In a completely unsurprising move, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he will not be attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20. “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” he wrote this morning.
With that statement, Trump officially cemented his status as the worst loser in history. The statement also further proves that his bizarre speech on Thursday night, in which he finally admitted defeat and called for “healing and reconciliation,” was concocted in desperation to try to avoid criminal investigations and the invocation of the 25th Amendment. Without those threats, Trump would never have admitted that he lost and would continue to wreak havoc to satisfy his own ego until the final nail goes in his coffin.
While we are not at all surprised that Trump would buck tradition — only three incumbent presidents have not attended their successor's inauguration in the past, with the last being Pres. Andrew Johnson, in 1869, who was also impeached — we are at least somewhat relieved. Of course, it would have been vastly less destabilizing to the nation to have a “normal” president who follows the protocols of the transfer of power. But since we clearly don’t have that, there’s no sense in expecting Trump to pretend at decorum when we know what his real motives are.
Even before the presidential election, Trump had long suggested that he may not accept its results if he loses. Once he did lose, decisively, he tried every trick in the book to overturn the election — and still failed. Then, he sent thousands of his supporters to descend upon the U.S. Capitol to terrorize the government and the citizens of Washington, D.C., with utter disregard for people’s lives or livelihoods. Expecting a violence-inciting narcissist, who tried to go against the will of his own people to overturn his own loss, to smile through prayers and poems and speeches extolling the virtues of democracy on January 20 is just a tad disingenuous.
In fact, Trump’s refusal to attend the inauguration may well be a final form of his cowardice — he knows that his extremist supporters are planning to disrupt the event and there are likely to be more violent protests. It’s quite likely that he wants to give them the green light to do what they want to do, but remain far from the scene himself.
At this point, Trump would, at best, be pointless at the inauguration. At worst, he would be a safety hazard. And either way, we’re pretty sure neither Biden nor anyone else will miss him. Good riddance and — we say this with the knowledge that it won’t happen, but still — please go away forever.