I think it’s time to retire all comparisons between human courage and male genitalia. Hillary Clinton put into orbit the idea of class and grace under defeat. She didn’t whine, she didn’t make wild accusations of cheating (though she certainly had cause), she didn’t try to subvert democracy. She conceded the race for president gracefully. It all came down to character not cojones, temperament not testosterone.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, behaved like a petulant, spoiled, unprincipled nine year old brat. So let’s knock off suggesting that courage has something to do with the absurd apparatus only extant between the legs of males, and make it instead about what it really is: class and common decency, neither of which Trump has a shred.
Trump truculently kept us waiting for the closest thing to a propitious moment to make his 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning announcement to the effect that, even though (at the time) he was behind in Electoral College votes 213 to 220, he had somehow won. After all, who are you gonna believe, Donald Trump or your lying eyes?
That the president of the United States would make such a shameful pronouncement, suggesting that it’s suddenly time to stop counting votes before we get to the votes cast by the inner cities, many of which are votes from people of color — in the year 2020 no less — beggars belief and staggers the imagination. Trump should be impeached all over again for blatantly trying to openly to dissolve democracy. It’s not just a disgrace that he tried it, it’s a disgrace that so many Americans are just fine with it.
Whatever Trump was attempting to do, it failed. It failed, at least, with the press. No news source I know of is willing to use any words that lend credence to the idea that the vote has been fraudulent. In fact, the British press is very clear on that score. Donald Trump’s claims without evidence that the vote is rigged is itself a fraud, they say.
No one should be surprised that Trump tried this. Trump cheats. Trump always cheats. He cheats on his taxes, he cheats on his wives, he cheats at golf, he cheats contractors who work for him, he cheats on the truth, he cheats the American people. Donald Trump is a cheater, and he’s going to continue to claim that he won the election even if he should lose.
Don’t lose heart, brothers and sisters. The auspices are good just now. It’s looking like Donald Trump is about to lose this election. What’s more, most Republicans have repudiated Trump’s early morning claim that all vote counting should cease. Vote counting will continue until every vote is counted. 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.