Donald Trump likes his failures in twos. He’s twice divorced, twice impeached, twice lost the popular vote. He lost Twitter and Facebook, lost both houses of Congress. It now appears he’s trying to twice incite an insurrection. He’s still peddling his lie — without evidence — that the election was stolen from him. It was not, of course. But as Donny Two Times well knows, that language is riling up the ignorant, violent cretins in his base.
Trump didn’t win the election, not by a landslide, not by a narrow margin, not at all. The 74,222,958 votes he garnered, while an impressive number, were not enough to beat Joe Biden. Biden received 81,283,098 votes, a far more impressive number. Last time I checked 81,283,098 is a larger number than 74,222,958. Yeah, that’s actually how it works. Elections are funny that way, the bigger number wins. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean you can invent your own math.
To be sure, Trump is still occasionally on the social media platform known as “Gab,” and his utterances there are far more subdued and far less provocative than the hate-speech he used to routinely employ on Twitter. Nevertheless, in the midst of various political endorsements and his ham-fisted encomium of the late Rush Limbaugh, his speech at CPAC and his statement that he’s been “persecuted” are posted to Gab to keep alive the insane notion that Donald Trump really thinks he won the election, or at least he claims to think it.
Of course, there is no mention that he’s supposed to somehow miraculously return to the White House on Thursday, March 4, the day when presidents used to be inaugurated. Even Donald Trump leaves that insane narrative to the loonier part of his base. (The last president to be inaugurated on March 4th was Franklin Delano Roosevelt.)
We already have a President, thanks, and he’s doing a marvelous job. He’s done more to heal and repair our broken country in six weeks than any president in my lifetime. But then, he had a lot to heal thanks to the toxic depredations of Donny Two Times.
But the fact remains, Donald Trump continues to advance this poisonous crap that the election was rigged and hence stolen. As soon as the 4th of March comes and goes with no Trump apotheosis, his fanatical base might start toying with murder again in response to their disappointment. I hope not.
I think we ought to hold Donald Trump directly responsible for any violence that erupts from the lie that the election was stolen from him. It seems to me that some court somewhere ought to be able to issue a gag order against him, and prevent him from continuing to publicly spout this dangerous, subversive nonsense. We shouldn’t only have the private sector (i.e. social media) and their haphazard bans, randomly issued, to keep us safe from him. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.