I’m a Trump voter, and I believe the progressive movement and the Democratic Party are forces of evil and national destruction.

               But let me clear something up.

               The presidential term filled by the election of 2016 ends at noon on the 20thof next January. At that point, Donald Trump will stop being the president of the United States, regardless of whether or not he agrees with the outcome or methodology of the election. It doesn’t matter whether he – or Joe Biden – concede or contest or do cartwheels in Lafayette Park.

               The Constitution rules, it and the federal laws it empowers.

               And the matter of presidential elections is clear, to avoid exactly the sort of conflict and contention both sides are trying to foment.

               Sometime after the general election, the Electoral College will meet. The electors will cast their ballots and those ballots will be tabulated. The candidate with the most Electoral College ballots will be declared the winner of the election and be sworn in at noon on the 20thof next January.

               That person will be either Donald Trump or Joe Biden.

               That’s what’s going on. Everything else is a distraction. And any suggestion that events will follow any other course is wrong and dishonest. No one can drag his feet, no one can refuse to leave, no one can reject the election.

               Claiming that the looming election is illegitimate or fraudulent is a distraction and will have no impact other than to weaken trust in our Republic and its institutions. The fact is that this election will be as honest or bogus as any other election. Irregularities and uncertainties and plain human nature – to include mistakes and dishonesty – have been part of American elections since our founding.

               But so, too, has the basic integrity and decency of the American people, and the rock-solid reliability of our Constitution.

               As a consequence, I have faith in the looming election and, as every American must, will accept its outcome. No matter what the mail-in ballots do, no matter how long it drags out, no matter what insanity plays out on the evening news or in the protestations of the parties.

               The vote will be taken, results will be generated, the Electoral College will vote, and an inauguration will take place at noon on the 20thof next January.

               The president should have said that in the debate. He should have reaffirmed that bedrock constitutional truth.

               He was also remiss when he called on his supporters – people like me – to go to their voting places and be “poll watchers.” He said that various fraudulent efforts would be made to steal the election and people must go to polling places and watch to make sure they weren’t successful.

               That makes no sense.

               First of all, a “poll watcher” is a person hired by the local board of elections to handle the process and to, working with several others, guarantee integrity is assured by making sure procedures are followed. That’s a poll watcher.

A bunch of people who go hang around to spectate are more about intimidation than anything else. It is about creating a dynamic where some people aren’t comfortable voting. That’s not about preventing cheating, that’s about doing cheating.

And it shouldn’t happen.

The voting system won’t be perfect. Neither will it be stolen.

And its outcome won’t be ignored.

               There should be no fear, uncertainty or speculation about that. It should not be more fuel thrown on the fire of social division. We must stop fraying confidence in our Republic and its institutions through such boogie-man stories.

               The debate, fraught with anger and interruption, distortion and denunciation, was a reflection of America. They acted on stage the way we act on social media. We act like cads and monsters, scorching the earth in our partisan arrogance and superiority, with no social grace or common courtesy. And so did they.

               We have a representative government, and that debate, sadly, represented us well.

               So we need to get back to basics.

               This is not a revolution, it is not a war, it is an election.

               It is a process of Constitution and law.

               And it will roll forward, overcoming whatever difficulty party or happenstance throw in its way. We should not doubt that. And our leaders should not encourage us to doubt it.