(Author’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of occasional political columns that I’ll be writing for CommPro.biz until Inauguration Day, January 20. Previously, I wrote 17 political columns leading up to Election Day. FYI – My first public relations job was with a political firm, where I worked on local, statewide and presidential campaigns. In this column, I write on why President Trump and his legal team’s post-election behavior demonstrate their disregard for America’s reputation and heritage.)
Benjamin Franklin is undoubtedly one of the greatest of our Founding Fathers. He is famous not only because of his efforts during the colonies fight for independence, but because of his many epigrams. And importantly for a quote that he allegedly said when a woman asked him when he left the 1787 Constitutional Convention, “what kind of a government did you give us a monarchy or a republic?” Franklin replied “A republic, if you can keep it.”
When historians in the future write about Donald Trump’s presidency, surely he’ll be regarded as the first American president who tried to destroy our republic and rule as a monarch.
Absolute authority has been the hallmark of Trump’s administration ever since he was sworn in on January 20, 2017. But his “my way or the highway” autocratic approach to governing was undeniably on display during the weeks after he was soundly beaten for re-election by Joe Biden, who believes in our democratic form of government.
Ever since his defeat, Trump has attempted to undermine the votes of the almost 80-million Americans who preferred him over Trump. He will be remembered as the most lying, dictatorial, divisive, and openly racist president in our history — as well as the only one who deliberately tried to shred the Constitution.
Led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, and aided by Attorney-General William Barr and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Trump team has no compunction about trying to destroy America’s greatest democratic tradition – the acceptance by a president that he has been defeated and allows a peaceful transition to the president-elect.
Despite their claims of a rigged election and fraud when speaking to the media, the Trump legal team claims no such thing in court. They claim voting irregularities, without providing evidence. And the courts have consistently ruled against them. At least 30 times so far.
The most fabulist claims, thus far, by Giuliani and Powell were made during a a press conference on Nov. 19, when Giuliani called the election a “massive fraud,” and Powell said Biden won because of an international rigging of the election powered by a “massive influence of communist money.”
Disappointedly only a few Republicans of note have spoken out on the conduct of Trump’s lawyers. The most recent as I write this on November 22, were former New Jersey governor Chris Christie on ABC’s “This Week,” and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Christie called Trump’s legal team a “national embarrassment” and said it’s time for Trump to admit that Biden won the election. Hogan said, “We were the most respected country with respect to elections, and now we’re beginning to look like we’re a banana republic,” … “It’s time for them to stop the nonsense. It just gets more bizarre every single day, and, frankly, I’m embarrassed that more people in the party aren’t speaking up.”
Thus far at least 30 rulings in court have been thrown out because of lack of evidence. Unfortunately, it seems like more unfounded legal challenges are still to come, despite both Republican and Democratic election officials saying many times that there have been no voting irregularities or wide spread fraud.
Some news reports have said that Trump is acting like this because he’s fearful of being prosecuted for crimes once he leaves the office and was hoping that by winning a second term the statue of limitations would have prevented legal action against him. That tactic, thank God, is not going to work.
Other reports say that Trump is acting like this because it’s part of his plan to galvanize his race for a re-run in 2024. The problem with that strategy is that it will also galvanize the Democrats and independents to vote against him again.
What cannot be disputed is that Trump couldn’t care a plug nickel about destroying America’s reputation or democratic traditions. He is a traitor to America’s democratic heritage and so are his cohorts.
The 2020 election campaign has punctured the myth that Trump is a master politician. His first mistake was calling the deadly coronavirus a “Democratic hoax.”
His second mistake was not taking Joe Biden seriously.
His third mistake was thinking he was he was invincible.
But his biggest mistake was thinking that he could lie his way to a second term.
About the Author: Arthur Solomon, a former journalist, was a senior VP/senior counselor at Burson-Marsteller, and was responsible for restructuring, managing and playing key roles in some of the most significant national and international sports and non-sports programs. He also traveled internationally as a media adviser to high-ranking government officials. He now is a frequent contributor to public relations publications, consults on public relations projects and is on the Seoul Peace Prize nominating committee. He can be reached at arthursolomon4pr (at) juno.com and ArtSolomon4pr@optimum.net.