The ability to lose and concede graciously is woefully on public trial in America today. Led by a president whose deficiencies in decency disallow a gracious defeat, our entire nation is being bullied and cajoled into behaviors normally abhorrent to civil, democratic thinkers.
On this very day, you’re witnessing destructive American history in the making. A manipulated group of Representatives, including our own newly presidentially emasculated Mike Garcia, along with a smattering of similarly beaten-down senators, will defile what is normally an honored ceremonial counting and acceptance of the Electoral College votes.
Manipulated by the Sorest Loser in American history, these “representatives of the people” are turning the Constitution on its head, denying the verified, certified and submitted votes of swing states that Donald Trump lost. Never mind these players won in the same election Trump lost; long-debunked claims of Hugo Chavez-led voting machine hacks and shredded ballots and dead folks voting are yet again resurrected themselves in theatrical-act-as-cover for Trump’s ego and for protection from his sore loser wrath and the resulting wrath of his sore loser base.
This is fact: Trump lost 2020 by 306 to 232 Electoral College votes. Trump lost 2020 by some 7 million popular votes. Note that Trump’s 2016 electoral victory exactly matched his loss this day, 306-232. Some you win, some you lose. Sometimes you lose close and it hurts like hell. But still… some grace and sportsmanship, please?
Trump lost the 2020 Electoral College admittedly by only tens of thousands of votes in three states. He won 2016 similarly, and by not much more.
These are facts, double and thrice checked and recounted, contested and verified by over 70 lawsuits, with a few to the Supreme Court. These are fact, despite all the crying, the accusations, the conspiracy theorizing, the bullying – and worse.
A tough loss certainly to anyone. Unbelievably belittling to a man who despises the label, “loser.” A crushing blow to man who trembles as being cast as a “One-termer.” A terminal blow to a president who lost up-ballot when others of his party won down-ballot. And the ultimate rejection by an unprecedented raw number of voters saying, “No more crazed tweets.”
But all this since Nov. 3? And now, after all the failed challenges at every turn, a disruption of normal peaceful transfer of power based on… solely the wishes of the losers?
Yet wait, because behind these scenes lurks America’s Worst Loser, dark deeds far more sinister and far more dangerous than today’s electoral vote machinations.
The Phone Call.
Trump was impeached for a similar call to Ukraine.
Extortion. Bribery. Undue influence. Attempting to corrupt. In sports, this would be bribing or extorting an umpire. Here, it’s corrupting and killing democracy itself. Anything, anything, to avoid facing a tough loss.
In his one-hour call to Georgia’s secretary of state, the Republican Brad Raffensperger, Trump plied Mafia methods, saying, “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”
Just “find” votes.
“And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
And the extortion: “…it is more illegal for you than it is for them because, you know what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense. And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer.”
Just… says the man who controls the Department of Justice.
All this is more of the borderline insane and Mafia-style criminality Trump exemplified his entire presidency, only now on post-COVID super sore loser steroids – and all at America’s expense. Trump has compromised our democracy; has likely committed criminal acts against Georgia’s election, and has purposefully divided us asunder in a last-ditch “burn it all to the ground” “try to change the score” coup.
Goodbye, America’s Sorest Loser Ever.
Jan. 20 is 14 days away. Joe Biden will be sworn in, in a quiet, pandemically sane, ceremony. Trump likely won’t attend – let’s hope he leaves the White House before Biden’s moving vans show up. Trump thus deposed, the rebuilding of America resumes.
It starts first with rebuilding decency and civility; with restoring fair political sportsmanship and respect for our constitutional norms.
“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty we are free at last.”
Gary Horton’s “Full Speed to Port!” has appeared in The Signal since 2006. The opinions expressed in his column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Signal or its editorial board.