You'd be hard-pressed to find an American who doesn't remember where they were on the night of November 8, 2016, when then-candidate Donald Trump defied almost every prediction and won the presidential election.
After the nation picked its collective jaw up from the floor, pundits on both sides of the aisle attempted to assure the United States that we'd made the right call; that Trump may not be an exemplary man, but that the office of the Presidency calls those who occupy it to rise to greater dignity and moral clarity.
That didn't happen.
Journalist and media personality Soledad O'Brien pointed out just how wrong some of the predictions made between November 9 and Trump's inauguration on January 20 were.
O'Brien shared part of a column by Washington Post Kathleen Parker, titled Relax, Whoever Wins, We'll Be Fine.
Ah yes this, from that frequently-wrong-columnist Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post: (Nov 6th 2016. Column ent… https://t.co/7tjOpzteba— Soledad O'Brien (@Soledad O'Brien)1578065858.0
Parker writes in the article:
"There won't be a wall. He won't impose any religion-based immigration restrictions, because even Trump isn't that lame-brained. He'll dress up and behave at state dinners and be funny when called upon. He'll even invite the media to the White House holiday party. He won't nuke Iran for rude gestures. He won't assault women. He and Vladimir Putin will hate each other, respectfully."
Uh...we should probably take this point by point.
"Not even Republicans are eager to follow Trump's lead."
Aside from the rare condemnation of inexcusable remarks, Senate and House Republicans have stayed devoted to their party's leader at an almost unanimous level.
"There won't be a wall."
Trump shut the government down with his efforts to secure funding for new wall in January of 2019. Though Trump assures that the wall is being built, no section of new wall has been added. Already existing fencing has been repaired or replaced. The wall, however, remains one of Trump's most important goals.
While there may not be a wall, children remain separated from their immigrant parents and border detention centers are still packed to the brim with nonviolent undocumented immigrants.
"He won't impose any religion-based immigration restrictions, because even Trump isn't that lame-brained."
Yes, he is.
Seven days after his inauguration, Trump issued Executive Order 13769, colloquially known as Trump's Muslim ban. The order banned entry from numerous predominantly-Muslim countries. After a years-long court battle, the Supreme Court upheld the third iteration of the ban, which now bars refugees from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States.
"He'll dress up and behave at state dinners."
That this was ever in doubt is probably a sign Trump isn't fit for office, but I digress.
Trump originally vowed not to hold state dinners.
Trump 2016: ‘We’re not going to have state dinners’ Trump 2018: *Hosts state dinner* https://t.co/ktqpQ3RuAn— NowThis (@NowThis)1524713580.0
His tradition of feeding athletes fast food when hosting them for White House dinners and lunches raised some eyebrows.
President Trump welcomed the North Dakota State University football team to the White House to congratulate them on… https://t.co/PeHeYXXGPw— CNN (@CNN)1551729329.0
Not to mention, Trump's constant alienation of U.S. allies threatens to make state dinners an awkward affair.
"He'll be funny when called upon."
Trump is actually funnier when not called upon.
.@realDonaldTrump draws laughs from world leaders at the UN as he claims he's accomplished 'more than almost any ad… https://t.co/HFTYKZg5Lr— SBS News (@SBS News)1537909161.0
President Trump campaigned on the promise that under his presidency, the world would no longer laugh at America. B… https://t.co/6i0qVH4JHI— Hardball (@Hardball)1575506976.0
"He'll even invite the media to the White House Holiday Party."
Trump cancels White House holiday party for the media, ending tradition that included picture-taking. The latest ca… https://t.co/Wx1RK5nWva— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz)1544700314.0
.@realDonaldTrump says he won't attend this year's White House Correspondents Dinner. "The dinner is so boring an… https://t.co/EndVFqSnpo— Washington Examiner (@Washington Examiner)1554474058.0
Trump popularized the moniker "enemy of the people" to address the press, and his rhetoric saw one of his supporters sending bombs to perceived enemies of Trump, many of them media personalities.
There hasn't even been a daily White House press briefing in nearly a year.
"He won't nuke Iran for rude gestures."
In 2018, Trump pulled out of the Obama-era Iran deal, relieving Iran of its agreement to stop exploring possibilities for weapons of mass destruction.
Tensions in the area continue to escalate, with a recent airstrike threatening to bring the United States into yet another war in the Middle East.
"He won't assault women."
When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work… https://t.co/xpJpbroNNB— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1534246271.0
“Federal Judge throws out Stormy Danials lawsuit versus Trump. Trump is entitled to full legal fees.” @FoxNews Grea… https://t.co/PkrqjqPf6y— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1539702272.0
"He and Vladimir Putin will hate each other, respectfully."
Trump infamously sided with Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence officials.
'He gave me a very strong and powerful denial' - Donald Trump sides with Vladimir Putin over the FBI on alleged Rus… https://t.co/I1nvNaMVH8— ITV News (@ITV News)1531770288.0
He's spoken privately to Putin more times than we thought.
Trump has spoken privately with Putin at least 16 times. Here’s what we know about the conversations. https://t.co/DD5Y2RIU2C— The Washington Post (@The Washington Post)1570210022.0
And the Mueller Report revealed numerous Trump campaign officials working with Russians to elect him.
Moderates had underestimated Trump the whole time, as people pointed out.
@soledadobrien I heard similar things from Trump supporters. My response " Trump being in the White House will not… https://t.co/RIuexbkEoC— 🎄🌊OasisThemepark 🎄 (@🎄🌊OasisThemepark 🎄)1578068842.0
@soledadobrien Everyone who said this really meant “Whatever happens, I’ll be fine”— Ashley Nicole Black (@Ashley Nicole Black)1578075125.0
@soledadobrien Anyone who thought this was not paying attention to what was happening in the Republican party. How… https://t.co/xlEJCE9JY3— JT_ChrisIsDoingLife4Free (@JT_ChrisIsDoingLife4Free)1578068158.0
@soledadobrien My God! She was wrong about every single thing she mentioned! That’s quite an accomplishment.— Unpresidented (@Unpresidented)1578067510.0
Imagine what he could do with another four years. Then vote.