nounce­ment — 11 days be­fore vot­ing con­cluded — that agents were search­ing for Sec­re­tary of State e-mails on the lap­top of dis­graced for­mer Con­gress­man An­thony Weiner si­phoned away the en­ergy Clin­ton gained after an old video and the ac­cu­sa­tions of nearly 20 women cre­ated a por­trait of Trump as a se­rial sex­ual abuser.

Mak­ing mat­ters worse, Amer­i­cans should re­mem­ber that Comey’s de­ci­sion to an­nounce the new probe — whether they agree with his ra­tio­nale or find it the stuff of po­lit­i­cal med­dling —rep­re­sented a breach of Jus­tice Depart­ment pro­to­col against re­leas­ing in­for­ma­tion that need­lessly in­ter­fered with a na­tional elec­tion.

And Amer­i­cans shouldn’t for­get that the na­tion’s top in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials be­lieve that Rus­sia was be­hind the re­peated and one-sided Wik­iLeaks re­leases of e-mails hacked from Demo­cratic Party and Clin­ton cam­paign lead­ers that helped erode Clin­ton’s chances.

For all that, many of the above prob­lems were ei­ther caused or ex­ac­er­bated by Clin­ton’s ar­ro­gance.

Long be­fore she en­tered the race, for ex­am­ple, the Clin­ton fam­ily should have shut down or per­ma­nently stepped away from the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion that raised the con­tin­ued specter of pay-to-play pol­i­tics that con­cern so many Amer­i­cans. No won­der vot­ers strug­gled. At­tacks on the me­dia Speak­ing of re­porters, Trump also mocked a dis­abled print re­porter and then lied about it. And then hop­ing to en­er­gize his sup­port­ers with a be­lief that ev­ery­thing was rigged against him, Trump went after the fourth es­tate. That’s fine — jour­nal­ists are ac­cus­tomed to han­dling crit­i­cism for hard-hit­ting re­ports. But in­stead of sub­stan­tively re­spond­ing to a se­ries of in­ves­tiga­tive sto­ries that found or sug­gested wrong­do­ing by his busi­nesses and char­i­ta­ble prac­tices, Trump ac­cused the me­dia of ly­ing.

The truth is Trump hired an ex­trem­ist me­dia mogul from Bre­it­bart, putting his money be­hind the kind of jour­nal­ism that no longer even pre­tends to be ob­jec­tive. Sites like Bre­it­bart and Drudge Re­port helped con­trib­ute to an echo cham­ber that poi­soned the pub­lic de­bate.

We ask that read­ers peace­fully ac­cept the out­come of this elec­tion. Now is the time for more ra­tio­nal minds and sturdy hearts to re­form our bro­ken sys­tem.

With Trump as our pres­i­dent, there will be a lot of work to do.

Per­haps with his en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm for chal­leng­ing the grid­lock and dys­func­tion so many of us find so re­pul­sive, and a gifted team of ad­vis­ers at his side, a Pres­i­dent Trump can bring needed re­form.

This sum­mer he promised we’d need to look for “so much win­ning” when he be­came pres­i­dent. He said there would be so much win­ning we would tire of it.

Now he has the chance to prove it.

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