Rockefeller Center

A worker walks across the trunk of the 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

Emily Cardenas

Emily Cardenas

As I watch cable news in the throes of the holiday season, “bah humbug” comes to mind. As if the coronavirus surge wasn't enough – eliminating every possibility of spending time with family and friends – Donald Trump is using every despotic tool in his arsenal to steel the election from the American people.

Trump reminds me more and more of the Grinch with each passing day. Remember him, the creature with the tiny heart?

While the Whos down in Whoville were preparing for Christmas – trimming trees, hanging wreaths and wrapping presents – the Grinch watched from his cave in the mountain above, kind of how Trump watched the world celebrate in the streets when he lost the election. So, just like the Grinch, who decided he’d stop Christmas from coming by stealing all the stockings, presents, trees and even the roast beast, Trump is busily stalking the country trying to undermine our democracy and thwart the will of the voting public.

As I wrote this, Trump had summoned Michigan state officials to the White House to coerce them into essentially vaporizing ballots and deliver the state’s electors to him, instead of Joe Biden. It didn’t work. In a joint statement, the Michigan lawmakers said: “Michigan's certification process should be a deliberate process free from threats and intimidation.” Trump tried his antics in Pennsylvania, but they didn’t work there either.

I digress! The Grinch retreated to his mountaintop with his ill-gotten spoils, and planned to dump them all into a ravine. But before he does, he pauses to listen to the village, in the hopes of hearing the Whos crying. Instead, he hears singing, as little Cindy Lou Who, her parents and the rest of the villagers hold hands and enjoy Christmas morning without any material goods in sight. He then realizes that Christmas had come after all, in spite of the lack of material goods.

The Grinch then had a change of heart and returned everything he had stolen to the villagers, and made genuine amends.

I do not expect Trump to have a change of heart.

Love of country and a respect for democratic elections and our history of peaceful transition of power is not something he will ever accept. His heart is too small and his vile appetite for revenge is too big. Fortunately, it doesn't matter.

When I saw photos of a 75-foot Norway spruce arriving in NYC a couple of weeks ago, I was reminded that Christmas is coming, no matter what. The tree was donated by Al Dick of Daddy Al’s General Store in Oneonta, a small city in central New York, and trucked into Manhattan. It will be decorated and lit on Dec. 2, but without in-person spectators because of the coronavirus. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is canceled, but the tree will illuminate the city and Christmas will come.

No pandemic or would-be-dictator occupying the White House will prevent the holiday from arriving, just like no amount of vile antics will undo the results of the election and prevent Biden and Kamala Harris from assuming office on Jan. 20.

Happy New Year.

Emily Cardenas is the executive editor of The Miami Times. She previously worked as a producer at WTXF in Philadelphia and at WSCV, WFOR and WPLG in Miami.

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