There are gloating critics who claim that Trump is unable to accept being the thing he hates most — a loser. A loser? In 2016, Trump was an amateur politician who bested the Republican establishment and a crowded field of experienced GOP opponents. He was given no chance against a formidable Democratic Party establishment candidate, but celebrated one of the greatest upsets in presidential election history — in part by putting into play states long believed lost to the GOP, but now up for grabs for years to come.
He kept campaign promises in the face of overwhelming resistance that began even before he was sworn in, outlasted politically driven investigations and an impeachment, crafted a judiciary largely in his image and nearly pulled off another upset against the predictions of pollsters who forecast a Biden blowout. If that’s the definition of a loser, we should all sign up.
But now, Trump must do that which he abhors — the traditional and the expected. He must acknowledge that Biden is the president-elect, begin cooperating in the transition, host the Bidens at the White House, and stand quietly and respectfully to the side on Jan. 20 to demonstrate to the world that even the Great Disrupter respects the United States’ tradition of a peaceful transfer of power.
Failing this, Trump forfeits his right to wield influence or reengage in our political process, either as candidate or kingmaker.