Today Would Be A Wise And Ethical Day For President Trump To Concede, And To Do So Gracefully

It would also be a great day for me grow a full head of luxurious hair and teleport to Jupiter, but that’s not about to happen either.

On this date in 2000, Al Gore conceded to George W. Bush after weeks of contesting the election results in various lawsuits. Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court shut down a contentious re-count in Florida with the controversial decision in Bush v. Gore, and Gore managed to make a conciliatory and graceful concession speech as he realized his other realistic options had vanished.

In a televised speech from his ceremonial office next to the White House, Gore said that while he was deeply disappointed and sharply disagreed with the split SCOTUS verdict that ended his campaign, ”partisan rancor must now be put aside.”

“I accept the finality of the outcome, which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College” he said. “And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.” It had to be a bitter pill for Gore, who had won the popular vote by more than 500,000 votes but narrowly lost Florida to give the Electoral College to Republican George W. Bush, 271 to 266. The concession was Gore’s finest moment as a political figure, though he then spent the next four years diminishing it by telling Democratic audiences and partisans that he, and they, been the victim of election theft.

With his initial refusal to accept the election results, Gore created the ugly precedent we are now stuck with, despite efforts by Richard Nixon, of all people, to cement the tradition that the losing candidate in a Presidential race act selflessly to avoid lasting rancor, public discord, and diminished trust in our institutions. In 1960, despite good reason to suspect chicanery in at least two states, Tricky Dick refused to demand recounts or investigations and conceded quickly. This was the model that Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, among others, piously lectured candidate Trump about following—until Hillary lost. Then Clinton, her bitter-ender supporters and “the resistance” commenced their assault on his “illegitimate” Presidency right up until this year’s election. They must not be allowed to deny their culpability in what is happening now. Still, conceding is Trump’s responsibility.

Technically, Trump has already held out a little longer than Gore has, since the 2000 election occurred four days later than the 2020 election. However, Gore always had a realistic chance of overturning the result, since flipping only one state, Florida, would give him the Electoral College victory, and a statistically insignificant number of votes were involved. In Trump’s case, the results in at least three states involving many thousands of votes would have to be reversed, and that is impossible at this point.

It’s not only impossible, it would be dangerous. Unlike Gore, who won the popular vote, President Trump received millions of fewer votes than Joe Biden. If he had won a victory in the Electoral College anyway, as he did in 2016, progressives and Democrats would have freaked out, which is why major cities were prepared for riots as November 3 dawned—Democratic riots. Republican don’t start riots. (Go figure.) However, a reversal of the election now, after Biden has been declared the winner by 99% of the media and has been merrily making appointments and promises, would guarantee chaos and violence that would make the George Floyd riots look like the Tournament of Roses Parade.

By digging his heels in now, after the Supreme Court dismissed with prejudice the Hail Mary Texas lawsuit, all President Trump can accomplish is to further divide the nation (the objective of Democrats for four plus years, but that’s no excuse for him) and appear to fulfill his foes’ worst assessments of his character. The President has plenty to be resentful and angry about, and there is much to question about how the election was handled. If he were, say, ten-years-old, it would be asking too much to expect him to give up a futile fight and to do what is in the best interests of the country.

But he is not ten, and he is President of the United States.

It’s time.

33 thoughts on “Today Would Be A Wise And Ethical Day For President Trump To Concede, And To Do So Gracefully

  1. By digging his heels in now, after the Supreme Court dismissed with prejudice the Hail Mary Texas lawsuit, all President Trump can accomplish is to further divide the nation (the objective of Democrats for four plus years, but that’s no excuse for him) and appear to fulfill his foes’ worst assessments of his character.

    His foes do not have credibility to assess character.

    Let us not forget what they did.

    https://ethicsalarms.com/2020/08/01/ethics-quote-of-the-month-andrew-mccarthy-and-the-integrity-test-it-presents/

    Of course, this presents yet another integrity test for Ethics Alarms exiles from the left of the political spectrum. This blog recognized what was going on in general , if not all its specifics: hence the stuffed 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, still crazy after all these years. I knew the FBI and the deep state ein the Justice Department were part of the plot, as well as the Clinton campaign. I did not suspect that Barack Obama himself was involved until recently—Biden too, of course. That was my confirmation bias: much as I believe Obama was a destructive and wrongfully admired POTUS, I do not want to think holders of the highest office in the land actively work to pervert democracy.

    Finally, this is one more opportunity for your Facebook friends and others among the Deranged to admit that Trump’s presidency has been under unconstitutional attack. I don’t have much hope for them, either. For all the abuse Trump has taken for joking that his supporters would vote for him if he shot someone in Times Square, the “resistance” stalwarts will support Biden and Obama even with evidence that they engaged in Watergate-level abuse of power.

    That, in my opinion, is worse than shooting someone in Times Square, After all, the latter only kills one citizen. What Nixon, Obama and Biden did can kill a nation.

    The worst thing about it was their corruption of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. There is evidence that intelligence agencies claimed that Russia “hacked the election”.

    There can be no unity, no healing with these people.

    If concerned citizens give them, to quote the film Joker, what they “fucking deserve”, I am not standing in the way.

  2. Never happen, not in a million years. Frankly, I don’t care. This nation is already too divided to be put back together, and it’s an insult to the right and the GOP to bow now to pious platitudes about unity from the very people who spent five years dividing it and hating and insulting them with gusto. This is the equivalent of 1854, when the nation was already sundered, and the weakest of chief executives (also the only one who all the evidence points to was gay, but never mind) didn’t do a thing to try to stop it from coming apart. Do you honestly believe that Joe Biden is a unifier who can put the nation back together?

    He isn’t a “great communicator” like Reagan, or a guy you can’t help but like like (ugh) Clinton. He isn’t even a charismatic empty suit like Obama. He brings together the worst of the last few presidents: the halting cadence of GWB, the fakery of Clinton, the fading acuity of Reagan in his last year and a half, the indecisiveness of Obama, with none of their good qualities. He is an old white guy, so the media can’t worship him as a young cool, hip black guy. He can’t go playing hoops with his aides or even jogging with his SS agents. It’s already well known that he’s a creep who can’t keep his hands to himself, although I’m sure the media will bury Tara Reid so deep she’ll be able to reach up and order Shanghai takeout. He’s sure as hell no law and order guy, in fact he wants to do away with the Federal death penalty (which is a pretty tall order). He’s certainly no inspirational commander-in-chief, I’d be very afraid to see him try to helm any kind of military action.

    Know what else he isn’t? He isn’t principled. He was all-in for Bill Clinton’s 1994 crime bill that hired thousands of cops, built new prison cells, and made it easier to apply the Federal death penalty, and he even said this was the left speaking then. Now he had not a single law enforcement group back him, he wants to do away with the death penalty generally, and he’s all-in with Black Lives Matter and defund the police, (but let’s keep that quiet until after January 5). He was also pretty consistently pro-life, and publicly personally opposed to abortion as recently as 2012. Now he’s all-in with abortion whenever wherever. I could go on, but I think you get the point. The man will do or say or not do or not say whatever it takes to get a vote. There’s a certain amount of compromising and bending that’s necessary in politics, but the fact is he doesn’t stand for anything, and, as Peter Marshall said memorably, if you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.

    • (also the only one who all the evidence points to was gay, but never mind)

      I do mind, Steve-0. And I also resent. I object to your homophobia being used to denigrate anyone — angel, devil or asshole in the middle – particularly in such a snide manner.

        • Thanks for the offer, Steve, but I don’t drive anymore, and when I did, I carefully refrained from running over people just because of an irrational childhood fear that they threatened me.

          It’s a shame someone so knowledgeable and so clear-headed a writer has a compulsion to insert his prejudice against gay individuals as a non sequitur in an otherwise intelligent opinion post.

          I realize I am wasting my time arguing your obsession but the effort is not wasted if I can prevent you from getting away with it entirely by posting this small response where others can see it.

          • You’re right, Steve-O is wrong. Thanks for the policing—I was not aware of this gratuitous outburst until I saw your reply. Steve is getting better on this topic, and I mark that as progress, but that’s an “it’s not the worst thing” rationalization.

            I still would rather see other commenters respond appropriately to these episodes than for me to take censor comments

    • This nation is already too divided to be put back together, and it’s an insult to the right and the GOP to bow now to pious platitudes about unity from the very people who spent five years dividing it and hating and insulting them with gusto

      Especially with that whole “Russia hacking the election” nonsense.

      Especially with corrupting the FBI and the intel agencies.

      Especially, with social media platforms (which again, I remind everyone that they advertised themselves as politically neutral platforms) suppress the sharing of the truth.

  3. Assume this happens, then how do we rebuild trust in democracy? There are enough asterisks and question marks over this election that unless there is an immediate and strong responde from the federal government to clean up the game no one will believe there is a fair election ever again. The only solution I can think of is a joint speech where Trump concedes and then Biden accepts, promising a full recounting of what happened during the night of Nov. 3. Immediately followed by arrests and a Democrat promise to follow-through. Unless this happens, I do not see what a Trump concession wins.

      • They did themselves proud. If you click on the video you should be able to click on a second one with a peaceable dialog between a ?politician? (I couldn’t catch his name or title) trying to arbitrate between the police and the crowd. The Proud Boys were the ones who (correctly) questioned the arrest of the bar owner without any warrants. They also kept the crowd cool by encouraging the music and leading them in song: their own, and Queen’s “We Will Rock You”. Their crime, if there had been one, would have been being unable to carry a tune!

        I’m sorry the original videos seem to be gone now, but both the videos and the Post’s coverage shows the Proud Boys in the best light possible, I can’t imagine Antifa – or any left-wing demonstration, for that matter – confronting police politely and reasonably,in spite of having to shout their questions, and making friends with a dense crowd of resentful local folk at the same time. Good for them.

  4. Yeah, I don’t think he will, but that’s probably the right thing to do at this point.

    There’s simply no time to fix it, even it fraud can be proved (which I am not sure about).

    We need to get our elections back under control going forward, I think, much as I believe they did in Florida after 2000. It’s going to be up to the individual states to do so — at least these states have GOP controlled legislatures. They can look at Act 77 in Pennsylvania and use it as an example of how not to do things.

    I do anticipate much pushback for Biden, albeit I don’t expect the GOP to sink to the depths that the Democrats did. We’ll see.

    • I do anticipate much pushback for Biden, albeit I don’t expect the GOP to sink to the depths that the Democrats did.

      What is stopping them is more lack of ability than lack of will.

      The Democrats had the network broadcast and print media, and social media platforms, covering for them.

  5. All this is talk of concession for the good of the country is all well and good. There is a problem however; conceding means you lost fair and square.

    Until there is a full accounting of the facts in a court of law, in which testimony can be cross examined and lying carries with it jail terms, I see no reason to concede that Biden was victorious. The issues here are in no way similar to Bush and Gore or even the 2016 election where “concession” was only made in a rhetorical sense.

    You cannot bring the country that began being divided in 2008 by a master in rhetoric like so many despots before him through a concession by Trump. Trump is merely a manifestation of so many who saw the corruption of DC and hired a fighter to battle it.

    The swamp may have gotten the upper hand in this battle. The past four years is but one battle in the war of ideas and demanding an unconditional surrender so as to pave the way for more authoritarianism under the guise of being good for the country is farcical.

    Trump has no obligation to concede. He can just let the process continue. That way he lets his supporters live to fight another day and not simply become despondent and apathetic. Conceding in this case means he simply gave up and prostrated all his supporters on the alter of big controlling government.

    The people who should worry are the those Republicans who have demonstrated they have no fight in them. I hope the people of Utah and Tennessee remember how Romney an Alexander undermined the president.

    The question about the good of the country depends on what you want it to be. Would you say we should lie down and surrender to the Chinese Communist Party if it meant unity?

      • I respectfully disagree. I understand you want to protect institutions but corrupt institutions need not be protected.

        Yes Trump lost. We all lost but not because of Trump. Do you think that this election will be forgotten because of a concession. Several days ago you wrote we must resist with everything we ounce of energy we can muster. ( paraphrasing of course) I intend to do just that.

        I can accept the reality Biden is President but I have no reason to believe he won and will act to protect me from all enemies foreign and domestic just as I know David Trone, Ben Cardin, and Van Hollin are supposed to represent my interests but in fact they represent the big government globalists who keep their voters on the plantation by giving them freebies at the expense of future generations.

          • Then what is the meaning of a concession? “I acknowledge Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States, but as it was a fraudulent election will only cooperate as required by law in this usurpation of the rights of the citizens of the United States.” This would not bring unity, but not highlighting the truth of the situation would be surrendering to it. I don’t think either solution is ideal, so the question becomes “What is the lesser evil?”. The options are surrendering to authoritarianism and fraud or driving the wedge deeper in the divisions between citizens. I suspect which one has a better chance of keeping the soul of the United States of America alive.

            • I suspect which one has a better chance of keeping the soul of the United States of America alive.

              There can be no unity, no healing, with those who corrupted the FBI and intel agencies to sabotage a peaceful transition.

              There can be no unity, no healing, with those who repeated the claim that Russia “hacked the election”, leading two-thirds of Democratic voters to believe that Russia had altered the vote tallies in the 2016 election.

              There can no no unity, no healing, with those who suppressed the sharing of the truth because it disfavors their preferred candidates.

              These people are enemies; they are under-life; they have no rights worthy of respect.

  6. Speaking of democrat riots, one of our favorite friends, Politifact “fact checked” the claim that it was almost exclusively deep blue cities that were being prepped for riots after the election by citing that some of the cities were in red states with Republican governors.. HERE
    They and their ilk will get plenty of work in he coming years as their buds at Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. employ them to ferret out all the wrongthink in social media.

  7. I just wonder what Thomas Paine’s response would be to your reply.

    Part of me wants to agree with you but most of me believes that I have a duty to confront what I think is a act that if left unchallenged will become the norm. If I must die on a hill let it be the one where I am fighting for fair elections.

      • That precedent had already been set.

        http://mtracey.medium.com/the-most-predictable-election-fraud-backlash-ever-4187ba31d430

        Of course what happened subsequently was that even years after Trump had safely taken power, the corporate media’s top luminaries continuously used the phrase “hacked the election” to describe the purported actions of Russia on behalf of Trump in 2016. Supermajorities of Democratic voters came to believe not just that Russia “interfered” in the election, but directly installed Trump into power by tampering with voting machines. Now, though, journalists who fostered these blinkered beliefs will feign incredulity that their conduct could have contributed to widespread “doubt” as to the “legitimacy” of that election. And they’ll be aghast at any suggestion that this was inevitably going to generate yet another crazed anti-legitimization initiative in 2020.

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