KOKOMO – I am a partisan Republican. I voted for President Donald Trump. I wanted him to defeat Biden and arrest any further slide of our country into the grip of socialism. 

I desperately wanted to jam a Trump victory into the faces of CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, The New York Times, the Washington Post, Facebook, Twitter, Nancy, Chuck and all the rest of the usual suspects. At this point it looks like a Trump victory will not happen.  

The electoral deck is stacked against him and the massive mail-in voting and overwhelmed vote-counting operations in historically ethics-challenged Democrat-machine-run urban centers appears to present a series of hurdles that cannot be overcome. While I would never suggest to President Trump that he just throw in the towel without fully exploring the depths of potential Democrat chicanery, I would suggest that he consider the impact of his every action on our nation and on our reputation throughout the world.

While I am a loyal Republican, I am first and foremost a proud American. As an American, I do not want to see our judicial system decide elections. It is OK for judges to decide on points of election law and the intricacies of what the words “is” and “shall” mean. It is even OK for those judgments to be appealed up the line. I just don’t believe it is good for the courts to be injected into the regular operations of a free and fair election. For this reason, I do not want to see President Trump drag out this election through endless court actions. I believe this would be damaging to our long-term national interests.

The United States serves as a tremendous beacon of hope throughout the world to those who live in the shadow of oppression. We have always been the shining example of how a free people should conduct themselves and how governments should be selected. It is damaging to our national prestige that President Trump is trying to cast this election as being stolen from him without any substantive proof. It makes our nation look foolish in the eyes of the world and emboldens every tin horn dictator or dictator wannabe.  

In addition, I believe that President Trump owes it to the American people to begin the process of a smooth transition of his administration to a possible and probable new administration of Joe Biden. It is vitally important for every new administration to hit the ground running.  

A new president must have a firm grip on national security issues and his potential cabinet members should be entitled to an open exchange of information so that they may be able to do their jobs on day one. If by some amazing turn of events, the election pendulum should shift back in President Trump’s direction, then what harm would have been done by sharing information with your former opponents? I suppose you could keep some of the real juicy information such as the alien spacecraft at Area 51 secret, but virtually all other information could be shared.

I am also deeply troubled by President Trump’s rumored threats to go on a firing binge of anyone in government who has not completely kowtowed to him. This is dangerous to weaken many key departments during a transitional time and it gives sustenance to our enemies around the world. It also threatens to destroy or seriously damage the reputations of men and women who have dedicated themselves to the service of their country. They deserve much better than this. Trump’s Twitter firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper reeked of childish petulance and just outright revenge for Esper’s failure to support Trump’s demand that our military be used to put down civil insurrection in America’s cities.This is not a television reality show.  

You just can’t treat people like this. Firing a cabinet head via Twitter was not just ill-advised, it was a calculated act of meanness.  

Let’s get real. You know and I know that Donald Trump’s days in the White House are numbered. The election will not be overturned. Joe Biden will be our next president of the United States. At this point, President Trump can either leave 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with class and in a manner that reflects wonderfully on our amazing system of government, or he can go kicking and screaming like a deposed third-world dictator. The decision is his but it is a decision that will reflect on each of us.

It is difficult to tell a proud man like Donald Trump that he has been defeated and that he must accept that defeat and withdraw from the most powerful job in the world. Trump’s closest friends and advisers must come forward and tell him that he is done. They can commiserate with him about all of the would haves, could haves and should haves, but at the end of the day, it is time to be an American and accept the inevitable and help your successor get off to a good start.

The election was not stolen from Donald Trump. In my opinion, Donald Trump lost the 2020 Presidential Election for five reasons. First, the pandemic severely damaged a wonderful economy. Second, President Trump’s almost cavalier attitude about the severity of the coronavirus made him appear inept and tone deaf. Third, the virus gave certain states the ability to mail ballots out to every registered voter and the result was that millions of people who would have never gotten off their butts to get out and vote, checked a box on the mailed out ballot and sealed Trump’s fate. This was not fraud. This was politics dressed in the garment of public health.  

Lamentable, but unassailable. Fourth, politics is the art of addition and not the art of subtraction or division. You don’t spend four years treating people with disrespect and a lack of civility without it jumping up and biting you at your moment of weakness. The pandemic weakened Trump sufficiently for some high-profile Republicans to feel emboldened enough to have their moment of revenge. The Trump presidency died by death from a thousand cuts.  

I saved the biggest reason for Trump’s defeat for the last. The most important reason that Donald Trump was defeated was the one-sided treatment of the president by the mainstream press and major social media. Our Founding Fathers felt that freedom of the press was so vital to our nation that they enshrined it in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. Unfortunately, freedom and fairness of the press are not the same thing. Donald Trump was beaten to a political pulp by a daily relentless barrage of orchestrated propaganda churned or chummed out by the mainstream media. Social media took away Trump’s only effective way of responding to this assault by using censorship and partisan counter-messaging. Once again, lamentable but legal in a free society.

There will be other elections in our future. The dark days of winter will pass and voters will once again have an opportunity to cast their ballots. Let us act today in such a way that will ultimately do our nation proud and pave the way for future election victories. 

Dunn is a former Republican Howard County Republican chairman.