America’s parallel universes on display with Trump utterly defiant

Credit: AP

A week ago it was Election Day in America.  

We expected drama and anticipated a toxic atmosphere as Trump’s tough America and Joe Biden’s gentler America collided head-on in the most important election for a generation.

But no-one could have imagined where we would be today - America’s two camps occupying not just different ground, but different universes.

Joe Biden won a narrow victory, prizing the White House from the Republicans' tenacious grasp. He is now President-elect.

But in the eyes of Trump and millions of his supporters, that is a false narrative, driven by Democrats, corrupt election officials, a liberal media, and Big Tech.

Trump's ultra-loyalists believe that Joe Biden cheated his way to victory. There is no evidence for that at all.

And so we are in a bizarre world where the incumbent President refuses to concede and is going down multiple rabbit holes of conspiracy theories about a stolen election.

Trump's press secretary gave a press briefing that many broadcaster cut halfway through. Credit: AP

His spokeswoman, Kayleigh McEnany, held a press conference Sunday night that was so brazen and filled with misinformation that even Fox News cut away from it in dismay. 

A year ago Trump was speaking about the greatest hoax in history, referring to the Russia investigation and the impeachment.  

Now it’s the greatest theft in history.

And that’s only the start of it. The President believes that the timing of Monday's vaccine announcement was a conspiracy against him by the medical establishment and by Pfizer. It’s certainly true that if the announcement has been made a week earlier it might have swayed the election. It is destined to be one of the great talking points for political journalists, similar to the debate about the impact of FBI Director’s James Comey’s memo four years ago.

What is entirely unclear is what happens next. The legal challenges will surely go nowhere, since there is no evidence of fraud.

The White House is exploring the idea that Trump should hold a series of campaign-style rallies around Republican strongholds.  

It would give him the adoration he has been deprived of since Election Day, but risks increasing tension and possible violence.

Others think Melania Trump, Jared Kushner, and senior Republican leaders might try and persuade him to concede before this situation gets totally out of control. 

The President was playing golf when he was informed of Joe Biden's win. Credit: AP

What makes the current impasse even more unpredictable is that the Republican Party is standing by Trump.  

No-one is brave enough to speak truth to power. Only a handful of Republican senators have even acknowledged that Biden has won the election.

So we don’t know what happens next. Perhaps we can’t know, because Trump himself hasn’t developed a coherent plan for the 70 days until the Inauguration. 

But at some point a situation that alternates between tragedy and farce will have to be resolved.

America requires it. So does the world, since we all benefit from the US engaging in a calm and peaceful transfer of power.