Donald Trump Reacts to Nationwide Protests: Very Unfair!

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In the wake of news that Donald Trump had been elected President of the United States, thousands of Americans in cities as far-flung as Atlanta and Seattle assembled to engage in peaceful protest of a man whose campaign alienated Americans from all walks of life, including the leaders of the party that nominated him.

Yesterday, Trump met with Barack Obama at the White House and afterward, he spoke highly of the President and his family, and refrained from making inflammatory comments about the protests.

It seemed, momentarily, that we were seeing the beginnings of the "presidential" Trump that he had so often promised voters during his scorched-earth campaign.

The Handshake!

Then he went home and logged into Twitter:

"Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!" Trump tweeted.

"Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country," he later added.

More subdued than much of what he's posted on social media in recent months, to be sure, but the attacks on the media and the outright lies that Trump was so often criticized for during his campaign are still present in these tweets.

It's nice to see Trump showing his conciliatory side by paying lip-service to his "love" of the public outcry against him, but in the next breath he attempts to dismiss the movement by erroneously characterizing the demonstrators as small groups of "professional" protesters.

Donald Trump Protest

Massive turnouts have already been reported in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta with many more cities expected to follow suit in the coming days.

Whether it's justified or not, the anti-Trump outrage is real, and the President-elect will need to address it in a real way if he hopes to bring the nation together, as he claims is his intention.

Writing for The New Yorker back in May, Adam Gopnik described the "the three-part process by which the gross becomes the taken for granted" in his coverage of the ascent of Donald Trump.

The piece reminded Americans of how Trump was initially laughed off as a candidate, then accepted with a resigned plea for a return to normalcy once all this was over, then embraced by just enough Americans to elect him president as a repudiation of the same system that made Donald Trump a household name.

Donald Trump in Reno

Unfortunately, one of the early casualties of Trump's election is America's hard-earned reputation on the national stage, which is even now in a state of rapid decline more than two months before Trump's inauguration.

From Syria to Switzerland, out foreign enemies and allies are watching the dawn of Donald Trump's America with great interest.

Some see an opportunity; others see a human rights crisis in the making.

Donald Trump at the Third Debate

In both cases, most didn't witness firsthand the glacial pace of Trump's 17-month conquest, as Americans did.

At home and abroad, many are unaware that Trump lost the popular vote and won the White House as a result of the electoral college, an institution that Trump himself has described as a "disaster for democracy."

If the protests accomplish nothing other than sending a message to the world that Trump's election was intensely contested and that tens of millions of Americans share their concerns for the future of western democracy and the fates of our most vulnerable citizens, than it will all have been worthwhile.

Perhaps some who are chanting and waving signs in town squares across America today are hoping to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Those hopes are ill-founded, and a Trump presidency is all but a certainty at this point.

But to deny these people their right to gather in solidarity in order to publicly and loudly express their concerns and their outrage is to deny a voice to the powerless and attempt to suppress the spirit of the revolution that endowed Americans with the rights we hold do dear.

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