Say Cheese, Donald

Derek Hunter
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Posted: Apr 07, 2016 12:01 AM
Say Cheese, Donald

Donald Trump does not lose well. He’s been losing a lot lately, and practice has not made for perfect.

In Wisconsin, Donald Trump lost by a lot. That did not sit well with him. The statement his campaign released after the humiliating loss was everything we’ve come to expect of him – petty, childish, whiny, etc.

It reminds me of when I used to babysit my nieces and they wanted another cookie. Temper tantrums are more or less natural from toddler girls, but they are not in any way presidential.

You should read what I’m talking about. After losing Wisconsin, Trump did not hold one of his press conferences, go before any TV cameras or even call into one of the cable news shows so favorable to him. He didn’t even have the courtesy to congratulate Cruz on his victory.

No, all he did was release a statement from his faceless campaign. It read:

“Donald J. Trump withstood the onslaught of the establishment yet again. Lyin’ Ted Cruz had the Governor of Wisconsin, many conservative talk radio show hosts, and the entire party apparatus behind him. Not only was he propelled by the anti-Trump Super PACs spending countless millions of dollars on false advertising against Mr. Trump, but he was illegally coordinating with his own Super PACs (which is illegal) who totally control him. Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet—he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump. We have total confidence that Mr. Trump will go on to win in New York, where he holds a substantial lead in all the polls, and beyond. Mr. Trump is the only candidate who can secure the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination and ultimately defeat Hillary Clinton, or whomever is the Democratic nominee, in order to Make America Great Again.”

Childish.

Trump has left the sore-winner camp, setting up shop in the tinfoil hat bunker.

To say Cruz “is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump” is asinine. Rather than make the case for him, the Trump camp chose what they always choose – to knock over the board and end the game.

It doesn’t matter what you think of Trump. When the opportunity presents itself for him to act like an adult, he always proves he can’t.

Many people like that about him…and many people watch “Bum Fights” on YouTube. It’s easy to appeal to our baser instincts, but we’re supposed to strive for more from a leader.

Being a representative republic has insulated this country from a lot of mistakes based on whims of the moment. It allowed cooler heads to prevail in times when “do something” was the battle cry. In the time of Twitter news, the age of the immediate in which we live has given rise to our worse selves.

Thankfully, the president is not elected by popular vote. The Electoral College mercifully spared the country a President Al Gore.

Presidential nominations aren’t awarded by popular vote either. The people vote for representative delegates who, in turn, select the nominee. Trump either doesn’t understand this or refuses to acknowledge it.

Had Trump taken his wife’s advice and set a “presidential” tone, his prospects for the nomination wouldn’t be so dire.

The rules are clear – you have to win the votes of 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination. It’s like running a marathon – leading after 25.2 miles means nothing. To get across the finish line, alliances will have to be formed. In this, perhaps the most important aspect of accomplishing anything in politics, personal relationships and respect matter. Donald Trump has exhibited an unwillingness and inability to do either.

If Donald Trump is not the Republican nominee leaving Cleveland he will have only himself to blame. Everyone understands politics is a contact sport, but like in sports there are lines.

In the absence of policy specifics and knowledge, Trump substituted showmanship. Unfortunately for him it was the showmanship of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. The lack of any sense of magnanimity or humility will get you high ratings on TV and a lot of Twitter followers, but it won’t endear you to many people who care passionately about the issues facing the country.

All of Donald Trump’s problems going forward are of his own making. He can blame the “Establishment” boogeyman for his loss in Wisconsin, and his devotees, for whom he can do no wrong, will believe it. But it has become apparent there simply aren’t enough of them to drag him across the 1,237 line.

He should’ve had staff smart enough to recognize this eventuality a month ago. He didn’t, and judging by his statement Tuesday night, he still doesn’t.