Of course, we are pained and disappointed and we wish the election turned out the other way. So, yes, we are bitter. Not just because we lost, but because of who won, what his campaign represented, the damage he has already done and the debacle we can see already unfolding. So, as I said, we are bitter and pained and annoyed. Go ahead and call me a sour loser. But before that, I want to know I was a loser.
I believe Hillary Clinton should request an audit of the votes and should allow the formal process to play out to the fullest. I think she owes that to her supporters, and to the nation.
I understand her hesitation, probably shared by President Obama and their advisers. I see how the process alone may further embitter many of Trump’s supporters; and there is no telling what would happen if the results showed that, at the end, the election was as rigged as they kept suggesting…before election night. I also have no great hope the election was that rigged and have yet to see compelling evidence that we may found enough foul play to change the outcome.
This is to say nothing of what Donald Trump would say and do.
But we cannot keep cowing away from ugliness and protecting the country from itself at the expense of our values and of fairness. Apparently, the other side has no such qualms and would have had no problem raising hell if they had lost. And yet, we are not them. I do believe we need to avoid excessive turmoil and make an effort to move the country forward, and try to come, not to fake unity, but to forged consensus in many issues.
Clinton should say to Trump: Let’s do the audit of the votes. Whatever the outcome, since I have already conceded, I won’t renege on my word. If at the end you won, I will concede again and will strongly state that you are our President because you won, fair and square, regardless of the intolerable nature of your campaign. If, however, the outcome favors me, you could show a measure of commitment to democracy and to fairness and do several things:
- Insist on immediate hearings for Merrick Garland, and, if they don’t occur, nominate him on your first day in office;
- Accept recommendations from the Democratic Party for some of the cabinet positions;
- Exile Steve Bannon, a sign post of the worst of this campaign and of this country, from the people’s White House.
She should, furthermore, say: If there were irregularities, we owe it to the country to fix them for the future.
Yes, it sounds naïve. But we on the left have the stupid habit of surrendering before the fight begins. As Jelani Cobb tweeted, when they go low…we go on to lose Michigan, Ohio, and so on. No. We have to fight on!
Let’s assume we lose. Well, we already lost.
Let’s assume we win, what’s the point if we don’t take the presidency?
Well, first, we currently don’t have the presidency. Second, we would be in a much stronger position to push back against Trump’s mendacity and ill-conceived policies. He won’t be constrained or humbled by being the biggest popular vote loser in history. Knowing that his win is just a concession from left, because he never actually won, may put a bit of a damper on his boisterous blunder. And we could remind him of that for the next four years.
Clinton has to do it, because irregularities that are big enough to swing an election need to be exposed and corrected. We have to do it because if there were irregularities now, imagine what they will be in four years of full Republican control and without any counterweight in the Supreme Court.
Believe me, my insides bleed at the thought of handing the presidency to this sorry excuse for a human being if, when the chips are down, we won. But we do need to think of the country. Someone has to, and we know they won’t.