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Time for the GOP to tell Trump it’s over

Every day that President Donald Trump drags his heels on acknowledging he lost poses a threat to our democracy.

President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday.
President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday.
Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

In a democracy, citizens don’t literally run the rascals out.

They hold elections. Then, the loser packs up and moves out of the White House, and the winner cleans up any messes the previous administration leaves behind.

And while there is the occasional mishap, like the hanging chads in the George W. Bush vs. Al Gore presidential election, for the most part the system has worked.

Are there hard feelings?

Of course.

Some people still insist Bush stole the election and to this day refuse to recognize him as the 43rd president of the United States.

But President Donald Trump, with the aid of his lackeys, is taking the role of sore loser to a new level. In blocking government officials from cooperating with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition, Trump basically is giving the middle finger to the entire nation.

After enduring four years of behavior unbecoming for a president, nothing Trump does surprises me.

If you could count on Trump for anything, it was to behave in a manner that most decent people find offensive.

But why are top-ranking Republicans helping him hang on now to false hope?

That Trump still hasn’t formally conceded — the first step toward healing the nation after a hard-fought campaign — should be an embarrassment to the party.

Instead of Republicans breathing a sigh of relief that the madness finally is over, they are hanging onto Trump’s coattails.

Sad.

It reminds me of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

You know the story. Two con artists, posing as weavers, manage to convince a pompous emperor that the outfit they’ve made for him is so special that only the “great and good” in society could see it.

So while all of the emperor’s attendants and subjects let him parade around naked, pretending to see what wasn’t there, a young child shouted out the truth: “He hasn’t got anything on.”

In “The Emperor’s New Clothes: A Lesson for the 21st Century,” author Greensleeves Hubs writes: “The Emperor’s self-importance is boosted by having a whole bunch of obsequious ‘yes men’ around him. None of these ‘yes men’ is prepared to question his judgment and none of them is prepared to say or do anything which might damage their standing in their ruler’s eyes.”

I don’t have to tell you who the emperor is in the present situation.

The GOP leadership has sacrificed the very soul of the party to cater to Trump.

These “yes men” and “yes women” allowed him to bash the news media, spread falsehoods on social media and tarnish the reputation of real public servants like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has navigated the nation through the pandemic.

Too vain to share the spotlight with anyone, Trump put down Fauci every chance he got, even though Fauci has advised six presidents.

Rather than follow the guidelines laid out by Fauci, Trump refused to wear a mask and held rallies that drew thousands of unmasked supporters.

And, now, with the numbers of COVID-19 infections skyrocketing, Trump has been out playing golf.

I used to think that the folks who worry that our democracy is in peril were over-reacting.

But every day that Trump continues to spread rumors about voter fraud and to disrupt the transfer of power brings us closer to widespread unrest.

We can’t ignore that there are a lot of gullible and extremist Trump supporters that believe every lie that comes out of his mouth.

His refusal to admit defeat and graciously go away isn’t just ugly. It could become a national security threat.