When I posted these interesting facts about the results of this election and how they clearly indicate that Trump does not have a mandate or even a majority of Americans supporting him, a Facebook friend responded with a comment I found deeply disturbing and cynical: "Trump won the only race that matters."
This comment, coming from someone who is not a Trump supporter, was disturbing to me because it is pure Trumpism. For Trump, it doesn't seem to matter if you win due to deceit, demagoguery, incitement to hatred and prejudice, intervention by a foreign power and the FBI, or a rigged system, including voter suppression and an outdated electoral college system. The only thing that matters is winning.
The idea that winning is everything became a central theme of Trump's campaign. At one point, he said, "We don't win anymore. As a country, we don't win." Trump then promised to change that: “We're going to win so much. You're going to get tired of winning."
For Trump, winning is a core value, the essence of what he stands for. According to Trunp, those who aren't winners are losers, and can be treated with contempt. Trumps tweet on losersThat's why any hint that he may have lost the election in a moral sense due to FBI and Russian intervention touches a nerve and elicits such a strong response from Trump.
What we need to keep in mind, and remind our fellow Americans, is that Trump's "victory" was an anomaly, the result of a antiquated and obsolete electoral college system. In the past twenty years this system has failed twice to elect candidates chosen by a majority of Americans, namely Clinton and Al Gore. Many of us feel our democracy is broken. Here's what recent statistics show:
- In the 2016 election, Clinton won 48% of the votes, Trump 46%. Johnson 3.3 % and Stein 1%.
- In 2012, Obama won 51% of the votes, and Romney 47%.
- In 2008, Obama won 53% of the votes, and McCain 46%.
- In 2004, Bush won 51% of the vote, and Kerry 48%.
- In the 2000 election, Bush won 47% of the vote, Gore 48%, and Nader 2.7%.
To sum this up, Trump received fewer votes in this election that losers received in other recent elections. Of course, 2000 was another anomaly: a loser named Bush won the Presidency, thanks to the Electoral College. And the consequences were catastrophic for our country and the world: futile wars leading to the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression.
Even though 46% of Americans voted for Trump, he had a favorability rating of only 42% when he was elected. This raises an interesting question: did people who had an unfavorable view of him vote for him? If so, what's that about? Did they vote for him simply because they disliked the other candidate (i.e. Hillary Clinton) more?
Favorable Ratings of Recent Presidents-Elect
|Donald Trump||2016 Nov 9-13||42||55|
|Barack Obama||2008 Nov 7-9||68||27|
|George W. Bush||2000 Dec 15-17||59||36|
|Bill Clinton||1992 Nov 10-11||58||35|
Trump's favorability rating has gone up somewhat since Nov 9, but it's still much lower than previous Presidents Elect. 44 percent favorable to 50 percent unfavorable according to a Dec 5 poll by Economist/YouGov Poll. Gallup says this marks the "pinnacle of Trump’s popularity so far."
Trump's popularity will probably continue to rise somewhat after his inauguration, especially among Republicans, but I believe our job as people of faith is to remind our fellow Americans that they were right not to vote for him or to hold a favorable view of him and his policies. We also need to remind our fellow Americans, particularly those who profess to be Christians, that winning isn't everything. For a Christian perspective on winning, see "The Only Race That Matters..."