Having run successfully for public office 13 times, I can readily understand why President Trump is having a hissy fit. My political mentor once reminded me that “winning isn’t everything, but losing is nothing.” Trump doesn’t like to lose, and according to his niece Mary Trump, losing was never allowed in the Trump family.
The idea of being one of only 10 presidents who ran for re-election and lost must really be galling. In the private sector, Trump had numerous ways to avoid losing. He franchised his name to be put on dozens of buildings, with no liability. He filed for bankruptcy several times, and in almost every case emerged with no obligations to his creditors. There are dozens of ways to come out a winner in the business world, but in politics, you either win or you lose.
I am among those who really don’t care whether Trump concedes his loss and calls President-elect Joseph Biden. History tells us that it’s the right thing to do. But it wouldn’t bother me at all if Trump didn’t show up on Jan. 20 for the Biden inauguration. My thinking about the departing president is colored by four years of Trump and everything he has done and stood for.
At this moment in time, well over 1,000 Americans are dying each day of Covid-19. Hospitals in so-called red states like Texas and Montana are running out of ICU beds, and the president is doing absolutely nothing. There is a coronavirus task force headed by Vice President Mike Pence, but its hands are tied because the administration doesn’t want to do anything.
Weeks ago, we learned that more than 500 children were separated from their parents after being picked up at the Mexican border as part of Trump’s crackdown on immigration. Biden called the situation a “national disgrace,” but the man who could do something about the tragedy, Trump, remains silent. I still remember then Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledging to enforce a “zero tolerance” policy on immigration in which children would be separated from their loved ones, and no one tried to stop him.
Jerry Kremer was a state assemblyman for 23 years, and chaired the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. He now heads Empire Government Strategies, a business development and legislative strategy firm. Comments about this column? JKremer@liherald.com.