On Thursday night, staring down the abyss of defeat, President Trump marched into the White House briefing room and did what he has always done when backed into a corner. He unfurled lies. He claimed everything is “rigged” against him. He inflated his accomplishments to vertiginous heights.
All while the votes against him in decisive battleground states ticked higher and higher, a silent metronome in the background relentlessly counting toward his political demise.
While Trump’s bluster might have been enthralling in the past—or at least hard to look away from, like a car accident—this time, the television lights made his typical bronze glow look like mortuary makeup. He was a political dead man walking. Everyone knew it. Even him. His tone was grave, which only made his lies all the more loathsome.
One would expect a man in his final hours to reveal his innermost, truthful thoughts while in such a terminal state. Trump, however, delivered the opposite of a deathbed confession. Feeble and stumbling, he kept pushing the Kool-Aid on anyone who would sip it.
“If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us,” he said.
“It’s amazing how those mail-in ballots are so one-sided,” he said after campaigning for months against mail-in ballot systems.
“We can’t have an election stolen like this,” he said, without any evidence anything was stolen.
“As you know, I’ve claimed certain states,” he said—as though the act of making a “claim” on a state entitled him to win in.
It was all loser talk from a cult leader who would rather force the ending of democracy than face the end that is coming. Either way, President Trump is talking about taking everyone around him down with him. Because if he really means what he says, and he wants to use all the powers invested in him as president to hunt down supposed “fraud” and ensure that he can stay in power, where does that road lead? Straight toward dictatorship.
Tonight, Trump’s sycophants and enablers find all their dreams that his presidency would be the most consequential and important in American history crashing down around them. We should all remember Trump as he presented himself in this monumental moment. As a babbling, incoherent, conspiracist. Our greatest presidential embarrassment.