We hurt him without even trying. We hurt him just by doing what we are allowed to do every four years.
First published in December 2020.
The morning after the US election, I posted the following on Facebook:
“It took four years, but last night, for one night, Trump slept as poorly as the rest of us.”
We’re now entering week four of post-election night (somehow that sentence doesn’t feel ridiculous at this point). I have no optimistic vision for the future. The damage Trump has done in less than four years will likely take the rest of my lifetime to fix.
The Supreme Court Trump has assembled is already showing signs of dysfunctionality. By year’s end, the Republicans will likely be in power in all ways that matter as the Democrats who preside over the party preach centrism, which will only get vilified and labeled as socialism anyway.
That is all disappointing, yet not surprising. Not to people who lived through Bush’s rise and fall. At the very least, the one surprise belonged to us.
Or maybe just to me. I watched the election night for as long as I could, bearing as much as I could. By the time I went to sleep near my computer, Trump was both ahead in the Electoral College and the popular vote (even with California called early).
I envisioned how the early morning would unfold, which in all likelihood was how Trump envisioned it:
Trump would come out and declare this election the greatest victory of Americanism versus communism in the history of ever.
He would cite triumph over the mob while his own mob would run rampant.
His online disciples would post “Game of Thrones” memes unironically and they would trend on Twitter.
The few editorial cartoonists left to work would all draw Trump in various dictator outfits and they would ironically trend on Twitter.
The so-called liberal media would have their game plan for the next four years already written out, already tested and proven from the previous four years.
“Saturday Night Live” would quadruple Alec Baldwin’s salary.
Nancy Pelosi would say something that would trend on Twitter as she made herself out to be the voice of the revolution that never quite happens.
It seemed all ready to go. I was getting ready to wake up in a more horrible version of America I woke up in four years prior. But as I slept, Trump in his Election Night speech put it better than I ever could.
The votes continued to pour in, and Trump realized his moment of t0tal capitulation had been denied him.
And he was furious.
I didn’t need a “Mad King George” rumor weeks later to know that he was completely beside himself.
Mind you, I said total capitulation was denied him. Not victory. I still believe he could still use the Supreme Court to give him his victory.
Still, the title of Greatest President the World Has Ever Seen doesn’t seem like it would fit for a man who had to call in every favor to win, let alone sees the results of his claimed win drawn out for weeks on end.
It was that early morning on November 4 that he was robbed of his ultimate moment, with the White House as the perfect dramatic backdrop. Denied forever. Not even a 2024 win will give him that moment back.
Trump’s accomplishments (by which I mean every horrible self-serving action he has committed) are so numerous, his Republican cohorts will benefit for decades to come (if we last that long as a nation).
The fact that even Republicans are trying to move on with President-Elect Joe Biden must be staggering to Trump. It’s almost staggering to me.
It seems like the beta bullies who make up Trump’s circle have finally decided they have been painted into a corner where they can’t go any further without appearing hopelessly evil to the world, not the persecuted victims they pose as.
This means they might be underestimating the ability of Trump’s fanbase to fool themselves completely and all of the time, but I’ll take it.
Even top officials debunking the idea of corruption in this election seems like they are just trying to turn our heads away from the corruption that Trump was enacting right in front of us.
And over half of America is accepting this. The other half is gearing up for Trump to lash out. Perhaps to win, but more to have him strike out in anger.
Our one comfort when the deluge starts? That we hurt him without even trying. We hurt him just by doing what we are allowed to do every four years.
Trump might very well get away scot-free. But he didn’t get his ultimate glory. He didn’t get everything he wanted.
Chad Parenteau, Writer.
- Chad Parenteau is the author of The Collapsed Bookshelf.
Check their Voting Record:
🗳️ Donald Trump
🗳️ Nancy Pelosi
🗳️ Joe Biden