Vanity working on a weak head produces every sort of mischief
– Jane Austen in Emma
Despite his pompous arrogance and vitriolic rhetoric since losing the November 3 election, US President Donald J. Trump, has had to finally accede to the sovereign will of the people -- a vital cog in a vibrant democratic system of governance.
With the Electoral College votes having been formally counted on January 6, at a joint session of the US Congress comprising members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, amid the violence unleashed on Capitol Hill by pro-Trump mobs; the countdown has begun for the January 20 swearing-in of Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. as the 46th President of the United States of America and Kamala Devi Harris as Vice President.
Mr. Biden obtained 306 Electoral College votes and 81,283,077 or 51.3% of the popular votes while Mr. Trump obtained 232 Electoral College votes and 74,222,965 or 46.9% of the popular votes at the November 3 elections. Incidentally Hillary J. Clinton lost the 2016 elections by failing to obtain sufficient Electoral College votes even though she obtained 2,868,519 more of the popular votes than Mr. Trump.
The inauguration ceremony will also mark the end of his turbulent presidency with the mishandling of international relations, the economy and the catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic -- as of Wednesday afternoon the number of Coronavirus cases in the US stood at 23,369,732 with 389,621 deaths.
The Congress meeting was the last opportunity for President Trump and his allies to raise any objections to the election results, which he had unsuccessfully tried to overturn in six battleground states, falsely claiming the election was stolen despite there being no evidence of widespread fraud. The Supreme Court had refused to take up Trump-endorsed lawsuits that sought to reverse the results while Federal and State courts had also dismissed his claims of voter fraud.
Like the so-called ‘tenants from hell’, who inflict the most dreadful kind of damage prior to vacating a house they had rented; Mr. Trump too caused the most amount of damage prior to leaving the White House realizing he had no more trump cards to play having failed to undermine the democratic institutions of the country, of which he was the incumbent President. He seems to have forgotten that nothing is permanent and that the people who voted him to power could also vote him out of power thus making somebody, nobody again.
Vice President Mike Pence defied President Donald Trump on Thursday as he affirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s November 3 victory, putting an end to Mr. Trump’s futile efforts to subvert American democracy and overturn the results of the election, the Associated Press reported.
It said in a move that infuriated Mr. Trump and left his own political future far less certain, Mr. Pence on Wednesday acknowledged that he did not have the power to unilaterally throw out Electoral College votes as Mr. Trump and some of his attorneys had wrongly insisted.
As the session came to an end, Vice President Pence said the count, “shall be deemed a sufficient declaration” of Mr. Biden’s victory, but offered no words of congratulations to the incoming administration. It capped an extraordinary day of chaos, violence and division after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, sending lawmakers into hiding and delaying the proceedings.
Meanwhile, President Trump is reported to have confirmed he would not attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony on Wednesday while for weeks Mr. Trump refused to concede to Mr. Biden, while promoting lies and conspiracy theories about the national vote, claiming a rigged election and urging his supporters to continue fighting. Traditionally the outgoing President and the President-elect travel together from the White House to the ceremony at the Capitol underling a smooth transition of power.
In the aftermath of the deadly pro-Trump mob violence unleashed on Capitol Hill killing five people including a police officer and a woman; Twitter, which President Trump used as his primary means of communication throughout his presidency and Facebook have banned him from using their platforms – Twitter permanently and FB till the end of his tenure. Another blow to the President is that of moves to impeach him and the PGA withdrawing from the Trump National while the Royal and Ancient (R&A), which oversees the British Open, also rejecting him and his golfing empire.
What an ignominious exit for President Donald J. Trump! We hope that under a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration, Americans will experience a breath of fresh air after all the confusion and chaos of the past four years.