This article has been abridged by Lasha Darkmoon from a sensational hit piece in yesterday’s Daily Mail by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Cay Johnston: “A Populist Vandal Driven by Revenge.” Minor additions have been made to the text by way of brief commentary.
LD: The latest new headlines say it all: “History Calls as Biden heads for White House (The Times) — “Trump told to stop ‘trespassing’ as Biden prepares for victory (The Daily Telegraph) — “Writing on the Wall for Trump: EXIT (Daily Express).
One could go on. But it seems the game is over for Trump. His sell-by date has come.
This quote from Jonathan Cook in yesterday’s Unz Review sums up my own sombre feelings: which is one of the deepest sympathy for the losers in this long and bitter war, the losers who are witnessing the defenestration of their Messiah and the death of their dreams:
“Biden isn’t over the finishing line quite yet, and there are likely to be recounts, court challenges and possibly violence over the result, but he seems all but certain to be crowned the next US president. The rest of the world’s population were always going to be the losers whichever candidate won. The incumbent, Donald Trump, miscalculated, it seems, if he thought dismissing his opponent as “Sleepy Joe” would be enough to damage Biden’s electoral fortunes.” — Jonathan Cook, here.
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“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
— Napoleon Bonaparte
“A POPULIST VANDAL DRIVEN BY REVENGE“
— David Cay Johnston
America and the world got a taste of presidential vandalism this week and there is every indication that there is more — much more — to come.
The first hint came in the wee hours of Wednesday morning when, from a White House podium against a forest of American flags, Donald J. Trump falsely claimed victory in the 2020 election and then, outrageously, demanded that vote-counting stop immediately.
In doing so, he violated the long-standing practice in a US election that a winner declares victory only after the loser has called to concede and then publicly congratulated the winner.
But here was Trump the perverted populist, a man who, throughout his time in the White House, has disregarded reality when it failed to suit him.
No matter that he was behind in the vote; never mind the laws requiring that all ballots be counted.
He had one goal, which was to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election. And he dealt the first blow as soon and as hard as he could.
With legal actions now launched by the Trump campaign in Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada, he’s not backing down.
Forget a gracious acceptance of the will of the electorate. I reckon we’re in for a rocky ride over the next 11 weeks until Joe Biden will, in all likelihood, be sworn in as the 46th president.
My certainty that Trump will continue to strike out as his presidency enters its death throes is rooted in his own words to me over the past three decades, in his speeches and especially in his book, Think Big, in which he declares that his life philosophy is a single word: revenge.
Over 16 pages, Trump describes his desire to commit violence against those who challenge him.
He writes that what gives him pleasure is destroying the life of anyone who refuses his demands.
He focuses on one Trump Organisation executive who, for ethical reasons, declined to place a telephone call. He describes her firing, her divorce, business failure, and eviction from her home and his increasing pleasure at each stage of her worsening misery.
“If you don’t get even you are just a schmuck!” Trump wrote. “I really mean it, too.”
Four years ago, when Trump lost the populist vote to Hillary Clinton, but narrowly won the all-important Electoral College that made him president, I warned that his presidency would end badly.
Just how badly I couldn’t begin to guess.
As events of the last 48 hours confirm, he is not a man to acknowledge defeat, let alone accept it.
Since the start of his presidency he has been laying the ground for what is happening now, insisting that if he is denied a second term it will be because the Democrats rigged the vote.
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TRUMP MAY YET ESCAPE federal accountability for all the damage he and his team have done. What he won’t be able to escape are the civil lawsuits and state prosecutions piling up.
Losing the White House means he loses immunity from trial on criminal charges.
Indeed, he told one of his last campaign rallies that he might leave America if he lost the election.
And why wouldn’t he, given that he faces a miserable and expensive future tied up in criminal and civil legal proceedings—and perhaps even a New York state prison cell.
LD: In an article published here two weeks ago, David Kay Johnston suggested that Trump faced the prospect of 15 years in the notoriously grim Sing Sing prison. Given his advanced age (74), this is equivalent to a death sentence. (See From West Wing to Sing Sing.)
Donald Trump is under criminal investigation by a Manhattan grand jury which is looking into suspected bank, insurance, tax and other fraud.
A New York state attorney general’s civil investigation has dropped subtle legal hints that it is building a case against Trump, some of his children, and The Trump Organisation for allegedly running a racketeering enterprise.
Indictment on racketeering charges would allow prosecutors to immediately seize his assets, including Trump Tower, his golf courses and Mar-a-Lago, his beloved Florida estate, as the fruits of criminal enterprise.
TRUMP’S MAR-A-LAGO ESTATE
Purchased in 1985 for $10 million,
the estate is now valued at over $160 million.
“To a man who measures his life by how much money he can grab, even when cheating, lying and conning are involved, that would be a devastating blow.” — David Cay Johnston
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ONCE TRUMP LEAVES OFFICE, he also faces possible federal prosecution for the same crimes for which Michael Cohen, his long-time lawyer and fixer, was convicted and imprisoned.
On top of this, a bevy of women are suing Trump for sexual assault, slander and other civil offences. The most troublesome for Trump is a lawsuit by the writer E. Jean Carroll (pictured), who alleges he raped her in a department store fitting room in the 1990s and defamed her with his denial.
Oh, and then there is the small matter of an estimated $900 million in loans due in the next four years.
Donald Trump may pay a high personal price for his conduct. But sadly it is the American people who are left counting the long-term cost of his legacy—in the lasting damage to their health, safety and welfare, and to America’s standing in the world.