Donald Trump’s inability to host a single press conference as president-elect is reason enough for the Electoral College to install another leader.

By Andrew J. Pridgen

President-elect Donald Trump has not held a press conference in more than 130 days. That’s one-third of a year since the presumptive leader of the free world has had the cajones to face those in charge of seeking truth and reporting facts. Four months since he’s availed himself to answer any questions of substance about policy, plans and, maybe the biggest one of all, “Do you have any idea what the fuck you’re doing?”

The obvious answer is no. He does not.

Thus far, the Trump pre-presidency has been ripped from deepest catacombs of our Founding Fathers’ most fitful, drunken nightmares. It has also taken page upon page upon page out of every notable piece of fantasy fiction from the last century: A demented and power-hungry oligarch locks himself in his dark tower and grows insular and obsessed with his own warped self-image along with an insatiable and ultimately damning thirst for power as he actively douses the countryside and its people with his own gasoline-like venomous discharge and dangles a match from on high.

The social and political norms, unwritten rules that have carried this union for close to two and a half centuries, have been willingly and vociferously trampled by Trump and his handlers for an opportunity of untold personal gain. And his surrogates, at least for now, are either ignorant enough to not recognize these warning signs, vitriolic enough to not give a shit that they are a constant threat to our safety or sovereignty or delusional enough to think that no great harm can come from this.

Either way, they do not give a fuck about you or due process.

For its part, the press has not done a good enough job explaining why Team Trump needs to make itself available to answer questions and why that tiny little detail is so integral to the continuation of a free society. (Oh, as a side note: To his supporters who still believe in this mess, no meme or saying you can stamp on a mug is going to explain away the clear and present danger this man poses to the nation you are so eager to bring back into prominence. Sorry. These aren’t “liberal tears” you’re seeing. This is the very blood of liberty the courses through the marrow of this country that is right now seizing as it can not get enough through the body from this mangled creature’s black and empty and barely beating heart to sustain.)

….Unlike his tweets, as nonsensical, revenge-filled, juvenile, bombastic irresponsible, alluring, slanderous and damaging as they are, facing live press means he does not get to curate messages from the safety of his own lair. He, right now, gets to troll all of America, if not the world, from the comfort of his satin sheets and his gold plated toilet.

That’s something people in need of deposing do, not freely elected leaders.

This, of course, like the rest of his stupefying act, is a meritless and indefensible endeavor. Anyone can sit back and shoot flaming arrows out at peasants from behind the palace walls and pretend they’re the big emperor. But come out and face the people and it’s a different story.

Face the masses, now a gap of nearly 3 million voters strong and climbing who defeated him at the polls — more popular votes going for the electoral loser than the combined populations of Wyoming, North Dakota, Vermont and Alaska — and prepare yourself and reveal yourself. Show the world what you know and what you’re planning. Surely, oh exalted leader, you must be able to face these crooked scribes and stare them down and impress all with fact and knowledge and a cohesive plan?

Nope.

Instead it is a systematic attempt to devalue the press as he continues to lie, switch positions on policies with the change in direction of the early winter (America’s coming winter) winds and bobbing in a bubbling cauldron hot tub filled with decaying, white Republican standard-bearers, simpletons and philistines who once condemned the man and his misogyny, corruption and dearth of ideas and morals, slithering back to Jabba now that he’s about to get the keys to the three branches of government.

Make no mistake, this orange-flavored tic tac dictator-to-be is going to not only take this country for a test drive, but for a long, dark spin that can only end up in one place — the same destination as all of his failed business endeavors — launched off a very high, very sharp, very unforgiving cliff.

In Trump we have a president-elect who has no idea about the Constitution, what it says, how it works or who it benefits (hint: everyone.) He is not a scholar or a student or a statesman. He is not a man of letters or even numbers. He has, his entire life, been bailed out by family money, by banks, by the own government he now pretends to run. A vast minority of Americans have, through a loophole intended to give slave states equal say a century and a half ago, elected Big Ernie McCracken as president. And he is now pushing his toupee back in place, licking the anal warts on his maw and finally tasting the absolute freedom of being above the law.

Say what you will about Hillary Clinton or her husband Bill or Barack Obama or W or his dad or Reagan or Carter or even Kennedy, Johnson or even Nixon — the latter, it should be noted, was brought down by the print media yet refused to excoriate them in public or try to debase or disavow their work. His own legacy reduced to ash, yet he put the country first, well above his own hubris. All modern presidents have understood the necessity of a free press and they did not, not once, not ever, ignore it or try to debase it, through thick and thin, good and bad, times of peace and war and scandal and all the slow news days in between.

No single elected leader, not even on a local or state level, has so tried to sidestep and devalue the free press by attempting to supply it with their own version of news that is made of phlegm, conjecture and falsehood. Trump’s interactions (or lack of) thus far with the media has not only put a giant zit on the chin of the process, but has buoyed a fringe population that relies on fake news to somehow decry the validity of, you know, simple truths and facts. And it does so in a way that causes the bottom feeders of this kind of dross to go shoot up pizza parlors.

Trump’s is the darkest and most dangerous strategy. There is no way for anyone to counter punch when the fighter refuses to get into the ring.

He has proven in the interminable month since Election Day that he is fit to do practically anything but lead. It’s to a point where the latest polls reveal that Joe Millionaire, Jon Gosselin and Bachelor Bob Guiney all lead Trump in recent polls asking what reality star would you elect president if given a chance (again)?* And if the city of New York’s initial $35 million bill to the federal government to ensure his protection while he hides out in his tower is any indicator, he is, in the simplest terms, nothing but a drain on resources and a good old-fashioned fraidy cat.

Trump is not going to suddenly heed the gravity of the office and start acting presidential. He is a septuagenarian who is attempting to take on the world’s most difficult job with zero experience and no faculty or desire to glean the knowledge of how to go about it. He is doing it on the fly as if a fairy godmother is going to turn his pumpkin head into a sparkling carriage of ideas. He is walking into Carnegie Hall and saying he can play Bartok’s 1st when he has yet to sit down at an actual piano and show he knows Chopsticks.

The fourth estate is our most valued champion of decency and democracy. It is a noble profession. Have we forgotten all of that among all the misinformation? Surely the media makes mistakes. Surely they can succumb to the fiscal pressures of needing to exist as a for-profit endeavor. But the individuals who are in it, the hard-working corps of horrible dressers who have given up nearly everything, functioning relationships, low cholesterol and meals that don’t require Tums at the end, are still the best defenders and guarantors of our personal rights and freedoms.

And yet some in this country are willing to trade all that for tirades, hashtags and conspiracy theories.

Shoving these pitiable acts aside or dismissing them as fringe is no longer an option.

Trump for his part is doing nothing to allay concerns. Instead of facing the music he is playing Carrie Underwood and using taxpayer money (see: drain on resources) to set off on a sparsely attended victory tour.

Texas Electoral College representative Christopher Suprin, for one, has seen enough. Suprin recently wrote the following on why he will not cast his vote for Trump in The New York Times: “The United States was set up as a republic. Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist 68 argued that an Electoral College should determine if candidates are qualified, not engaged in demagogy, and independent from foreign influence. Mr. Trump shows us again and again that he does not meet these standards. Given his own public statements, it isn’t clear how the Electoral College can ignore these issues, and so it should reject him. Hamilton also reminded us that a president cannot be a demagogue. Mr. Trump urged violence against protesters at his rallies during the campaign. He speaks of retribution against his critics. He has surrounded himself with advisers such as Stephen K. Bannon, who claims to be a Leninist and lauds villains and their thirst for power, including Darth Vader.”

The election of our next president, in other words, is not yet a done deal. Electors who have a conscience can still do something about it. They actually have a legal and constitutional obligation to do so, to prevent a kakistocracy (government by the worst people) from happening.

The Electoral College rubber-stamping chosen candidates has been the norm for generations of Americans, but when the union is at stake and a despot is about to wrest power, it is time to go against the norms — just as the oppressor-in-waiting himself did to get there.

*A fake news tidbit that is sadly, believable.

Andrew J. Pridgen is the author ofBurgundy Upholstery Skywhich you should purchase for yourself and a friend this holiday season.

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