Diane Dimond: Knock it off, anti-Trump protesters
Stop it. I’m tired of turning on the news or picking up a newspaper and seeing your pouty faces, screaming for what you think you are due. I’m sick of reading your ill-informed signs adorned with swastikas and promises to beat back fascism. And especially odious are your signs that read, “Trump: Not My President!” Makes one wonder whether you’ve ever studied the real evils of history.
Yes, he is your president. Or he will be, come Inauguration Day. It doesn’t matter whether you voted for Hillary Clinton or wrote in someone else’s name. The contest is over. Trump won fair and square under rules that have been in place for more than two centuries. Stop acting like the outcome should change just because your favorite didn’t win.
This isn’t one of those modern-day sporting events, where everybody gets a trophy no matter who won. This isn’t a game to be played in one of those university “safe spaces,” where no one is allowed to do or say something that might upset another person. This isn’t your pampered workplace, where everyone gets an equal say in how the business works. No. This is real life, based on a historic system called the Electoral College that was designed to give every state an equal per-population say on who is elected president.
For those of you who have been stomping your feet and screaming with spittle flying into the wind about doing away with the Electoral College, take heart. Maybe, just maybe, that will become a reality in your lifetime. But it is not the system we have in place today.
Retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is the latest in a line of lawmakers to introduce a bill to expel the Electoral College via a constitutional amendment. Not an easy task.
First, the issue is unlikely to be brought up during this lame-duck session. If, by some miracle, Congress were to pass Boxer’s legislation, it would not take effect unless three-fourths of the states ratify it within seven years of its passage.
To protesters who really want to do more than march in the street: You might want to work for National Popular Vote Inc., the nonprofit that supports the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, or NPVIC. It is an agreement among states to award all their respective electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote in a given election. So far, 10 states and the District of Columbia have signed on in support, representing just 165 electoral votes, far below the 270 needed to win a presidential election.
But note: Experts who study this stuff think that even if the NPVIC could get enough support, court challenges would be inevitable. The U.S. Constitution forbids states from entering into any agreement with another state without the consent of Congress.
See? The Electoral College system won’t be easy to abolish, as so many of you demand. It has long endured, not because the system is rigged but because it was carefully crafted and meticulously recrafted when necessary.
I can’t help but wonder, if your candidate had won, would you still have been so vociferous in your demands to scrap the Electoral College? I doubt it.
For those who believe endless street protests are the answer to their unhappiness, here’s another reality check: Voters soundly rejected the Democrats’ tiresome drumbeat projecting that America must bow to a myriad of individual and special interest groups’ needs and set aside what is best for the country. Take a moment to check post-election maps that lay out the state-by-state results. The color red permeates. Republicans now lead in governorship (33 to 15), the U.S. House of Representatives (238 to 193) and the U.S. Senate (51 to 48). And of course, a Republican won the White House.
No, your team didn’t win. Sorry about that. While I respect every American’s right to peacefully demonstrate, it is time to move on; time to figure out a way to work within the system toward the change you want; time to reflect on protesters that decry candidate Trump’s name-calling while holding signs that say he’s evil, a racist, a misogynist, a dictator-in-waiting and other vile names.
Yes, if Hillary Clinton had been elected, we would have undoubtedly had a smoother transition period. But if Clinton had won, let’s be honest, conservatives have never been known to hit the bricks in rowdy, confrontational and sometimes violent street protests. The old tea party demonstrations of 2009-10 looked like Bible revivals compared to what’s happening today.
And finally, ask yourselves, what have the anti-Trump protests accomplished? Like a spoiled child who throws himself or herself on the ground for not getting more playground time, it does very little – except in one regard. The continued demonstrations have denigrated our political system and maligned the office of the presidency. It is a lousy message to send the rest of the world.
Be careful, because the office you diminish today will undoubtedly be occupied by a Democrat in the future.
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