What a triumphant hopeful day yesterday was watching Biden and Harris.
So much optimism, much of it misplaced, I know. It’s a long hard road ahead unifying such a divided nation.
But seeing them on stage, with their families, representing values and decency, it was refreshing.
Refreshing because by contrast what have we seen from Trump? Acrimony, bitterness, denial.
It’s been sad watching this all unfold so chaotically for America.
Sad watching the very public downfall of a narcissist spiralling out of control as he refuses to accept the dawning reality that his time is up. Biden referred to Trump's reign as "a grim era of demonization." I mean it doesn't get worse than that as far as insults go.
Trump's own Former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, said Trump's Presidency would be looked back on as "an aberration". These are not exactly glowing endorsements.
But what you can't escape is that after four years of Trump, 10 million more Americans opted to support him than in 2016.
70 million people voted for him. That's only 3 million fewer than voted for Biden. So it's a country divided.
But Trump’s lack of acceptance of the result is just plain sad.
The angry public outbursts, the accusations of fraud and collusion, the inciting of protests and further division, it’s just not Presidential.
Which many would argue is part of his appeal; he doesn't play politics as it should be played. he doesn't abide the rules, he's his own man.
But he's increasingly looking like an island here, Republicans are deserting him, his own family is allegedly trying to get through to him that these lawsuits won't work and to just give it up.
There is an art to going gracefully and it involves a bit of humility, a bit of realism and a touch of class. All of which are lacking here.
But imagine being Americans and having to watch this play out on the world stage? I can only hope for them that the next four years see a smoother road forward, some healing and unity as opposed to division and angst, but then, with a country so divided, I’m not sure it’s going to be all that easy.
Trump could have redeemed himself a bit, given his legacy a little more wriggle room for positive reflection if he’d opted to go with dignity. If he’d conceded and shown some respect for the system, for his own constitution.
But to dig in the heels, throw lawsuits and accusations around, behave like a toddler throwing a giant tantrum, is just sad. It’s done him no favours, he's made it easy for Republicans to abandon him, and if he wanted another run in 2024, he's dreaming that this is the way to ever secure another nomination. The Republican Party has a long road ahead to rebuild, and I can only imagine they want the sideshow to stop so they can get on with this sooner rather than later.
Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.
Breaking Views brings you expert commentary on topical political and policy issues. The views expressed are those of the author alone. The blog is administered by the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, an independent public policy think tank at NZCPR.com - register for the free weekly NZCPR newsletterHERE.