Dear Donald Trump, you are an illegitimate President-elect; you will be a less than legitimate President
By Ujal Dosanjh
(Dosanjh is former Premier of British Columbia, and former Canadian Minister of Health.)
Dear Donald, you and your surrogates have been noxiously complaining that the US Democrats are raising the bogey of Russian hacking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to delegitimise your electoral victory and undermine your presidency. I am a citizen of the increasingly smaller world: A Canadian citizen; and by heritage an Indian of India. I am baffled how one undermines something already illegitimate. I thought I should let you know well before your swearing in that as far as many Americans and people across the world are concerned your Presidency is void ab initio. You are an illegitimate President-Elect; and you will be an illegitimate President. Stop complaining about it. Just grin and bear it.
And you may ask why?
Where do you want me to start?
For beginners, as one who had sought to undermine the Presidency of a duly elected Barack Obama by leading the most disgusting chorus of the Birther Lie against the first black president in the history of the USA, you don’t deserve to be the President, and that too as the standard bearer of the party of the slayer and abolisher of slavery, Abraham Lincoln.
You campaigned on “draining the swamp” of the rich and powerful in Washington. That appears to have been another one of your grotesque lies because your proposed cabinet is full of billionaires and multimillionaires quite at home, and used to swimming, in the swamp of which they are an integral part.
Your electoral college victory was founded upon a campaign of hate and racism against Muslims and Mexicans that appealed to the latent racism of quite a significant section of white Americans still undoubtedly harbouring racism, fear of the other and economic anxieties afflicting them leading them to buy your snake oil of how everything will be fine when you ban all Muslims from entering the country, set up a mandatory registry for American Muslims, instantly deport 11 million Mexicans from the USA back into Mexico and build a wall on the border with Mexico. You lied to the American people that you will make Mexico pay for the wall which you are now asking Americans to pay for. And we are happy that it will be less than a wall; but still another lie.
To make matters worse you have told scores of other monstrous, consequential and inconsequential lies in your lifetime and in the campaign. So much so that it compelled James Warren writing in Vanity Fair to label you “the least honest politician alive”. And even after getting elected you haven’t stopped lengthening the already too long a screed of lies.
I confess Hillary Clinton was not the greatest opponent you could have faced. She had excessive baggage from years of being in the public and political domains: the history the Clinton Foundation, her own emails from her time as Secretary of State and much more. According to the report of the US intelligence, in came the Russians with the clear intent to sow distrust in the US election process, hurt the Clinton candidacy and help yours, their preferred candidate. The Russians hacked the DNC and other Clinton related emails and conspired with the Wikileaks to strategically release such materials during the campaign. The drip-drip of the Russian hacked and Wikileaks released material effectively damaged Clinton’s chances of beating you; Russia put its thumb on the scale to help you, their favourite candidate; you became Russia’s “Manchurian” candidate. Russia didn’t interfere with the voting machines or the tallying of the votes. But it certainly did interfere with and influence the election in your favour. With Russia’s clear and covert help, you defeated Clinton.
There are as yet unsubstantiated claims that the Russians possess a dossier of compromising personal and other information on you with which, if true, you could be subject to blackmail endangering the national security of the United States of America. The intelligence chiefs felt the information, though unproven, was germane enough to their duty to protect USA and its government that they briefed President Obama and you on it. The briefing material was leaked but according to the intelligence chiefs not by them or their organisations. You had a hissy fit during what the Guardian described as a train wreck of a press conference, and compared your intelligence chiefs to the Nazis. Such irresponsible conduct is more proof that you aren’t fit to be the President of the most powerful country on earth.
Mind you, Russia isn’t unique in the world in trying to subvert other nation’s politics and governments. American governments have been no international angels. They have encouraged countless coups and revolts and interfered in elections all over the world. The government s your country helped come to power in other countries were equally illegitimate, be it the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines or Augusto Pinochet in Chile.
Russian interference and influence in the US election in your favour, more than the lies and hate you spewed, has certainly meant the demise of your presidency’s legitimacy at its very beginning. Your campaign of lies, hate and racism along with the well documented help you received from the Russians in damaging your opponent has made yours an illegitimate presidency.
But you, your supporters and surrogates argue the fact that you have been elected should be the end of discussion; perhaps so, particularly because the American electorate has never been considered to be well informed and aware anyway. As the late Gore Vidal once lamented, “Half of the Americans have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half”.
So the world is the poorer for having to live with your less than legitimate Presidency. Do us a favour: Just grin and bear it.