The Trump chapter will be a difficult one to close, the outgoing president’s capacity for trouble hard to ignore. It is time for self-reflection by the Republican Party.
Watching Donald Trump in total denial, clinging to power, denying the ballot results, talking about “stolen” votes, a “rigged” election and “massive fraud” without providing the slightest proof, has something pathetic and worrying about it, not to mention frankly grotesque. By seeking to discredit the electoral process, the departing president demonstrates his disregard for democratic institutions once again. He is trying to steal Joe Biden’s victory, announced on Saturday, and with his narrative, Trump is feeding the conspiracy backwaters, which bubble and feeds the anger of extremist groups. It is both dangerous and irresponsible.
Don’t Let Yourself Be Blinded by the Chaos
The certification of final results could still take days — at worst, weeks — due to legal proceedings launched by those close to the president. But don’t let yourself by blinded by this chaotic situation, nor by the acts of violence which could follow. Biden has indeed won, as the American media announced on Saturday. He will indeed put an end to four years of turbulence, and Trump, whether he likes it or not, is about to officially become the first outgoing president since 1992 to lose reelection. It’s one hell of a blow for someone who claimed to be invincible.
A Herculean Task
Of course, Biden has a Herculean and complicated task. America is deeply divided. Of course, Trump’s capacity for trouble is very much still present and should not be underestimated. Thanks to a record turnout, the Republican president collected more votes this time than in 2016; more than 69.8 million Americans voted for him. He consolidated his electoral base and even increased his popularity among minorities, a feat which would be foolish to ignore. He will also continue to rule until Jan. 20, and he could well be filled with a spirit of revenge.
It is in this difficult context that Biden will have to get the United States back on track, a country bruised by the excesses of an erratic president and weakened by the dramatic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. He will have to provide assurance to his opponents and govern with Republicans. In this strange climate at the end of his reign, Trump seems to be increasingly isolated. Even among his close circle, Republicans wearied by his lies and disinformation strategy are deserting him, condemning his inflammatory remarks, breaking away from his accusations of “massive fraud.” They could have expressed this embarrassment earlier.
It is time for the GOP, transformed by Trump, to do some self-reflection and become a respectable party again. Only then can we really say that Trump and his excesses have been confined to the history books.
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