Late in the evening on election day, Tuesday November the 3rd, 2020, the major news organizations were frantically tallying up the numbers coming in and it wasn’t looking good for Trump. Though a prediction as to who would be the winner had yet to be made, the fact that the figures from Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan were moving against him, carried an ominous feel.
In the Oval office, surrounded by his family, Trump was sitting at his desk. He was fighting a somber mood that was creeping in.
‘Fraud, fraud, fraud!’ cried Trump. ‘I can’t believe this, it’s the undocumented voting all over again, like in 2016. I should’ve kicked them all out, all of them, in droves.’
‘Florida will give us the boost,’ said Ivanka, trying to comfort her father.
Eric and Donald Jr both echoed her support. But the mood had no cheer.
Melania said nothing.
Then Trump’s secretary called.
“Yes?’ he said.
‘Governor DeSantis calling in from Florida… would you like to speak to him?’
‘Yes.’ Trump picks up the phone as he stands. ‘Ron, what is your sense?’
‘We will deliver Florida for you… no doubt in my mind,‘ said the Governor.
‘I’m a little anxious, you know… ‘
‘No need, Florida will come through… and the things is… even if you don’t win outright…’
‘I’m just saying… even if you don’t…’
‘What are you talking about, I will win decisively.’ And he hangs up.
He now looks at his children and Melania.
‘You heard him… “if you don’t win outright…” what kind of talk is that?’
No one replies.
The secretary calls again.
‘You just hung up on the governor of Florida, did you intend to do that?’
‘Okay. I have another call for you, Greg Abbott from Texas.’
‘Put him through.’
‘What’s the word, Greg?’
‘Texas solidly for you. Hands down. The longhorn state coming through for the greatest president in my lifetime.’
‘Thank you, my friend.’
‘One thing, though… do you have a plan B?’
‘Plan B? What the hell are you talking about?’
‘Always good to have a plan B, just in case the numbers don’t add up…’
Trump hangs up again.
He looks at his children, one by one, then at Melania. ‘I am going to win, does everybody understand that?’
The children and Melania are silent.
‘I am going to win this election… and I will have my face carved on Mount Rushmore.’
On the large screen television, the anchor person announces that she will be making a projection for the winner of the presidential election in the next few minutes. Then the station goes to a commercial break.
Trump’s agitation is growing.
‘I have worked so hard for this… I have helped so many people… worked tirelessly for all those who have been forgotten… done so much for all the people left behind by globalization… all those fellow Americans displaced by immigrants, by China, by European nations who don’t pay their fair share of our mutual defense… and this is what I get?’
The anchor person comes back on, smiling broadly. ‘Though it is early, thanks to the advice of our capable staff, this station feels confident to be the first to predict… that the next president of the United States will be… Joe Biden!’
Trump snatches a cup he has on his desk and throws it at the screen. The cup glances off without even denting it.
‘Liar! Liar!’ cries out Trump in his fury.
His children are aghast, but they don’t say a word. Melania’s expression doesn’t change.
‘Say something! That is a lie, what you just heard! That woman on the screen is lying! I will not lose this election!’
And Ivanka. Erik and Donald Jr all stand up at once and cry out, ‘You will win this election! Long live Donald Trump!’
And they look at each other, in surprise that they had spoken in unison, and baffled at the fact that it was all unrehearsed.
Melania, meanwhile, remains seated and unmoved.
Trump examines his children’s expressions for a moment, not even glancing at Melania, then turns and goes to the window where the curtains are wide open. He looks out into the city.
‘They will have to drag me out. I will not surrender. I will not,’ he says to himself, but loud enough that his children and Melania hear him.
On the television screen, the lady presenter, now shows an image of Shanghai, China, where fireworks are being shot into the sky in celebration of Biden’s victory.
‘As you can see, the mood is happy in Shanghai,’ says the anchor lady, ‘China, of course, has had to suffer from the tariffs that president Trump imposed.’
‘Rascals!’ cries out Trump in exasperation. Then he returns to his desk and calls his secretary in the next room. ‘Get me Xi on the phone, right away.’
A moment passes.
‘Just spoke to his assistant… the Supreme Leader is not available at this time.’
‘That’s what she said.’
‘Okay, try Putin.’
A moment passes.
‘Spoke to his assistant… Mr Putin is indisposed.’
‘Indisposed, hunh, the hell with him! After all I’ve done for the guy. Indisposed. Right.
Try Macron. He’ll answer.’
Trump looks at his family. ‘Why are you so quiet? You think I lost the election, don’t you? Well, I haven’t. Those are just numbers. I am the president of this country and will not be removed from this office. Period.’
The secretary calls. ‘Mr Macron is vacationing in the Riviera.’
‘What? Get me Angela Merkel.’
A moment later.
‘Ms Merkel on the line, Mr President.’
‘Have you been following the news?’
‘What do you think?’
‘Looks like you lost, Donald.’
‘I have not. Those are just numbers. I’m sure there’s been many undocumented people voting against me and that’s what’s made the difference, same as four years ago.’
‘Do you have any proof?’ asks Merkel.
‘No. But I’ll get it.’
‘I’ll get the proof. This is a conspiracy against me, a conspiracy against the good people of this country.’
‘Donald… let it go…’
‘Let it go?’
‘Yes. Look, you tried the best you could… but it didn’t work out…’
‘What are you talking about?’
‘Donald… it’s over… you’ve been a very lucky man… you got in, barely… but you didn’t know how to govern… and you didn’t make an effort to learn. Your country has paid a high price for it.’
‘What the hell are you saying?’
‘Donald… you didn’t even try to bring your country together… it just wasn’t in you…’
‘What was I supposed to do, go to the other side and beg?’
‘No… but go to the other side and ask for them to sit down with you and have a good talk.’
‘I didn’t do that?’
‘You didn’t. It’s sad, because precious time was lost. Your people expected much more than you gave them… they wanted someone who could help them process their views and prepare them to move forward into our new world…. but you didn’t do it.’
‘Why didn’t I do it, Angela?’
‘Because you spent most of your time reacting… tweeting… and didn’t take time to reflect.’
‘Blame it on the tweets, right?’
‘You know what I mean.’
Trump looks at his children and at Melania, all of whom are keenly listening.
A great sadness comes over him.
‘I failed…?’ he says to Merkel, the tone tentative.
‘Yes,’ she replies softly. ‘But your great country can learn from it… so they don’t make the same mistake again. Great countries make grave mistakes. We chose Hitler as a leader, so we know what it is to make mistakes.’
‘The Italians chose Mussolini, the Russians chose Stalin…’ replies Trump.
‘And Putin,’ says Merkel.
‘I like Putin,’ says Trump.
‘You have to work on that one,’ replies Merkel.
‘Angela… I… I regret that I didn’t work to have a better relationship with you. I really do.’
‘It’s good to finally hear that from you,’ says Merkel.
‘I suppose I was all caught up in my tweets…’
‘I’m so sorry.’
‘Maybe Sleepy Joe did win…’ says Trump.
‘Yes… let it go,’ says Merkel. ‘Tell your people to work with him.’
‘Won’t be easy… I’ve called him so many things… ‘
“Angela… may I call you again sometime?’
‘Yes, you may.’
‘Thank you so much.’
They hang up.
Trump looks at his family, one by one, ending with Melania.
‘Believe it or not… what I did… all these past 4 years… was the best I knew how.’
Oscar Valdes is the author of Psychiatrist for A Nation and other books. Available on Amazon.