The Greeks had a word for it: hamartia, the tragic flaw that leads to downfall. Trump cannot go quietly, so he will end badly. He didn’t arrive quietly, but like an emperor, with fanfares and a parade of defeated rivals: the Romneyites, the Bushae, the Hispanic satraps Cruz and Rubio. He didn’t rule quietly, either. How many Republican votes did he lose in Arizona when he insulted John McCain, allowing Biden to become the first Democrat to win there in 24 years?

In fact, he didn’t rule enough — not something we tend to say about dictators, emperors and fascists. Trump campaigned on a promise of killing Obamacare, but all he did was chop off a few heads of the Hydra’s heads. They will sprout back under Biden, and the bills will keep coming in.

He cannot go quietly. For 10 weeks, the emperor will fulminate in the darkened corridors of the palace as the Democratic mob waits at his gates. The cameras will set up and wait for the final perp walk to the helicopter. The conspiracy of NeverTrumpers, having got what they wanted by doing what they promised for his enemies, now must appeal for their reward, knowing that their fate will be that of Brutus: ‘as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself when it shall please my country to need my death’. So they will prolong their conflict with Trump to defer the day when it pleases the country, or at least the Democrats, to dispense with them.