The American constitution sets about the civilizing of Donald Trump
The US system of Government has swung into action, embracing the ‘next President of the United States of America’. Today he will meet with Barack Obama – a man whose identity as an American he has challenged again and again.
For years Trump told the world that Obama was never born an American, and was therefore an illegal President. In contrast to Trump’s refusal to produce his tax return, Obama was gracious in publishing his birth certificate.
But today Trump visits the Oval Office where Obama will hand him today’s top secret intelligence briefing. Yes, it will detail the situation of US special forces in and around Mosul whose Commanders Trump dubbed ‘losers’ earlier this week.
Joe Biden, the Vice President will have lunch at the Naval Observatory, his official residence on Massachusetts Avenue, with soon to be Vice President Mike Pence. Michelle Obama – possibly the most regarded First Lady since Eleanor Roosevelt – will meet Melania Trump to show her the White House and how it works.
The pace from hatred, war, and peace, to respect and good behavior – inside 36 hours has been breath-taking. Hillary Clinton set the American transition ball rolling with her courageous concession speech of elegance, grace, and acceptance of the victor. If her campaign speeches had been as impressive and heartfelt as this perhaps things may have been different.
At the same time, on the streets of American Cities from New York to Los Angeles, students and others came out in their many thousands to protest the prospect of a Trump’s Presidency. In New York they marched forty blocks from Time Square to Trump Tower chanting “Not my president” and “hey, hey, ho, ho Donald Trump has got to go.” They held signs that read “Trump Makes America Hate” and “Don’t Lose Hope.”
Even the President in the White House will have heard the protests in Lafayette Square from beyond his bedroom windows.
Thus not one hostile move from the Democrats. Not one hostile move even from Trump himself. America’s old boy network kicks in at such a moment. More so this year more than ever before. Trump, depicted as bigot, an extremist, ‘unfit to be President’ (Obama said it) has been silent as the ‘process’ unfolds. And New Yorker that he is, Democrat as he was, reaches out to call New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority leader. Then he calls Democrat Nancy Pelosi, House Minority leader. Not so hard seeing as Trump, a billionaire New Yorker, has known both for years and donated to their Democrat campaigns.
Yes, there you have it. Trump has been a Republican again for a couple of years – the time he’s been weighing up running for the Presidency. Talking to the people from whom he sprang is no big deal despite the visceral poison of his disgusting campaign.
So all is peace in love and war here in America today because the sanctity of the US Constitution still just transcends the swamp of verbal filth that has defined this bitter campaign. That’s America. The system is kicking in to use every device to lash the first ‘reality TV candidate’ ever to become President into the process of Presidential handover and behavior. The US ‘system’ will do all it can to civilize ‘the Donald’ during the more than two month process of Presidential transition.
The Chief Justice will swear him in high on the dais below the Capitol on January 20. For the next 71 days the verbal violence ends here in Washington, whatever happens on the streets. The Constitutional hope is that this period mellows the contest and reduces the political battle back to the traditional conduct of Government. For 71 days it will work. Thereafter, given the temperament, the unpredictability, the history of Donald J Trump, all bets are off.
Amid America’s exultation, grief, and yes, well behaved drawn-out performance of transition, the world is holding its breath.
Follow Jon Snow on Twitter: @jonsnowC4