He may have toned downed the rhetoric and eased off on the hair-trigger Tweet responses, but U.S. president-elect Donald Trump is sending plenty of signals the persona he painted for himself with his words on the campaign trail was a harbinger of things to come.
That was made clear Monday when he announced his chief advisor when he enters the White House will be Steve Bannon, CEO of the unabashedly right-wing Breitbart News.
Bannon, who was in the running for chief of staff of the Trump administration, has often been described as part of the “alt-right” movement in the U.S., a right-wing faction that isn’t above misogyny, racism and homophobia to advance its ideals.
Coincidentally, those were some of the positions espoused at various times by Trump during the campaign as he whipped up his supporters, so many of whom declared they were opposed to things he said but were willing to give him a pass because they felt he would bring change to Washington.
But given Trump’s words came straight out of his own mouth, or were recorded fact from the past, giving him a pass amounts to one of just two things — those who voted for him share the anti-women, anti-Muslim, anti-Hispanic, violence-inciting views Trump espoused, or they condone them.
I don’t believe all the 59.2 million Americans (at last count) who voted for Trump are racists, bigots, misogynists or homophobes. But they voted for someone who said all those deplorable things to win their support.
Sure, some will immediately say Trump’s opponent Hilary Clinton is as bad or worse. But, while she can be criticized just as anyone running for political office can, deflection is a lazy person’s argument. It’s also, as Trump was told by one interviewer when he tried the “but-she-started-it” defence early in the campaign when asked about a public response to Clinton, it’s the argument of a five-year-old.
Having said all that, Trump was elected through a democratic process and while I can’t fathom how anyone who voted for him can justify their vote given what he said on the campaign trail, the end result is, for better or worse, he will be the next president of the United States.
So it’s ironic that the man who was vilified for not saying if he would accept the results of the election should he lose and whose supporters were believed ready to take to the streets to protest a “rigged” election, is now faced with daily protests by supporters of his opponents chanting slogans like Not My President.
Here’s a news flash for the protesters, he will be your presidents in 90 or so days. He may not have won the majority of the votes cast in the election but he won under the system the U.S. has used from the beginning to elect its presidents. And no-one was complaining about the process in the past.
Given Trump’s flip-flips so far, some of what he vowed to do as president may not actually come to pass.
But the early indications are, with Trumps moving into the White House and the appointment of Bannon, the West Wing may have to be re-named the Right Wing.
Alistair Waters is the assistant editor of the Capital News.