In the sports world, it’s tough for fans to accept their team has lost.
Whether it’s a single game, a postseason contest or even a national championship or Super Bowl, the fans of the losing team find the losing pill too big to swallow.
Most University of Georgia fans I know are still smarting after the loss to Alabama in the national championship game a few seasons ago.
As fans we simply aren’t good losers. The other team cheated. The refs were against us. The television announcers were for our opponent.
We’ve all heard these arguments used. If we are honest, we have likely said them ourselves.
It’s really not that different in the world of politics, especially political campaigns. For as long as our country has had elections the losing side has not liked it.
In recent decades the level of being able to accept defeat graciously has seemingly gone away. The other candidate had dead people voting. The other party intimidated voters in line at the polls. The party I don’t support is corrupt and doesn’t believe in our country.
We heard this in 2016 when Donald Trump shocked the political experts (including those in his own party) and we are hearing now in 2020 as former Vice President Joe Biden has been declared the winner.
Yes, nothing is official until the Electoral College vote is complete, but folks, Biden has won.
There are likely some votes somewhere among the millions upon millions cast that should not have been. That happened in 2020. It happened in 2016. It happened back when our country first voted for a president.
But we are not talking about one vote being the difference. If that were the case then throwing out certain ballots or doing a recount of all 50 states would mean something. The final popular vote total may in fact change by a few votes, maybe even a few hundred. In the end, Biden will still be the winner.
For the record, this is not a defense of Biden as some are likely taking it. My presidential candidate choice, Libertarian Jo Jorgensen, finished third. So, no amount of recounting is going to put the candidate of my choice in the White House.
In the 2000 race, Al Gore eventually had to concede. He didn’t want to but he had no choice and he knew it. There were certainly plenty of questions marks about that race, especially in Florida. Some still believe Gore really won that contest and they may be right. However, Gore never was president.
Our current president is very competitive in everything he does. That comes from his business background which has been ultra-successful for him. He hates to lose whether it is a real estate deal or the race for reelection to the White House.
It’s often said, however, that the true character of a person or an athletic team comes when defeat must be accepted. It’s not easy. It’s not that anyone like it. At some point, however, you have to move on.
The best thing for President Trump to do is to let his millions of supporters know they fought the good fight in 2020 but came up a little short. His base would certainly accept that and if he told them to “be ready for 2024” it would certainly help ease the sting of this campaign loss.
No one would think less of President Trump for doing so. In fact, many who didn’t vote for him would gain some respect for him. The leader of our country and of the free world has to be above being a sore loser.
You didn’t hear George H.W. Bush carry on this way in 1992.
When Richard Nixon lost to John F. Kennedy in 1960, his closest advisers told him if he didn’t let it go it would hurt him in the future and it would hurt the party as well. While not liking that he lost such a close race, Nixon eventually returned and won the presidency in 1968 and won reelection in 1972.
The great thing about our country is there will always be another election. There will always be a chance for your preferred party to win the next time.
As close as this year’s election was it will certainly be competitive in 2024. At this point that’s what President Trump and his supporters have to hang their hats on.