The Antithesis Of Donald Trump Lashing Out Over Election Loss

Upon waking this morning I heard the news of Donald Trump spending 50 minutes in a nasty rage this weekend while in front of top-tier donors of the Republican Party. He threw Vice-President Mike Pence under the bus, cursed out Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and even verbally went after the leader’s wife, Elaine Chao.

This morning The New York Times summed up the bombastic behavior with, “Trump used the final night of the retreat to talk about himself, his grievances and how he plans to enact retribution against those who voted to impeach him.”

As I read those words my mind flashed to the writings about President George Herbert Walker Bush on the night that he lost reelection in 1992. While recalling a lot of the stories and facts I have read over the years I admit to having difficulty remembering from which source I obtained the information. So I spent several minutes locating online where the antithesis to Trump’s behavior was discovered. It was located in Jon Meacham’s ‘Destiny and Power’, a biography about Bush.

In the Houstonian Hotel’s suite 271 on the evening he lost his bid for a second term as president of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush climbed out of bed and slipped into an adjoining wood-paneled living room. Weary but restless, he settled on a small sofa. 

It was there he spoke for his tape-recorded diary.

For now, though, Bush needed a way forward through the shadows of defeat, and he returned to a few core truths that had always guided him. “Be strong,” he told himself in his living room musings, “be kind, be generous of spirit, be understanding, let people know how grateful you are, don’t get even, comfort the ones I’ve hurt and let down, say your prayers and ask for God’s understanding and strength, finish with a smile and with some gusto, do what’s right and finish strong.”With that, the forty-first president of the United States retired for the night, rejoining the sleeping Barbara. Now he had a plan. Now he could rest. He told himself something else, too, in the days after the de- feat. “It’ll change,” he dictated. “It’ll change.”

This weekend, and prior to the latest Trump outburst, I wrote a post about how it is best when a candidate shows class when conceding an election. There was a troubling episode locally which I was addressing following the April election.

Over the years I have been able to see in real-time how a concession is handled, while more often reading or watching such a happening through the media.  But in each case, a concession following a hard-fought campaign shows the mettle of a person perhaps better than any other facet of seeking office.

I deeply respect the handshakes and quick banter that two professional tennis players allow each other following a mentally and physically punishing game.  It is an honorable way to conclude the contest regardless of the outcome.  When it comes to the end of a political campaign I also desire to see the best of one’s character shine.

The gracious nature of Vice-President Al Gore following the grueling legal wars of a recount in 2000 demonstrates the reasons character matters when it comes to our elections.  The same rules of the road apply in local elections, too.  Being graceful with concessions makes for a strong mark of character.

Bush was a classy man in many ways, both in politics, and out. His lack of vindictiveness has long been known. That his name came so easily to mind when reading about Trump proves the high road that he took in life.

And so it goes.

Trailer Park Behavior (45th) vs. Character (46th)

If you needed any more evidence of the vast difference in tone, behavior, or decorum between President Joe Biden and the other one who sat in the Oval Office you only need to learn of what happened this weekend at Mar-a-Lago.

Donald Trump had a money-maker for his business as the Republican National Committee–in an effort to assuage him–held their donor retreat at his gaudy club. On Saturday night he used 50 minutes at the microphone to again showcase his instability, lack of couth, and overall lack of being verbally ‘house-broken’.

Trump ripped into Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell before the crowd of movers and shakers with deep pockets by called him “dumb son of a bitch.”

But that was just the warm-up pitch.

Trump also went after McConnell’s wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for resigning her cabinet post after the January 6th insurrection. That comes as no surprise as he does not like strong women.

Why this all lands on CP is due to the minefield that the Republican Party created, embraced, endorsed, and now must live with. They allowed for the hijacking of their party starting in 2015 and now find the donor base wondering what in the world is to be done to end the madness. (Ahhh….stop funding it…..)

“Trump used the final night of the retreat to talk about himself, his grievances and how he plans to enact retribution against those who voted to impeach him — which runs counter to the donors’ main objective of making sure their dollars go toward winning overall.

Many major donors have been fed up with Trump’s antics since Jan. 6. While Trump was speaking, we spotted at least two — both of whom received prominent appointments during his administration — out dining with friends at a local restaurant in Palm Beach rather than sitting through the former president’s dinner at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump’s lack of interest in the state of the Republican Party also creates a problem for fundraising: Per the NYT, Trump’s new fundraising enterprise has $85 million in cash on hand, while the RNC has $84 million. This comes just days after the RNC officially responded to a cease-and-desist demand from Trump’s lawyers over the use of his likeness for fundraising. It’s just a reminder that the party can’t quit Trump — which GOP fundraiser Fred Zeidman told the NYT was “a tremendous complication.”

The continuous bombast, crudeness, and reckless behavior from Trump during his term in office were far more than this nation was willing to allow. It had to end, and it did. The rants and childish ways were an international embarrassment. After all, most of my readers know the difference between Trump and actual leadership, decency, and virtue.

Last year I read the 1912 nomination speech from Warren G, Harding, then an Ohio newspaper editor, for President William Taft at the Republican Convention. The following portion showcases one of those moments of the stark contrast between the Republican Party then and now.

The nomination speech declared that Taft was “as wise and patient as Abraham Lincoln, as modest and dauntless as Ulysses S. Grant, as temperate and peace-loving as Rutherford B. Hayes, as patriotic and intellectual as James A. Garfield, as courtly and generous as Chester A. Arthur, as learned in the law as Benjamin Harrison, as sympathetic and brave as William McKinley……”

No honest person in the Republican Party today could pen a similar type of statement about Trump. No one in the future will wish to have their political career attached to Trump. Character, after all, is not a word that anyone can employ in a favorable way towards Trump.

But the news this weekend does show the difference between trailer park behavior and those who reside at a higher level with character and intelligence.

And so it goes.