We Choose Whether Trump is Legitimate

Given what I wrote in my last piece about the country being in cardiac arrest, Byron York’s effort to parse the meaning of “legitimate president” seems like so much whistling past the graveyard. It’s a game of gotcha where the idea is that anyone who sincerely believes that President Trump wasn’t elected in a fair, square, and constitutional manner must be some kind of half-mad far left conspiracy theorist.

It’s true that you can distinguish between folks who believe the election was outright stolen and people who think it was unfairly influenced. There are those who think that Trump won according to the rules but that the rules should be changed so that the loser of the popular vote doesn’t win the election. There are those who think that the FBI director’s interference made a decision difference, and since Comey’s actions were illegitimate, that makes the result illegitimate. There are those who think that the drip-drip-drip of Russian-pilfered leaks fatally undermined Clinton’s credibility, bringing her down to Trump’s level. They don’t think a foreign power should be able to change the course of our history through criminal interference in our political process.

Only a small minority think that the actual count was off. People voted how they voted.

Getting caught up on the word “legitimate” is a waste of time. The important thing is that we now have a president who wants to help Putin destroy the European Union, dismantle NATO, and crush the pluralistic, ecumenical, secular Western left in the name of white supremacy and a petro economy. The question shouldn’t be whether Trump was elected legitimately but who wants to go along with his program?

There are parts that the Republicans like. Most of it, however, is so hostile to American influence and any common conception of American interest, that’s there is little division between Democrats and Republicans in opposing it.

At least that was the case until, perhaps, now.

Byron York is playing by the old rules, but those rules are obsolete.

We choose whether what Trump wants to do is legitimate. And, for Republicans, now is the time to choose.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.