Donald Trump‘s presidency is slipping away.
Slowly but surely, the Electoral College needle is moving inexorably in his Democrat rival Joe Biden‘s favour.
Of course, it’s still technically possible that Trump could pull off another miracle like he did in 2016.
(If there’s one thing everyone surely can agree about him, it’s that nothing about him can ever be safely predicted?)
But I doubt you’d find many gamblers right now in Nevada, one of the crucial battleground states still to be called, who would lay big money on Trump being re-elected.
And the big question is what he will do if he fails.
Does the world’s worst loser have it in him to concede with good grace and dignity?
Or is he going to go down with all the shocking bad manners of a spoiled brat on sports day who loses the 100m race to someone he hates and responds by weeping, wailing, punching everyone, and screaming that he was robbed and cheated?
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President Donald Trump speaks on election night in the East Room of the White House in the early morning hours of Wednesday morning
Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware on Wednesday
Sadly, I fear we’re already seeing signs of the latter scenario.
Trump’s disturbing statement in the early hours of yesterday morning that he’d won the election and would now be going to the Supreme Court because ‘we want all voting to stop’ was a disgraceful attempt by the President to suppress democracy and stop the votes of millions of Americans being honored.
He then went further on Twitter, claiming that Democrats are trying to ‘steal the election’.
There is no evidence for this alleged theft, but hours later we saw the horrifying effects of his words when hundreds of pro-Trump protesters, many of them armed with guns, descended on a counting center in Maricopa County, Arizona, late last night as Biden’s substantial lead in the state began to fall away.
They engaged in a stand-off with police and security, and ironically – given Trump’s call for all voting to be stopped – chanted ‘count the votes!’ as workers toiled away on checking all the mail-in ballots.
Several protestors, one wearing a military vest, made it inside, forcing the center to close with terrified staff locked in.
And a local TV reporter, Kim Powell, said she was personally threatened.
‘My photographer and I have left after one protester threatened us and said he would find where we live,’ she tweeted. ‘We are filing a police report.’
Twitter wasted no time flagging Trump’s tweet as potentially misleading
In a separate incident in Philadelphia yesterday afternoon, Trump’s son Eric and lawyer Rudy Giuliani held a press conference claiming the president won the state, despite over a million mail-in ballots still needing to be counted and no news organizations yet calling the race.
‘They’re trying to cheat, they’re trying to cheat,’ Eric Trump said of the Democrats, but produced no evidence to explain how.
Giuliani then ranted for several minutes about fake mail-in ballots – but produced no evidence either to back his claim.
‘This is beyond anything I have ever seen before,’ snarled Giuliani. ‘Do you think we’re stupid? Do you think we’re fools?’
No, Rudy, but I do think you’re reckless and dangerous.
It’s obvious what’s really going on here.
Donald Trump knows he’s losing and is trying to throw as much crap at the wall as he can to turn the denouement of this election race into almighty sh*t-storm of historic proportions.
By doing so, he’s working from his Apprentice reality TV show playbook – and giving us all a dramatic season finale that could yet produce a dramatic ending and shock result.
The Maricopa County center in Phoenix, Arizona, was forced to close to the public, locking poll workers inside, when supporters of the president surrounded the building chanting ‘count the vote’
I’d certainly rule nothing in or out at the moment given the closeness of the final fluctuating vote counts and the vast armies of lawyers on both sides who are already engaged in a ferocious battle to deliver victory for their candidate.
But I do know this: if Trump persists in trying to delegitimise the election result by claiming it’s been stolen from him by a bunch of cheating Democrats then all hell could break loose.
A very worrying story flew under the radar on Monday; the FBI have conducted more firearm background checks in 2020 than in any other year – 16.5 million between January and October, with two months still to be counted.
This dwarfs the previous record set in 2016, which was 14.9 million checks, and is massively higher than 2019, when the number dropped to 12.3 million.
Apparently, the main reason for this is Americans feeling fearful for personal security due to the pandemic and George Floyd protests.
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But this means there are now many millions more guns in anxiety-ridden civilian hands at a time when tensions may explode in a new civil war sparked by Trump’s assertion he’s been unfairly robbed of the presidency.
This is completely untrue.
He’s not been robbed of anything.
If he loses, then it will be because a record number of voters preferred ‘Sleepy Joe’ Biden as the president calls him to Mad Dog Trump.
The curious thing is that if Trump calmed down long enough to see the wood for the trees, he might feel less aggrieved.
This might turn out to be an election the Republicans end up winning by losing.
Whether Biden finally crawls over the line or not, there’s been no landslide of the kind many pollsters and gleeful liberal media critics suggested there would be.
‘Do you think we’re stupid? Do you think we’re fools?’ Giuliani claimed of the vote count
In fact, it’s been an incredibly close battle that’s drawn a massive turn-out in which Biden’s already got an all-time record popular vote – but Trump has also won six million more votes than he did last time.
So, despite all his polarising, inflammatory, toxic leadership style, this has not been a repudiation of Trumpism by any means. In fact, you could argue it’s been a validation of it.
Incredibly, given all the allegations that Trump’s a vile racist, his black and latino vote has actually gone up from 2016.
Even white women, who the pollsters assured us were ditching Trump in droves, came out in bigger numbers for him.
What this tells me is that first, the pollsters have all trashed the remaining remnants of their reputations in a way so deplorably bad that they’ve probably rendered themselves unemployable, second, that all the incessant hysterical Trump-bashing from liberal-dominated Hollywood and US mainstream media backfired again, and third, that a lot of people were simply too frightened or embarrassed to admit they would vote Trump.
As Tucker Carlson put it on his Fox News show, what kind of country has America become where its citizens are too scared to publicly express an honestly held opinion for fear of retribution?
Especially when their views are shared by nearly 70 million other Americans?
At the end of the day, or week, or month, Trump may lose his nice cosy bed at the White House, which will be a massive blow to such a supreme narcissist, but it may be a blessing in disguise for both him and the GOP.
After all, he has substantially increased the Republican vote, including among minorities.
He got three conservatives on the Supreme Court.
He has stopped the Democrats regaining control of the Senate and caused them to lose seats in the House.
And he’d be passing the presidential baton to a lame-looking old man who may quickly find he’s an even lamer duck leader who has to deal with a terrible ongoing global pandemic and tremendous economic chaos – and who will have every move he makes gleefully thwarted by fired-up Republican senators.
Biden will also be tormented by the hard-left progressive wing of his own party who will push him to do all the radically socialist high-tax, oil-hating, cancel culture stuff the ultra-woke brigade like AOC love.
A defeated Trump, meanwhile, could claim a moral victory, blame ‘Chinese’ covid for his loss – which is probably true – continue to dominate the media which will be desperate not to lose his ratings-boosting power, and maybe even run again in 2024 if Biden’s presidency goes to hell and a handcart.
Right now though, America has arrived at a perilous moment in its history.
And if Trump doesn’t stop his ridiculous ‘stop counting the votes’ and ‘they stole it from me!’ bullsh*t, I am genuinely worried about what may happen if he loses.
Attacking Democrats is one thing – but attacking Democracy itself is quite another.
‘It’s not the voting that’s democracy,’ said the British playwright Tom Stoppard, ‘it’s the counting.’
Let the votes be counted, Donald.
You may even win!
But if it turns out you’ve lost then avoid the temptation to behave like a big baby who’s just had his rattle removed- and put the integrity of American democracy above your bruised ego.