U.S. President Donald Trump is finishing his four-year term in the White House in ignominy. Two weeks after election day on November 3, Trump still refuses to concede to Democrat rival Joe Biden despite the latter winning by a clear majority in both the popular vote and the Electoral College.
But the reality TV star-turned president is going down fighting, even if it means unleashing civil unrest and mass violence from his gun-toting white supremacist supporters.
This abject denial of reality by Trump is a fitting end. After all, he started his presidency with the same bare-faced distortion. Remember the ludicrous media spat following his inauguration on January 20, 2017, when Trump claimed the event garnered the largest numbers ever around the Capitol buildings. Yet aerial photographs showed the opposite. Crowds were nowhere close to packing the park as at previous presidential inaugurations, contrary to Trump’s bullish claims.
Four years on, now we have Trump and cronies like his personal attorney Rudi Giuliani claiming that he actually won the vote but he was cheated out of victory by all sorts of fraud and rigging of the ballots. In the rumor-mill that passes for pro-Trump journalism, it is possible to make outlandish, unsubstantiated allegations seem plausible as a set of “alternative facts” and “alternative reality”.
Numerous Republican state officials directly involved with the voting process have rejected Trump’s claims of large-scale ballot malfeasance.
Most notably, even the Trump administration’s top election security official has roundly rubbished the conspiracies of voter fraud. Christopher Krebs, head of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, said the recent election was the “most secure in American history”.
Trump promptly sacked Krebs this week in a tweet for daring to refute his claims.
Specifically, the former cyber security expert for elections repudiated claims that vote-tabulating computer systems had flipped ballots wholesale from Trump to Biden. Again, those claims are unsubstantiated and rely on innuendo. But here’s the reality-dawning bit. The official whom Trump had appointed in 2018 to oversee election cyber security came out and categorically stated there was no rigging or fraud. Then he was sacked. That tells you everything about the delusional nature of Trump and his supporters.
A list of other claims about voting misconduct is comprehensively debunked here. It is why several judges have already thrown out litigation cases brought by the Trump campaign as frivolous and “hearsay”.
It should be noted, however, that there is indeed a serious problem of vote-rigging in the U.S. going back decades. But this rigging has nothing to do with suppressing ballots for Republicans or Trump in particular. We are referring to the systematic suppression of votes by African-Americans, Latinos and poor voters generally. Those groups more often vote Democrat.
This scandalous issue of suppressing democratic rights far overshadows the delusional claims of cheating that Trump and his supporters are touting.
The issue has resurfaced with reports that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump acolyte, has been accused of trying to debar legal votes. Fellow Republican and Secretary of State for Georgia Brad Raffensberger told media he is under pressure to resign by Graham and others after he refused to cancel legally cast absentee votes.
Reverend William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, is quoted as saying: “Lindsey Graham trying to get [the Georgia secretary of state] to not count legal votes is not a surprise. Graham has supported voter suppression tactics for years.
He added: “Election rigging is real, but it doesn’t suppress the Republican vote. It’s [suppressing] of black, brown, Native American, and poor voters.”
Trump will no doubt go to his grave forever asserting to his last breath that he was cheated from being re-elected in 2020.
And because of his godawful capacity to live in denial so too many Americans will to their grave prematurely.
Trump’s presidency is ending with the disgrace of not only him being a sullen megalomaniac sore-loser and trying to foment civil rest from irresponsible conspiracy peddling.
His bare-faced denial of reality is also the reason why a pandemic is out of control and threatening to overwhelm the United States. Remember this is the president who publicly dismissed the Covid-19 disease as nothing more than mild flu which would disappear soon.
The U.S. is now facing record daily infections of nearly 170,000 new cases and deaths over 1,000 per day. Hospitals are being overwhelmed while Trump and his supporters live in denial about the disease and the need for basic precautions like wearing face-masks. Trump’s media supporters peddle insane conspiracy about how his opponents “weaponized Covid-19”.
Trump’s denial is sociopathic. It is not just about bringing death to whatever remains of American democracy as an institution. It is bringing death to American society and the very nation.