November 19, 2020 at 7:32 am EST | by Peter Rosenstein
Trump must exit stage right
transgender military ban, Donald Trump, Trump administration, mid-term elections, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The time has come for Donald Trump to face the music and step off the stage. The court cases his attorneys are bringing are all being thrown out and his own appointees at the Department of Homeland Security released a statement saying, “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. No evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

No one should be surprised Trump is clinging to the presidency by his fingernails. When no longer protected from lawsuits he will find himself inundated with both criminal and civil suits and for all we know he is drowning in debt with the bills coming due. His entire family faces possible indictments in New York and potentially other states where even a federal pardon, if any were secured, won’t protect them. Trump’s crime family will finally face justice.

What he is doing as he clings to the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office is endangering the national security of the United States. Refusing to allow President-elect Biden national security briefings could leave us vulnerable to foreign interference, which was made clear by the 9/11 Commission in its report. Making changes at the top of the Department of Defense is adding to the possibility that the United States is not prepared for foreign aggression. The Defense Secretary Trump named not only can’t find the bathrooms in the Pentagon but more serious is the fact he has no idea how to access the nuclear security codes. The other new top officials are also clueless. Rumors of why Trump wanted these new people are rampant but they are there to do Trump’s bidding whatever that turns out to be.

This past weekend thousands of Trump supporters came to D.C. demonstrating their love of Trump and he did a drive by around Freedom Plaza on his way to playing golf to thank them. Yes we must give Trump credit for bringing out over 70 million voters and he is taking the moment to bask in that. However while there was no “blue wave,” Joe Biden brought out even more voters and will end the election with at least six million more votes than Trump and having flipped five states. So the moment of Trump basking in the adulation of his cult will be short lived. Despite being a congenital liar who convinced himself of his infallibility he will be forced to face the fact he lost and if he doesn’t leave on his own will be escorted off the stage. Whether he formally concedes is irrelevant as that is not required by law but is rather the custom of decent presidents in our democracy.

I believe the United States will be able to recover from four years of Trump. President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will work to quickly to overturn many of Trump’s executive orders and will rejoin foreign alliances and international organizations like the World Health Organization. The new administration will make a strong statement by having the diversity of the nation represented in the Cabinet and when they name new ambassadors. I would hope Pete Buttigieg is being considered for ambassador to the United Nations and qualified individuals like Dr. Claire Lucas are being considered for ambassadorships. Lucas would be the first openly lesbian ambassador to represent the United States.

What will take more time to undo are the frightening social/societal changes Trump wrought. He made it possible for neo-Nazis and white supremacists to feel comfortable demonstrating their hate in public. He made it possible for racists, sexists, homophobes and those denigrating immigrants to once again voice their bile in the public square. It will take much more work and time to put that genie back in the bottle than it will to change public policy.

So let us see that Trump is unceremoniously ushered off the stage and with him the sycophants he installed in the White House and federal agencies. If it doesn’t happen earlier it will be done at noon on Jan. 20, 2021, when we celebrate Biden being sworn in as the 46th president of the United States and Harris being sworn in as vice president.

Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

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