The Big Think

November 8, 2006

Good Losers

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 9:32 am

I haven’t heard or read much from the candidates themselves, but something I’m noticing this morning from the bloggers and comments is a remarkable lack of recrimination, claims of disenfranchisement, or insistence that the close races were somehow rigged.

This country went through painful schisms the past few years after closely decided elections. In each of those cases, the red side won. We then had to endure six years of claims that the election was stolen and the leaders were illegitimate. Now the shoe is on the other foot. This was a close election (sometimes breathtakingly), but what I’m not hearing this morning are claims of stolen elections by the losing side. Instead, this is what I read:

“As the 110th Congress convenes next year, Republicans must cordially accept defeat and dedicate ourselves to advancing our cause as the loyal opposition”. link

“We now have two years in the wilderness to rediscover our principles. Let us come back with a renewed sense of purpose, clarity of vision, and dedication to the principles of the founding fathers”. Link

“I doubt many people reading this page are thrilled with the prospects of Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Dingell and Leader Reid. But you know what? They won, and they get the spoils.”Link

“There may come a time for partisan sniping, but that time is not this morning. Everyone involved in leading this nation now has the sacred duty to serve their country first, last and only.”link

“Now George Allen has a chance. He can announce that he will let the electoral process run its course but decline the invitation to lawyer up. And we can support him. The vicious cycle that began with Al Gore in 2000 can be ended. Graciousness can be returned to American politics. It is perhaps a deliciously ironic coda to this election season that the candidate who waged the season’s ugliest and most inept campaign can be the guy to restore class and dignity to the American political system. This is a real opportunity for Senator Allen, as it is for the rest of us.”link

These words, found on this morning’s blog posts, are the sign of a healthy party. Disappointed, yes, but unwilling to blame a loss at the polls on anything other than their side’s own shortcomings. What’s the result? Ultimately, a stronger, more focussed party. I can only hope that the next time the blue guys suffer a big loss, they can react similarly.

One more thought for anyone who believes the last six years of elections have been rigged. If that’s true, if the process is as corrupt and twisted as some people maintain, wouldn’t the results have been different last night? Wouldn’t the Machiavellian Manipulators have won? The races were just as close, but the outcome was different.

The system works. Sometimes in our favor, sometimes not. I’m proud of the fact that the losing side is showing so much class in defeat. Maybe there’s hope after all.

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