clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Vote shows Trump’s bullying brand of leadership still appeals to a surprising number of Americans

I had dared hope that, despite the ugly rhetoric, the vast majority of Americans reject the bullying tactics Trump brought to the White House. No such luck.

Joe Biden (left) and Donald Trump.
Joe Biden (left) and President Donald Trump.
AP / Getty Images

This is a dark time and not just because of the coronavirus.

Kanye West — a man who doesn’t know whether he wants to preach or purge — got about 61,000 votes in the 12 states in which his name appeared on the ballot.

And get this: West got his biggest vote tally for an office he wasn’t even running for.

The Los Angeles Times reported West received 3,641 votes from Orange County residents as a vice presidential candidate for the American Independent Party, and West didn’t even know he was on the ballot.

Known as much for his absurd statements as he is for his music and his fashion, West managed to pull more than 1,000 votes per state, a minuscule amount, for sure.

But it does make me wonder about the 61,000 people who took time to vote for a celebrity who didn’t stand a chance in this historic and pivotal race. Did they think this was a joke?

After four years of governance marked by turmoil and terrible tweets and with more than 1,000 people dying daily in this country of COVID-19 (while President Donald Trump continues to deny the pandemic’s surge), I expected the president to be run out of office with vote totals more like what Kanye got than the number that went to former Vice President Joe Biden.

I anticipated there would be a delay in the vote count, but I don’t think anyone could have predicted the contest would be this close for this long. On Saturday, Biden was declared the president-elect with 273 electoral votes compared to Trump’s 213.

That’s shocking. It says we are not just divided by our political beliefs. We also are divided by our worldview.

I had dared hope that, despite the ugly rhetoric, the vast majority of Americans reject the bullying tactics Trump brought to the White House.

Biden’s reassurances to the American people that the sky isn’t falling echoed former President Barack Obama’s famous declaration at the 2004 Democratic National Convention: “There is not a Black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.”

The big map tacked to the wall at CNN’s studio tells a different story. I didn’t think for one moment that this election would boil down to razor-thin leads in Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, this contentious presidential election shows that a lot of us have bought into Trump’s bombastic and abusive leadership style.

Watching news anchors struggle to explain the math behind these close vote tallies has been tortuous because, no matter what they say, Trump supporters are going to believe the election was stolen.

It’s like watching a con man in action and being unable to convince the victim that he or she is being scammed.

Some Black voters detested former president George W. Bush not so much because of his domestic policies but because they believed Bush stole the election.

His appointment of Colin Powell as the first African American secretary of state, followed by Condoleezza Rice, the first Black woman appointed to the position, did not endear him to Black voters.

The longer this new battle over the ballots goes on, the wider the racial divide is going to get.

No stranger to court battles, Trump has filed lawsuits in several battleground states where the vote totals are close.

One of my girlfriends, a news junkie, is convinced all of this madness will be over by the end of the month. She is betting on “fair and impartial” judges upholding the law and making Trump play by the same rules every other presidential candidate had to play by.

I hope she’s right.

But we are talking about Trump.

He always seems to have an ace up his sleeve.