The handling of the votes stinks to high heaven this time and there will be no sanitizing this to the satisfaction of Trump’s electorate. Trump will, I think, pursue this to its legal end. So, with Fernandez’s thread linked above in mind, let’s suppose that Trump is declared the loser. Trump will then leave the White House without assistance: the left will be denied their imagined scene. But, does he show up on January 20 to bless the transition? After all this? Why? For the sake of the Republic…and dignity?

I would argue that he shouldn’t. This will produce an apoplectic fit among his enemies, and sadly among too many Republicans. So what? The transition will still occur. The Republic, such as it is, will still stand. Yet, it should in this event be shamed and the event itself seen to be shameful. It would be that. Certainly. The very fact that Biden now claims that he will govern as a president of “America” after serial slanders of more 60 million people is hideously laughable. The transition should not take place as if this was anything like the past. Even in the lead up to the Civil War we could at least manage an election with dignity surpassing the present and without the obvious taint of nationwide fraud. What has taken place over the last four years, and more, which has led to this denouement, was allowed to happen: allowed by Democrats and the left surely, but also by many GOP members of Congress and their supporters outside all of whom fled the field too often. They, most of all, should be denied any sense of dignity, and the fiction that the past can now be simply set aside. Too late. Much too late.

We’ve come a very long way from ages past when honor mattered. Affairs of honor are no more, and not solely for being outlawed. Even “fighting words” are now a distant memory. Many think this an improvement. Yet, I wonder whether our society would stand improved if fighting words regained their meaning and more than few, now confident in their slander, instead walked around with loosened teeth and broken noses.

Well, as I note in my chapter on dueling in the Hamilton book, dueling had many downsides, but it did ensure that people understood that things have consequences. Too many moderns seem to think otherwise.