It’s time for everybody — regardless of political affiliation — to get their minds around a simple idea: Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States at noon on Jan. 20, 2017 in the city of Washington.
No, the recounts going on in swing states (including Nevada) won’t change the election results.
No, members of the Electoral College aren’t going to have a rogue epiphany and decide that Hillary Clinton should be awarded the presidency after all.
No, Trump isn’t going to admit the whole campaign was a big joke and decline to assume the office.
Trump will take the oath next month. It’s going to happen. And the sooner everybody realizes this — especially those who supported other candidates — the better off we’ll all be.
Clinton initially conceded the race with dignity, so it was sad to see her campaign join the recounts instigated by Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein. Clinton campaign attorney, Marc Elias, said the campaign signed on “to ensure that the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides.”
Please. At least in 2000, then-Vice President Al Gore had some indication there were uncounted votes in Florida before he mounted his court challenge. This year, there’s no solid evidence of any problems with the vote, least of all enough votes to change the election’s outcome.
And yes, Trump’s unsupported assertion that “millions” of illegal votes were cast, and that he’d have otherwise won the popular vote, is just as pathetic as the recount effort.
Not only does insisting the election was rigged cast doubt on the process and discourage future voters, it also shows Trump has yet to grasp the seriousness of his new role. The idea — propagated by Trump’s supporters — that you can’t take everything Trump says literally should have died once he stopped being a candidate and became the president-elect.
Also, Clinton supporters need to stop tossing verbal asterisks into the air whenever somebody says “Trump won” by pointing out how Clinton actually won the popular vote by (as of this writing) more than 2.3 million votes nationwide. Winning the popular vote but losing in the Electoral College entitles you to a cup of coffee at Starbucks — provided you’ve got $3.
Here in Nevada, independent presidential candidate “Rocky” de la Fuente has demanded (and paid for) a recount. De la Fuente came in dead last — even behind None of These Candidates — in Nevada’s presidential balloting. He said he filed for a recount here because Stein could not — she wasn’t on the ballot. He says he’s very, very concerned about election fraud and election manipulation. The only thing he needs now is evidence that those things happened.
In fact, everyone who insists the vote was hacked, manipulated or tainted by widespread illegal voting — but fails to supply proof to back up their claims — should be answered with a maxim attributed to the late, great Christopher Hitchens: “That which is asserted without evidence may be dismissed without evidence.”
Losing a national presidential election — especially when polls showed you had a good chance of winning — isn’t easy, to be sure, especially for those who regard Trump’s ideology as dangerous. His early Cabinet picks portend a shift to the right consistent with a change of party in the White House, the predictable result of a Republican victory. Why, some poor souls have even reportedly required the aid of grief counselors to cope with Trump’s victory.
Let’s hope those counselors do their patients a real favor and give them a solid piece of advice we could all use: Donald J. Trump will be president. There’s no miracle coming to avoid that.
It’s time for his opponents to make their peace with it.
Steve Sebelius is a Review-Journal political columnist. Follow him on Twitter (@SteveSebelius) or reach him at 702-387-5276 or SSebelius@reviewjournal.com.