The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Aftermath of a Loss

In yesterday's news, a growing number (almost half) of Democratic members of the House have decided that impeachment is in the offing. That rather than waiting for the 2020 election, they will put the country through the upheaval of an impeachment inquiry. They are either too historically ignorant, too stupid, or too blinded by hatred to consider how badly things worked out for the GOP when it put then-president Bill Clinton through an unnecessary and unwise impeachment attempt in 1998. But Trump Derangement Syndrome is a powerful psychological driver. The Dems have never accepted Trump's presidency, doing everything possible to destabilize it. Impeachment is just another step along their road to ruin.

But we don't have to go back to 1998. Instead, let's return to October, 2016—a month before the last presidential election. Donald Trump was asked whether he would accept the results of the expected sure-win by Hillary Clinton and indicated that he'd "wait and see." The Dems along with their trained hamsters in the media became apoplectic, suggesting that it was "unpatriotic" not to accept the results and support the new president. At the time, left-leaning Uri Friedman in The Atlantic wrote:
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.
My goodness, that's rich, looking back at the events of the past two and a half years.

Friedman goes on to write:
Supporters of losing candidates tend to lose faith in democracy and democratic institutions, even after elections that aren’t particularly contentious. When your preferred politician or party loses, in other words, resentment is inevitable.

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.”

All losing presidential candidates in modern U.S. history have avoided the temptation to fan the flames of grievance, and have instead shown restraint and respect for the peaceful transfer of power.
Consider the third paragraph once more. By fomenting a proven Russian collusion hoax to destabilize and delegitimize a presidency they lost, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have created an
"acute loss of faith in democracy [think: questioning the legitimacy of SCOTUS or advocating the dissolution of the electoral college] among the candidate’s supporters [that has] become chronic [Trump Derangement Syndrome], potentially devolving into civil disobedience [think: Sanctuary Cities], political violence [think: Antifa], and a crisis of democratic legitimacy [think Impeachment]. How the loser responds [think: unhinged accusations of "white supremacy' or "insanity"] is especially critical because losers naturally have the most grievances about the election."
I agree. "How the loser responds is especially critical ..." And in this case, the Democrats have responded with such venom, dishonesty, and unhinged emotion, they should be roundly condemned, using Friedman's own rational as a basis for that condemnation.