On November 4, 2020

Accepting the election results

By Tom Evslin

Editor’s note: Tom Evslin is an entrepreneur, author and former Douglas administration official and was the former chair and co-founder of NG Advantage, which brings natural gas to energy-intensive enterprises not located on a gas pipeline.

Both sides are ready to cry foul.

President Donald Trump has infamously refused to say whether he’ll accept the results of the upcoming election. That’s unacceptable, of course. If the election is close, both sides will demand recounts in key states. That is acceptable. There will be legal challenges from both sides in recounts; that’s acceptable, too. The huge number of mailed-in ballots will complicate sorting out the conflicting claims; that’s inevitable even if it’s something President Trump has predicted (“without evidence,” as the New York Times likes to point out).

Maybe the election won’t be close. But, even if it is, the claims will eventually be sorted out by courts at various levels. Once that’s done, whether you’re for Trump or Biden, are you ready to accept the result? Or are you going to spend the next four years trying to reverse whatever decision your fellow Americans made?

If you are a Trump supporter and he loses, are you going to claim that the election was stolen by biased media and/or crooked mail-in ballots or by holdover Democrat-appointed judges? If you are a Biden supporter and he loses, are you going to complain that the election was stolen because of Russian “interference” or because some mail-in ballots were invalidated by Trump-appointed judges? In either case, are you going to try to undo the proclaimed election result either by force or by the now over-used impeachment tool?

Do we relitigate Bidengate for four years even if Americans elect him knowing full well that he didn’t recuse himself in the Ukraine when he should have. What about Trump not releasing his tax returns? The voters knew about that before the last election.

What about foreign interference? Do we really think that citizens of the most ad-saturated nation in the world were significantly influenced by a puny ad spend by other countries or even by foreign-originated false news? Why do we even use the word “interference” for anything but tampering with actual votes? Radio Free Europe used to try to influence politics and even insurgency in other countries by broadcasting our version of the truth.

Best for the nation is acceptance of the results post the recounts and court cases. A huge number of us will have to face the fact that the person we didn’t vote for is the president. Big deal; that’s what happens in a democracy. It doesn’t mean we have to buy into policies we don’t agree with but it does mean we shouldn’t consider ourselves a heroic “resistance” just because we didn’t get our way.

I will wish success to whomever is president because his success is ours. I’ll support policies I do agree with such as radical closing of tax loopholes (only way to raise the taxes the rich pay), a higher minimum wage (never thought I’d say that), charter schools and school choice, freedom of speech, and mandatory Covid vaccinations once the vaccines have been thoroughly vetted. I’ll oppose things I don’t agree with like reestablishing the non-treaty with Iran, allowing excess methane emissions from oil wells, racism including racial preferences, continuing the chokehold teachers unions have on education, and limits on free speech from the left or the right.

And I will respect the opinions of those who don’t agree with me … except those who don’t think I have a right to an opinion different than theirs. Here’s to a more civil four years coming up.

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