Putin at annual conference 23 december Natalia Kolesnikova/Getty Images

Comrade Trump and the Truth

When US President-elect Donald Trump takes office this month, Americans will be more divided than they have been in years. Never before has an American presidential inauguration been met with so many hosannas from the country’s oldest foe, Russia, and with such nervous anguish from its closest allies.

OXFORD – When US President-elect Donald Trump takes office later this month, Americans will be more divided than they have been in years. Never before has an American presidential inauguration been met with so many hosannas from the United States’ oldest foe, Russia, and with such nervous anguish from its closest allies.

And never before has a US president been elected with such a popular-vote deficit: 2.8 million and counting. The leader of a government that is supposed to be of, by, and for the people has been elected by a clear minority of those people. It is fitting that only the Kremlin shares this idea of democracy.

Of course, educated observers know that US presidential elections are not decided by the popular vote, but by the Electoral College. The Founding Fathers created this system as a compromise between the popular vote and a vote by Congress, to balance the influence of each state. Alexander Hamilton reckoned that the Electoral College would prevent unqualified candidates with “talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” from being elected. This rather confirms my view that the men who drafted the US Constitution had a sense of irony.

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