Despondent and dispirited by his 5 million — and counting — vote defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, Donald Trump recently received some very welcome and uplifting news. After careful deliberation, a distinguished panel of international judges awarded the White House resident the coveted “Most Dangerous Person of the Year” honor, trouncing second- and third-place finishers Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.

While the five judges — Turkey’s Erdogan, Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Saudi Arabia’s bin Salman, Hungary’s Orban, and the Philippines’s Duerte — were drawn to Putin’s recent poisoning of a political opponent in Germany and to Xi’s ethnic cleansing of Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang, they were ultimately overwhelmed by Trump’s extraordinary ability to behave like an autocrat in a country that endlessly touts its democratic principles to the rest of the world.

In particular they noted the U.S. president’s uncanny knack for conflating campaigning with governing. They also praised his narcissism and solipsism, and, most glaringly, his fabulistic impulses.

“The obliteration of truth has been a diabolical hallmark of Mr. Trump’s presidency,” one judge stated enviously. “And he knows a lot about fraud,” wrote another.

In the end, however, it was Trump’s masterful response to the COVID-19 pandemic allowing his country to become the global leader in positive cases and in deaths, “rounding the corner” as he often put it, that convinced the judges that the president truly deserved this year’s MDP award.

The recent celebration for Mr. Trump in the West Wing was limited to the president and his family and other QAnon supporters since everyone else was either in isolation or quarantine. Masks were not permitted. The president’s hair glowed in the spotlight. Asked for her reaction, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany reportedly said, “It is what it is.”

So kudos to President Trump, the 2020 MDP of the year. Not every presidential incumbent has to win reelection. Notwithstanding Trump’s state of denial, this honor should mollify his anger and anxiety at losing the election in a “massive landslide,” not to mention losing the Nobel Peace Prize, even if both were rigged.

A.R. KEMP

30 Water St.

Marlborough