Back to His Old Tricks

Back to His Old Tricks

Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

No sooner did the turkey, stuffing, and side dishes get digested, it appears that Trump got right back to his pre-Thanksgiving menu. Once again he responded vigorously to criticism within his own party and challenges raised outside it against him. Demonstrating that his own personal thin skin was not fattened at all by the probably butter-ball beast he consumed at his Thanksgiving dinner.

Apparently all is not totally at peace in Trumpville as they begin their final round of dickering over who will be the next Secretary of State. What seems to be clear at this point is that Trump is furious that Kellyanne Conway went public in her criticism of a possible appointment of Mitt Romney as Secretary of State suggesting it to be a betrayal of Trump’s supporters.  Challenging the very notion that Trump would consider Romney over Giuliani made the president-elect apparently exploded in his twittering responses.

Similarly, Trump was outraged at the thought that there even could be a thought of questioning the votes in any states, despite the fact that there were questionable illegalities and/or miscounts. Trump clearly saw demanding a re-count of an election he had won as a personal attack against him.

For Trump there was no legitimacy for the public’s or other candidates’ under the law to demand a recount where they saw improprieties. As he had during the campaign when he charged Hillary with trying to steal or rig the election; he now exploded at the prospect of a “fixed” recount. Trump turned on his twitter account in a full frontal attack mode against Hillary and all those endeavoring to facilitate the re-recount. (This despite the fact that none of the re-counts are likely to be successful enough to overturn the election.) One could only imagine how Trump himself probably would have responded had he been the one demanding a re-count.

The real danger in watching this latest, post-election, set of impetuous explosions from the president-elect, is to consider how he might respond to a foreign leader—friend or foe of the U.S.—who criticized Trump’s position after a  phone call or an oval office meeting. One only could imagine the nature of the uproar which Trump would precipitate as the consequence of such behavior; what effect it might have on U.S. foreign relations. If Trump cannot engage in dialogue and accept disagreements and defeats, any type of “deal-making” from the renowned, real estate deal-maker suggests U.S. diplomacy may be facing enormous challenges over the next four years when Trump might not get his way. 

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