Legitimacy


What does it mean to be a “legitimate” president? If “legitimate” means “according to law,” then perhaps Trump was legitimately elected, since I’m not aware that a law forbids Russia from interfering in our election process. Why shouldn’t Russia be allowed to voice its opinion and implement its desires through the release of stolen emails? In fact, why shouldn’t the FBI be allowed to focus its investigations on the female candidate it doesn’t like and give a free pass to the male candidate it likes? What does any of that have to do with legitimacy, anyway?

If a liar can be legitimately elected, then it’s possible Trump is legitimate. If a bully can be legitimately elected, then surely Trump can be legitimate. If a liar and a bully can be legitimately elected – as long as the requisite voters marked their ballots for him according to our Constitution – then why can’t Trump be legitimately elected?

Exactly as Trump derides those who oppose him through his tweets, Joseph Goebbels in 1932 called Hitler’s opponents “hacks.” The same way the Nazis sought and obtained power, through the voting booths, our president-elect – so legitimately elected – promises jobs and attacks non-Christians.

If a man can be legitimately elected, even though he brags about assaulting women, even though he mocks the disabled, even though he lies, even though he bullies, then nothing makes Trump illegitimate. He does what his voters must think is acceptable, and that’s the democratic way. Isn’t it?

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About brucejberger

Bruce J. Berger has published his short fiction in a variety of print and on-line literary journals, including Prole, Jersey Devil Press Anthology, The Awakenings Review, Raphael's Village, Eastown Fiction, Black Magnolias Literary Journal, and others. He also publishes shorts stories for Amazon's Kindle. He is pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at American University beginning in August 2015.
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