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Ontologically, Trump can’t lose. For him, this reality is inconceivable. It cannot be possible that he’s kicked out of the White House. You have to understand the psychology of the character. He built his immense popularity on the television program “The Apprentice,” where his favorite phrase was: ‘you’re fired.’ Trump confuses political power with the power to throw people out, and he can’t conceive of any scenario in which someone could throw him out. That’s why he’s so dangerous to democracy. That’s why he threatens to declare himself victorious, whatever the outcome of today’s election.

Challenging the truth

In any case, we face the possibility of four more years of Donald Trump’s presidency if he manages to win the election or forcefully impose his victory. The polls (and the stakes) say he has it tough, but not impossible. If, on the contrary, as seems more likely, Biden wins, Trump may say that everything has been a fraud (he has been preparing that argument for months). In that case, we will witness the dangerous spectacle of a Trump who refuses to leave the White House, screaming like a hysterical child who doesn’t want to obey his parents.

The evolution of politics in American democracy has suffered significant setbacks in recent years, but none like that of Trump’s presidency, where we have witnessed the blasting of the common ground, where consensus is woven on the values and principles that should govern an open society and the separation of powers that liberal democracy should ensure in practice.

The attack on the truth has been fulminating. While the business politics, conceived as a continuous show where the main actor occupies almost the entire screen virtually all the time, has been a theatrical imitation of the Orwellian Big Brother. The show of his arrival at the White House in a helicopter after being drugged against the coronavirus in a military hospital will go down in the history of the most grandiose propaganda shows.

Never abandoning the screen and occupying the entire public sphere based on noise, propaganda, and the supreme leader’s compulsive tweeting encouraging lies, confrontation and violence, recall the worst nightmare of the 1930s.

But to do so, moreover, not from politics but anti-politics has been the most toxic contribution of Trumpism experienced in the last four years. The formula used has been to position oneself systematically against democratic institutions and attack them as long as they do not play the game of deception and manipulation that favors the boss’s position. Thus, the attack on Dr. Fauci, the government’s primary advisor on the pandemic, for saying that the coronavirus is unleashed in the country, or on the court that validates 127,000 votes in Texas, cast by citizens so scared by Covid-19 that they preferred to vote without getting out of their cars, constitute the latest installments of this dangerous melodrama.

“I am here to heal the terrible damage done to this country by Obama and Biden,” Trump preaches at his rallies. There, he presents himself as the “savior” of America, who has worked true miracles in his three years and ten months of presidency, and who is now coming to save us from socialism.

Only the damned virus, ‘sent by the Chinese,’ which has infected 9 million Americans and killed more than 230,000, might be able to spoil the truth of the best presidency in the history of the United States.

When the most despotic populism, based on the systematic challenge of the truth, takes up residence in the most powerful armchair in the world, only the rebellion of reality itself can dislodge it. And that reality, today, may be called Covid-19.