Dear Mrs. Clinton: Please Concede the Election, Now
Last week Hillary Clinton reprised her notorious Wellesley graduation speech with another graceless graduation day speech at her alma mater. In her latest effort, the losing candidate in the 2016 presidential election continued her Sore Loser narrative that began the day after the November 8 election, and launched damp squib after damp squib at the president.
Honestly, I don’t know what Hillary Clinton thinks she is doing with all this “resistance” talk, and the foolish idea, told to New York magazine, that she “beat both of them,” Sanders and Trump.
I suppose that what with all their postmodern prattle that Democrats these days don’t study political science, don’t study history and don’t study Germans like Clausewitz. All they do, one supposes, is go to seminars on Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, courtesy of the Catholic Church, and spend their lives “organizing΅ and “resisting.”
Let’s go to the German. Clausewitz’s most famous aphorism is that “War is a mere continuation of politics by other means.” You German scholars will be anxious to see the quote in the original German: “Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln." Interestingly, “bloße” means “naked” as well as “mere,” so go figure.
Let us boil Clausewitz down further: politics is a show of force; war is actual force.
This means that all the words and the actions of domestic politics are really shows of force. In this view, an election is a sham war, in which the decision goes to the side that wins the sham battle on Election Day.
In the old days, especially after a Democratic victory, the mainstream media would spend about two months arguing how we are all Americans and how we all come together after the election.
This process would start with the concession speech by the losing candidate on election night.
The reason for conceding elections and dialing down the partisan rhetoric for a year or so after a big presidential election is that the point of politics is to avoid civil war, and win with shows of force instead of actual force. We have a good old set-to in the months leading up to the election and then we send all the political soldiers home. We ratify, in other words, a peace treaty between the Ins and the Outs, the Wes and the Theys, until next time.
You will notice that the Democrats and the mainstream media have been dispensing with this sort of thing of late. In 2000 Al Gore conceded the election and then unconceded it. And after the U.S. Supreme Court had “selected” Bush, Al Gore continued to unconcede the election. No peace treaty. That is why Volvos and Subarus and Priuses all over North Seattle sported ReDefeat Bush bumper stickers for years after 2000.
And Hillary Clinton, who is no less a fool and a knave than Al Gore, has gone along with all this “resistance” stuff. I do not know why she has done this, but I do know that she is a fool and a knave for not conceding and not telling her supporters to go home.
I get what the Democrats think they are doing. It is tactics, getting in the face of the opposition, per Alinsky, as in sending protesters to the home of FCC chairman Ajit Pai.
But what is the strategy? What is the big picture that justifies these tactics of confrontation?
Well, we know the liberal’s big picture. It is, as Martin Luther King said, and Barack Obama repeats, that the arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.
But today’s escalation of political partisanship is just escalating the political heat, and it leads to civil war, a civil war, liberals, that you would likely lose.
We like to crow that the Civil War freed the slaves. But ten years after the war the victorious North abandoned the freedmen to the tender mercies of the KKK and Jim Crow in a crooked deal over the 1876 election. So the 800,000 died for another century of segregation and oppression?
I am coming to believe that there is no such thing as justice: only injustice, the clunking fist of the ruling class upon the supporters of the losing side.
In my view, the measure of a man is not what he believes at the end of the rainbow of justice, but what he is willing to concede to the other side in the spirit of good will, right now.
Obviously, there is not much good will in a political party that calls out the Other as racist sexist deplorables.
The problem is that two can play at that game and it merely leads to politics by other means.
And the Hillary Clintons and the media are no better than the generals that liberals tell us are always fighting the last war.
Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.