Trump Loses

5 mins read

Although there are many very upset people, we have a president-elect, Joe Biden, who will become the 46th President of the United States of America on Jan. 20, 2021, like it or not. A key aspect of our democracy is the peaceful transfer of power to the newly elected president. It has been a tradition since 1800 when John Adams, the second president, quietly left Washington, D.C., marking the first peaceful transfer of power. Since then, every loser of the presidential election has willingly and peacefully surrendered power to the winner. Until now. As expected, Donald Trump will not leave without a fight.

Another long-standing tradition is the concession by the loser of the election. It began in 1896 when William Jennings Bryan sent a telegram to William McKinley: 

Lincoln, Neb., November 5.

Hon. Wm. McKinley, Canton, Ohio: Senator Jones has just informed me that the returns indicate your election, and I hasten to extend my congratulations. We have submitted the issue to the American people and their will is law.

W.J. Bryan

Since then, 32 losing candidates have delivered concessions. Although concession acknowledgments carry no legal weight, according to presidential historian Robert Dallek, they “demonstrate a continuing commitment to peaceful transitions of power.” Moreover, he said that concessions send an important “signal to supporters that they need to join the defeated candidate in accepting the loss.” They urge the country to stay united for the common good. In her concession speech, Hillary Clinton said, “Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. … Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.” That’s the type of unifying statement we are not getting from Donald Trump. 

Trump’s disdain for tradition and democracy itself aims to keep us divided. He continues to say that the election was fraudulent even though members of his own government, the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council, stated, “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.… [W]e can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too.”*

All the previous losing candidates showed their respect for tradition, democracy, and, most importantly, the American people. It is a characteristic of presidents and potential presidents. They understood that they are elected to serve the best interests of the public. Not so Donald Trump. His refusal to concede the election to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is indicative of his narcissism. He is interested in serving only himself and his family. He is interested in getting richer by any means because that is how he measures his grandiose sense of self-importance. As president, he has been lining the pockets of his family and himself. 

According to an article in Forbes, “The president’s total haul—from his campaign, party, and joint fundraising committees [since he announced his 2020 campaign the day he was inaugurated]—now stands at more than $6.9 million.” He is getting ready to do it again. Although Trump cannot admit defeat, he told advisors that he would announce his plan to run for the White House in 2024 shortly after Biden is officially certified as the winner of the 2020 race. 

Because of his narcissism, he really believes he cannot lose, except by fraud; in his mind, he is the greatest president in history. He has a sense of entitlement. He is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, and brilliance. He is in it for Donald Trump, not for America.

*Editor’s note: Christopher Krebs, the Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) was fired by Trump on November 17, five days after this statement was released.

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay


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Hank Cetola is a professor emeritus at Adrian College and the founder of Lenawee Indivisible. He can be reached at lenaweeindivisible3 at gmail.com.

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