As all boys and girls who took civics used to know, the orderly transition of power is one of the things that always has set the United States apart from many troubled nations. Well, this tradition seems to have lost its charm for one political figure.
In an interview with The Circus (!) on Showtime, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged Democratic contender Joe Biden not to concede “under any circumstances” if he doesn’t win the vote tally on Nov. 3 (or whenever we get complete election results):
After suffering a loss in the 2016 presidential election herself, Hillary Clinton is warning 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden not to concede “under any circumstances” in the upcoming election to avoid falling victim to Republican efforts to disrupt the vote count.
In an interview with The Circus on Showtime, the former secretary of state accused Republicans of trying to “mess up” absentee balloting to gain “a narrow advantage in the electoral college.” She claimed that in Wisconsin’s primary in April, Republicans “did everything they could to mess up voting.”
So is the orderly transfer of power going to be the next casualty of the increasing polarization of the nation? Breaking with the tradition of a gracious concession by the loser on election night, Mrs. Clinton only conceded the next day, and arguably without the traditional grace and good wishes for the victor and the country one expected.
COVID-19 has upped the ante for the Democratic push for mail in voting (when unrequested ballots are mailed out to all on the voter roll, dead or alive, creating new opportunities for voter fraud). Although the revered Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that there is “no reason” Americans can’t vote in person, mail-in voting enthusiasts are saying that if we don’t adopt this radical change overnight, we will be suppressing the vote, a false and dangerous charge.
For the record, President Trump has never said he would accept the results of an election, either in 2016 or this year. He should of course, even if he adds some caveat about accurate results. Still, he has never mounted an attack on the electoral system as Mrs. Clinton seems to be doing. I suspect he is trolling his opponents, but . . .
Mrs. Clinton’s party has had four years to plan to get Trump out of office; instead of looking to the normal political process, it indulged the fantasy that it could remove him by impeachment, though the votes were never there. But Mrs. Clinton’s “Never Concede!” advice may have the most potential for harm yet.