In 1801, President John Adams, George Washington’s successor, lost the presidential election and relinquished his power to the winner, Thomas Jefferson, thus initiating very early in the history of the young democracy the tradition of respect for the election results and the peaceful transfer of power. This was the foundation of American electoral democracy that Donald Trump saw fit to attack once again, on Wednesday evening in Las Vegas, by refusing to say whether he will accept the outcome of the Nov. 8 election — which Hillary Clinton will probably win.

At the end of the evening, his spin doctors pushed the matter further on media websites and defended their candidate’s derogatory remarks, untruthfully asserting that following the 2000 election barely won by George W. Bush, Democrat Al Gore had done no differently when the imbroglio erupted concerning the results in the state of Florida.

We eagerly await Nov. 8, so we can be done with this circus.

One manipulation leading to another, the ambiguity that Trump maintains concerning the recognition of the ballot results is induced by the accusations of “rigged elections” that he has made for weeks — which, we must remember, ignores the well-documented fact that in terms of “rigged elections,” Republicans have long been the best at employing minority voter suppression tactics.

The man continued, during this third and final debate, to show signs of self-destruction — all while managing to win approximately 40 percent of potential voters, which is truly frightening. In fact, for all the outcry provoked by his recent declarations, it turns out that they aren’t considered sacrilegious by the Americans who support him tooth and nail. On the contrary, his challenge to the legitimacy of the electoral process is moving in the direction of the charge that he leads against the establishment and an incorrigibly two-sided political sphere.

Clinton was very clever on Wednesday, failing to be transparent. She danced quite well around the questions about WikiLeaks and the Clinton Foundation. She continued to sail toward the presidency.

Defeated, Trump will end up returning to his land of reality television. But the campaign will have left its mark, indubitably. Of what, then, will Clinton’s presidency consist? Between the ideologies of Trump and Bernie Sanders, one must hope that in actions and not only in words, she will make the effort to take on a national project that is a bit less responsive to the appetites of lobbies and the elite — and a little more to the needs of the people.