While we’re re-running oldies but goodies from 2016 and all, have another. Might want to find some really dark goggles, even a welder’s mask, to read it with though; the irony is so blazingly, piercingly incandescent it could easily blind somebody.
Donald Trump likes to sort the world into winners and losers, which isn’t a bad way of thinking about democracy. Winners and losers of elections have essential responsibilities in functioning democracies. Winners do not exact revenge on their opponent by, say, abusing the powers of their office and jailing that opponent, as the Republican candidate threatened to do at the second presidential debate. Losers do not refuse to accept the results of a vote judged free and fair by a country’s governing institutions.
Yet the Republican candidate has spent the past week—really, much of the general election—strongly suggesting that he will not accept a loss to Hillary Clinton. He has repeatedly claimed that “Crooked Hillary” is “rigging” the election with help from the media and a global network of power brokers. The rigging, he says with certainty but no compelling evidence, consists of the coordinated assassination of Trump’s character, as well as looming voter fraud. And the rigging will, in Trump’s telling, produce nothing less than the dissolution of the republic; the United States will be overrun by immigrants and ISIS. Trump’s message is that the election will be stolen from his supporters, as will the country. Many Trump supporters expect this outcome; roughly half aren’t confident that ballots will be accurately counted on Election Day.
Donald Trump’s loose talk of imprisoning Clinton and his preemptive rejection of the election’s outcome pose one of the most serious challenges to U.S. democracy in recent memory. They endanger the “democratic bargain,” to quote the authors of Losers’ Consent: Elections and Democratic Legitimacy. That study examines how losing works in democracies around the globe, and the bargain at issue “calls for winners who are willing to ensure that losers are not too unhappy and for losers, in exchange, to extend their consent to the winners’ right to rule.” This bargain is also one of the core components of democracy.
Of course, now we know that the conspiracy to rig the election went far, far beyond Her Herness, the media and “inaccurately” counted votes. Its tentacles extended deep into the Obama junta, the DoJ, the CIA, and elsewhere in the darkest recesses of the Deep State labyrinth. The investigation into the corrupt, seditious plot is only beginning, with no guarantee that we’ll ever see justice done. And that doesn’t even touch the subsequent soft-coup attempt by those same players, a desperate ploy to not only conceal their seditious crimes but to hinder and ultimately remove a duly-elected President under false pretenses.
All of this—ALL of it, mind you—because the Democrat-Socialist Party, NOT Trump, flatly and traitorously refuses to abide by the results of any election it can’t swindle its way into “winning.”
This is why the democratic bargain is so important: Winners do not suppress losers, which means losers can hope to be winners in the future. As a result, the losers’ doubts about the legitimacy of the political system gradually recede as they prepare for the next election.
But if the losing candidate doesn’t uphold his or her side of the bargain by recognizing the winner’s right to rule, that acute loss of faith in democracy among the candidate’s supporters can become chronic, potentially devolving into civil disobedience, political violence, and a crisis of democratic legitimacy. How the loser responds is especially critical because losers naturally have the most grievances about the election.
“[I]n the aftermath of a loss, there is plenty of kindling for irresponsible politicians to set fire to,” Bowler notes. “Most politicians who lose elections recognize this potential for mischief, and so they ordinarily make a creditable run at helping to keep matters calm.”
Ahh, but in this case it’s not just the losing politician acting “irresponsibly.” It is the entire party—along with its Praetorian Media allies; the overwhelming majority of its supporters; its already-elected officeholders in positions both high and low across the entire country; and the unelected officials seeded throughout the federal bureacracy who are either party members or sympathizers.
Then we come to a yearningly winsome recap of Honest Al AlGore and his forced “concession” after his loss in 2000. Yes, it’s every bit as full of shit as you would expect.
In December 2000, for example, Al Gore conceded defeat to George W. Bush after one of the country’s closest and most divisive elections. The Supreme Court halted the recount of votes in Florida and effectively handed the presidency to Bush, even though Gore won the national popular vote and had good reason to argue that the court’s decision was politically motivated.
The SC “halted the recount” after, what, six or seven previous ones had failed to gin up enough fraudulent ballots to convincingly hand the swine Gore the election. Inevitably, the Atlantic also trots out the good old “popular vote” hobbyhorse for another good flogging, the problem being that THERE IS NO RELEVANT “POPULAR VOTE” IN A US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION—as is explicitly mandated by the US Constitution for some very excellent reasons. The Electoral College, God willing and in defiance of the most devious efforts of those Constitution-loving Democrat-Socialists, will be with us for a while longer, for which everyone not interested in being governed according to the whim of the residents of the nation’s blighted urban areas should be deeply thankful. Yet more twaddlelicious bullshit then ensues:
By the time Clinton’s statement was delivered, all those bitter complaints had been removed from the text, save for brief mentions of disagreement with the court’s ruling and the need for bipartisan election reforms. Clinton’s team clearly recognized that it was time to put out fires, not to leave kindling lying around. “President-elect Bush and Vice President Gore showed what is best about America,” Clinton said. “In this election, the American people were closely divided. The outcome was decided by a Supreme Court that was closely divided. But the essential unity of our Nation was reflected in the words and values of those who fought this great contest.”
The SC, “closely divided,” yeah. As I recall, the vote that decided things ended up being 7-2. That, after our noble Albert “Arnold The Pig” AlGore had duly made his election-stealing preparations beforehand, by flying teams of lawyers out to certain places ready to contest the results by any grubby means necessary. Why, how very big of this noble Knight-Protector Of America Democracy to graciously concede after EVERY SINGLE LAST AVENUE likely to enable him to hoodoo his way into the Oval Office had been thoroughly exhausted, and not one moment before! Gee, what a guy!
Here’s the fact of the matter: Gore, his army of legal-beagle rumpswabs, and his criminal conspiracy masquerading as a legitimate political party happily dragged the country through every fetid puddle of lawyerized sewage they could find FOR MONTHS before finally backing down and slinking away. The Atlantic’s zealous attempt at turd-polishing aside, Al Gore remains exactly what he always was and always will be: a sleazy, slimy, duplicitous, dimwitted, professional-politician hack. Nothing less. And damned sure nothing more.
As for that “essential unity” bushwa, I suppose we must in fairness recognize a distinction betwixt Gore’s eventual if reluctant submission to defeat and the unhinged, delusional rejection of American electoral reality we’re being subjected to now. Bad as Gore and the rest of the Demonrat den of iniquity all were in 2000, their successors are unquestionably much, much worse. The distinction is one not of kind but of degree, yes. But at this point AlGore should at least have developed sense enough to take what he can get.