The Joe Biden/Kamala Harris win sparked spontaneous celebrations around the U.S., including Black Lives Matter Plaza outside the White House. (By Jacquelyn Martin/ AP)
Breaking up is hard to do for President Donald J. Trump.
But how easy will it be for Americans to get over him?
The relationship has been a traumatic one, but it is a relationship, nonetheless. Ending an abusive cycle is difficult. It will take time for Americans to disentangle themselves.
After five days of vote-counting, Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the race on Saturday as president-elect and vice president-elect, respectively, of the United States.
Even as people honked their car horns, danced in the streets, and cried tears of relief, exhaustion and joy, they pondered the next move of the outgoing president. Whether a Trump hater or supporter, the man has wormed his way into the national consciousness.
A narcissist, Trump needs constant attention and adulation. For nearly four years, the carnival barker has used the United States as his circus. Individual tweets, no matter how false and outrageous, have planted the seeds of days of media speculation, thereby diverting attention from genuine issues.
In short, it has been all about him.
“A Biden White House would set a wholly new tone,” said the Economist (November 5). “The all-caps tweets and the constant needling of partisan divisions would go. So would the self-dealing, the habitual lying and the use of government departments to pursue personal vendettas. Mr. Biden is a decent man who, after the polls closed, vowed to govern as a unifier.”
While votes still were being counted, Trump held two news conferences in which he claimed victory and accused “them” of trying to steal the election.
During the second press conference, the television cable channel, MSNBC, cut away from him and his lies.
“Again, we are in the unusual position of not only interrupting the president of the United States but of correcting the president of the United States.”
Later, USA Today pulled the livestream of his remarks because “President Trump, without evidence claimed the presidential election was corrupt and fraudulent . . . Our job is to spread truth – not unfounded conspiracies.”
This is a lesson in how the media should react to Trump, even before January 2021, when he vacates the White House. The U.S. president, no matter who he, she or they are, does not have the right to spread falsehoods. Indeed, Trump’s paranoia has worsened over time.
Psychology Today (May 22, 2020) wrote:
“Overall, the president’s overconfidence self-absorption, and disrespect for science and scientists appear to have rendered him unprepared and ineffective as well as dangerous. He appears to have become more aggressive, more reckless, more fearful, more stressed and more isolated. These recent patterns of behavior appear to be increasing over the past year.”
Without constant chasing of the president’s latest false tweet, Americans will find it easier to close the door to him.
The media’s coverage of truth from Trump and President-elect Biden will be far healthier and more productive for everyone.