Somehow, and I can’t believe I am alone in this, I find it impossible to take seriously the idea of Donald Trump in the White House.
It seems ludicrous that this thin-skinned, narcissistic and perhaps even mentally unbalanced man will represent the face of the United States of America to the rest of the world.
I think of President Barack Obama after the carnage at the African American church in Charleston, S.C., consoling the grieving, and quietly and beautifully starting to sing “Amazing Grace.” Can anybody seriously see Trump showing empathy and sympathy in a similar situation? I can’t.
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We apparently are stuck with him, however, unless he decides he is so far in over his head that he abdicates even before his inauguration in January, and that’s obviously not going to happen. But the fact is I don’t think he ever expected to be elected and ran only to improve the Trump brand. And now he reminds me of the character played by Robert Redford in the movie “The Candidate,” asking after winning election to the U.S. Senate, “What do we do now?”
If it were not so serious, it would be laughable.
Hillary Clinton and Obama have been gracious and diplomatic in their post-election comments about Trump, but I have a hunch that what they would like to say has been said for them by, of all people, an outspoken professional basketball coach.
According to those who know him, Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs normally would rather undergo a double root canal than take questions from sports writers at a news conference. His answers are usually short and cryptic.
There was nothing cryptic, however, about his comments about Trump at a pregame news conference in San Antonio a few weeks ago.
Popovich said he was “just sick to my stomach” because of the “disgusting tenor and tone and all of the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist and misogynistic.” He went on to say the scariest part was living in a country “where half of the people ignored all of that to elect someone.”
When a reporter attempted to interrupt him, the coach shot back, “I’m not done yet.” Then he doubled down on his comments in Sacramento a week later, declaring that there has been “no responsibility or accountability” for the way Trump denigrated so many during his campaign. He said Trump has no core values or principles.
“You can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth,” Popovich said.
Amen to all that. Popovich is right on all counts. Aided and abetted by social media, Trump has unleashed and given legitimacy to a nastiness in this country that will take years, if ever, to reverse. By the end of his first, and hopefully last, term, he also is apt to leave millions of disappointed voters in his wake.
William Endicott is a former deputy managing editor of The Sacramento Bee. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.