It was a remarkable thing, in some ways, to watch a single day destroy the legacy, maybe even the life, of a president. But yesterday, that’s what happened.

Until very recently, I was a big supporter of Donald Trump’s. Not originally, but he got things done, things that were good for the country. I advocated strongly for his re-election. Sure, he was boorish and intemperate. Sure, he suffered from acute narcissism, but he also wasn’t half the other things he was accused of, and his policies were spectacularly successful (with the partial exception of COVID aside). He also didn’t take crap from the media or institutional Washington, an aspect other Republicans need to learn.

I started to sour post-election. Not because he wasn’t at least somewhat right about election fraud. He didn’t win in a “landslide,” but there was clearly fraud. Worse, a number of states used compliant judges to circumvent their own election laws. Was any of this enough to change the outcome? I don’t know. But Trump had every right to feel bitter, and he had every right to make legal challenges.

But he took it way, way too far.

Once things became untenable, he should have gracefully backed off, stolen election or no. He should have appointed a commission, one that would outlive his presidency, to look into the allegations and then make recommendations. This has to happen, because while it in no way excuses violence, there are now tens of millions of Americans who have serious doubts about the honesty of the election process, and they can’t be blamed for this. It was the actions of Democrats that created this doubt with en masse mail-in voting, mysterious late night vote counting shenanigans, etc.

We have changed the way elections work in this country, and not in ways that inspire confidence in their credibility.

But back to Trump. While he was bemoaning the outcome, he also may have lost the Senate for Republicans. This will lead to a legislative disaster from which our country may not recover. God knows what will come — socialized medicine, statehood for Puerto Rico and D.C., a packed Supreme Court…it’s a long and ominous list, and all on the table. It’s things that can’t be reversed should Republicans take back Congress in two years.

Then came yesterday. Yesterday was a disgrace.

Sure, there were Antifa thugs in the mix, stirring the pot, but Trump lit the match. Then he took far too long to appear on TV, and said the wrong things when he did. It may go down as the worst single day for a president in our nation’s history.

To their credit, every Republican and every prominent conservative I can think of immediately denounced yesterday’s events. This is a distinct contrast with Democrats this summer, who stayed silent about BLM and Antifa violence for months until it started hurting them in the polls. That includes Joe Biden.

But the violence on both sides makes the case for smaller, decentralized government. There is too much power in Washington, which raises the stakes every election. I long for the days of low voter turnout because it was low for a reason: the outcome didn’t matter as much. Now, every election is the “most important of our lifetimes.” It’s tempting to call that hyperbole, but it’s not. Washington has become way important to our lives, something our founders tried assiduously to avoid.

The irony is that yesterday may have gifted Democrats power for a generation, and they are precisely the people that want more power and money for the Beltway. This will raise the stakes even further, dividing us as a nation even more.

As for Trump, many Republicans loved him, including me, but they need to let go. He broke faith with us. There are plenty of deserving conservatives in waiting and they should now get their due. Trump might have played a role in promoting one, but no longer.

It disappoints me enormously to say it, but he’s poison now.