2020-11-15 03:05:15 UTC
The People Versus Donald Trump
Most Americans want him to go. He wont listen.
The night is darkest before the dawn.
To see that child-man charlatan in the White House spouting lies yet
again, asserting without a trace of evidence that If you count the legal
vote I easily win, claiming that I won Pennsylvania by a lot, and
Michigan and Georgia, too, was to be reminded of the American nightmare of
these past four years that the American people seem to have brought to an
It was a nightmare in which truth died, decency was trampled, science was
flouted, division was fanned and the American idea was desecrated, as
President Trump wheedled his way into the minds of every American with an
insidious cascade of self-obsessed posturing and manipulative untruth.
In a democracy, a beautiful idea for which so much blood has been shed
over the centuries, every vote is counted and each vote counts. That is
what happened in 2016, when President Trump won Michigan by 0.2 percentage
points, Pennsylvania by 0.7 and Wisconsin by 0.8. What goes around comes
around. The difference in 2020 is that the child-man cannot accept his
treat being snatched away. A bully born on third base cannot play by the
rules of the game and accept the sanctity of the electoral process and the
As I write, it appears that Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the
There may be recounts. There will be legal challenges. But Trumps
attempted coup against democracy, for it is no less than that, will be
resisted. The United States is far bigger than this little man.
It seems almost churlish to pick apart Trumps arguments, which in fact
reflect no more than the hysteria of a narcissist for whom the phrase
Youre fired! is unbearable. He cannot seem to distinguish between
voting after the election, which would be illegal, and the process of
receiving and counting votes cast in a timely manner. Or rather, he can
make that distinction, but only when it comes to Arizona, where he hopes
the ballots still being counted will reverse Bidens lead.
Trump has another mental problem. He cannot, it seems, distinguish between
a snapshot of a moment when, for example, he was ahead of Biden by
several hundred thousand votes in Georgia and Pennsylvania on election
night and the eventual result after all votes are counted. He keeps
bleating that he won and that some vast conspiracy by the media and a
corrupt Democratic Party machine has mysteriously whittled down his
triumph until it takes on the hideous hue of defeat. Another name for
whittling is counting the votes.
Such desperation the antics of the sandbox transposed to the Oval Office
is excruciating to watch, not least because it is so predictable.
Throughout his life, when in a tight corner, having stiffed his
contractors or ushered his businesses to the brink of bankruptcy, Trump
has responded with lawsuits, lies and threats. His method was simple:
attack, attack, attack. It often worked. But until now, he has not faced
the will of the American people in the opposing corner.
An attempted coup against democracy, I said. For months now, Trump has
been peddling the notion that, as he put it in July, mail-in ballots will
lead to massive electoral fraud and a rigged 2020 election. He has
returned to the theme relentlessly, without any evidence that mail ballots
lead to fraud. This was the groundwork for a power grab.
Now it is Bidens moment, on the eve of his 78th birthday. The moment of a
man with a deep respect for Americas institutions, its alliances and the
rule of law. The moment of a man who reached out to all Americans during
the campaign. The moment of a man who became the Democratic nominee as
people turned to safe hands to confront the coronavirus and now, it seems,
will be asked to heal a wounded nation. The moment of a man who came to a
gift for empathy through the devastating loss of his first wife and two of
his four children. The moment of an American who understands that you
cannot sculpt from rotten wood, and so every democracy requires the
foundation of truth.
Trumps last-ditch incitement of his vast tribe composed of tens of
millions of Americans will cast a shadow across an eventual Biden
presidency. The battles of today will not quickly abate. But the
restoration of sanity to the highest office in the land is the
prerequisite for the rebuilding that must now begin. As Martin Luther King
Jr. put it, The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward
I think now particularly of Georgia, where a Biden victory would be the
first by a Democratic candidate in almost three decades. With its large
African-American population, and its sharp division between diverse, fast-
growing Metro Atlanta and a mainly white conservative hinterland, Georgia
was a bellwether of a changing America reeling from a pandemic and racial
Let Freedom Ring From Georgia was the headline on a column I wrote from
there in June, predicting a Trump defeat.
Democracy is messy but stubborn. It is the system that best enshrines the
human desire to be free. This massive American vote has been many things
bitter and ugly among them but above all, it has been a beautiful
testament to the power of each, single ballot in the worlds oldest
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