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Our years of living dangerously are coming to an end. The same Electoral College that bestowed a victory upon him in 2016 handed Donald Trump his head in 2020.

With all due respect to President-elect Biden, the historic numbers of people who cast their ballots for him were more likely voting against his opponent. If the results were far from the total repudiation that many hoped would be handed the three-ring circus this nation has been forced to endure for the past four years, at least the ringmaster got his walking papers.

Mr. Trump should try and look at the good side of things. Now he has time to figure out how to avoid the $421 million he owes in debt payments that are coming due soon. Given the fact that one of the banks is notorious for laundering money for criminals, I don’t think his by rote strategy to stiff his debtors and call himself “smart” will sit very well with them.

Mr. Trump, who has a long history of defaulting on loans, assured Savannah Guthrie that the amount is a pittance compared to his total worth and that he took on the debt as “favors to institutions that wanted to loan me money.”

You have to admit, our lame duck president was good for some laughs once in a while.

Did you ever notice that, for Mr. Trump to appear successful, everyone else has to be lying or fake or corrupt? Whether it is the news media, business associates, officials who left the administration in disgust, scientists and medical professionals who tried to warn the nation about the pandemic, or climatologists who are still warning us about the consequences of global warming. They are all liars and distorters and only the beacon shining out from Mr. Trump’s golden head can save us from the rocks of destruction.

An awful lot of people fell for this hooey and, given the closeness of the election, astonishingly are still buying it. I guess P. T. Barnum was right.

Never underestimate people’s capacity for self-delusion. How else could anyone claim to possess Christian values and support an administration that locks children in cages? It is easy to profess to hold Christian values when you don’t have to witness the atrocities in all their stark horror; when you can blithely dismiss them by telling yourself it’s just another example of fake news. Just imagine for a moment your child being separated from you and thrown into a cage because demented political ideologues feel threatened by the fact that people who immigrate to America pose a threat to the old white guy status quo.

Now, Trump has set his sights on democracy itself because he doesn’t like the decision that the American people made at the polls on Nov. 3. It is curious how the right always howls about infringements to the Constitution whenever something doesn’t suit them. An intelligent approach to gun control is a good example. But they are willing to sacrifice one of the most fundamental rights given to people living in a democracy — the right to choose who leads their country — for the sake of blind allegiance to a man who lost both the popular and the electoral votes and is pathologically incapable of admitting defeat.

Someone should have explained to Mr. Trump that he didn’t have “dibs” on any state. Constitutional scholars have scoured the document and can’t find the word anywhere.

As he has done throughout his entire business life, Trump is counting on the legal system to bail him out. It has often deflected serious financial consequences for his chronic failures to pay back loans. The fake news strategy that allowed his supporters to disregard every negative story from responsible news sources in the country has now become the rigged election ploy. Mr. Trump is dragging himself, once again, into courtrooms self-hammered onto the Cross of the Mightily Wronged.

Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenny said that it was time for Mr. Trump to “put his big boy pants on” and congratulate Joe Biden on winning the presidency. I think that there is probably a better chance of someone writing a two-volume assessment of Melania Trump’s accomplishments as First Lady.

Heaven only knows what America will be forced to endure while Donald Trump vents his fury on the country he feels has betrayed him. We can only hope that members of the Republican Party, who have cowered in fear of invoking his wrath for four years, will now sense that the tiger has lost most of his teeth and start considering the good of the nation.

It may very well be that the most difficult job that is facing President-elect Biden is bridging the ideological chasm that Mr. Trump has both deepened and exploited in America. If this column doesn’t particularly reflect any effort on my part to begin the healing process, it is going to take a while longer for me to apply an unemotional perspective to the enormous amount of relief I felt when the results in Pennsylvania were announced and this country took a step back from the fascist cliff it has been teetering on for so long.

On January 20, whether he likes it or not, Donald Trump will no longer be an occupant of the White House. He will be a trespasser and all the lawyers and the lies won’t change that fact. I have tried not to gloat, I really have but, as far as Donald Trump and his entire motley entourage are concerned, I will say — despite Mr. Biden’s admirable plea for civility: Good riddance.

Alden Graves writes a regular column for the Banner.


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