I’m writing in response to John Lengemann’s letter in the January 13 edition of the Tri-City Times expressing dismay at Donald Trump’s behavior since losing the election. Respectfully sir, have you been living in a parallel universe for the past five and a half years? Here on Earth-1, Donald Trump has never shown the slightest hint of a capacity for humility and graciousness.
This is a man who, during the campaign, was so incensed at receiving criticism from John McCain that he snapped “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured,” during an interview. His inability to let bygones be bygones was so great that he didn’t even have the graciousness to attend McCain’s funeral, and continued to attack him and his legacy long after his death.
This is a man who, when he was losing in primary polling in Iowa, famously asked, “How stupid are the people of Iowa?” Later, in a preview of what would come later, he questioned the legitimacy of the Iowa caucus after finishing second to Ted Cruz, demanding either a second vote or the nullification of Cruz’s victory in the state.
This is a man who, when he won the election in 2016, immediately started spreading false claims of voter fraud, because he was so incapable of reconciling himself with the fact that despite winning the Electoral College, he lost the popular vote by several million votes.
Regarding his calls for and incitement of violence, this too is nothing new. We’re talking about a guy who offered to pay the legal fees of supporters that “roughed up” protesters at his rallies.
He spent the 2020 campaign laying the groundwork for his supporters to believe that the election would be stolen, saying that the only way he could lose was if the election was rigged (despite routinely trailing in the polls by significant margins) and his campaign was openly discussing their strategy for contesting the election, stating that they hoped he’d be “ahead” in enough states to try to claim victory on election night and then immediately demand that vote counting stop. Should we be surprised that that’s exactly what he did?
Finally, I’d just like to take a moment to acknowledge the former representative for Michigan’s 10th district, Paul Mitchell. I’ve been very critical of Mr. Mitchell in the past, particularly in letters to this paper. I still disagree with him vehemently on basically every issue of importance to me. But I would be remiss if I didn’t extend a sincere thank you to Mr. Mitchell for demonstrating a level of character that is sorely lacking in politics today. Mr. Mitchell has spoken up against the behavior of this president in a way that few elected Republicans have found the courage to do. He’s called out Trump’s baseless lies about the results of the election, and in the wake of the attempted insurrection at the Capitol, called for Trump’s removal from office. If there were more politicians like Mr. Mitchell in office, who are loyal to our country before their (in this case, former) party, perhaps we could get a lot more done in this country to provide a safe, functioning, prosperous society for all. Sadly, his successor, Lisa McClain, does not seem to share Mr. Mitchell’s commitment to our democracy, having voted to overturn the results of a free and fair election.
—Eric Lopiccolo-Schmidt, Flint