The right to lose

After a year of being shocked by Trump’s behavior, people are now finally out of meaningful things to be upset about. We’re down to “Trump isn’t going to accept the results if he loses?!” The tone on the FiveThirtyEight elections podcast (mostly from Clare Malone) was “How dare he?! He must accept the outcome of the election!”

He’s not going to storm the White House, he’s just going to be a sore loser. Why, at this point, should we expect him to lose gracefully? What benefit would that give anyone? He’s not weakening institutions, just being a big baby. We shouldn’t be surprised!

I’m not saying that Trump gets an out because he’s exceptional. I’ve got two related points: 1) Good deeds lose their meaning if they weren’t done by choice. We don’t have to celebrate him being a sore loser, but we shouldn’t try to stop him (whatever that might mean) either. 2) If you aren’t free to be wrong, you aren’t free. Yes, democracy isn’t actually about freedom, but we are still trying to be a free country.

16 thoughts on “The right to lose

  1. My understanding is that concern over Trump’s dithering about whether he’ll accept the results of the election has more to do with the kinds of violence this will stir, and not so much about what he personally will do. Don’t forget that his most hardcore supporters are members of the state’s security apparatus, as well as various rural paramilitary outfits who started emerging after Obama became president. Spreading the message that the election is illegitimate and American democratic institutions are no longer functioning dramatically increases the potential for attempts at violent insurrections and increasingly politicized and dysfunctional policing.

    This is precisely what happens in countries with shoddy election processes and authoritarian institutions–losing parties abandon democratic processes, in favor of extra-legal and extra-judicial methods of protecting their (perceived) interests and imposing their will.

    “War is the continuation of politics by other means”, after all.

    • @Arjun. You find this of interest. https://www.splcenter.org/active-antigovernment-groups-united-states

      “The antigovernment movement has experienced a resurgence, growing quickly since 2008, when President Obama was elected to office. Factors fueling the antigovernment movement in recent years include changing demographics driven by immigration, the struggling economy and the election of the first African-American president.Of these groups, 276 were militias marked with an asterisk, and the remainder include “common-law” courts, publishers, ministries, and citizens’ groups. Generally, such groups define themselves as opposed to the “New World Order,” engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines.

      Listing here (below) does not imply that the groups themselves advocate or engage in violence or other criminal activities, or are racist. The list was compiled from field reports, group publications, the Internet, law enforcement sources and news reports. Groups are identified by the city, county or region where they are located.”

      The graph is of particular note: it demonstrates that [as you pointed out] anti-government militias exploded in growth after 2008.

      The state-by-state list of militias would be easily matched with political endorsements [if any] using google-fu. Of course using empirical data for your argument only works in discourse only works with people who believe in fucking EVIDENCE.

      • SPLC has a long, ugly history of labeling anyone they don’t agree with as “racists” or “extremists.”

        They’re a relic of the culture wars of the 1960s and aren’t taken seriously by anyone with an ounce of skepticism under the age of 30. Sorry not sorry bro!

      • “They’re a relic of the culture wars of the 1960s and aren’t taken seriously by anyone with an ounce of skepticism under the age of 30.”

        Whoa bro’ you’ll harsh my buzz with your time-tripping and channeling of Jack Weinberg. ‘Don’t trust anyone over 30’? They work for The Man? That’s cool, that’s cool. Sing along with me

        Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh
        He comes down from the North
        Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh
        all the presents he brings forth
        Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh
        He’s a jolly man they say
        Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh
        Smash the state on Christmas day!

  2. When you look at the Veritas videos and Wikileaks, you view the dark underside of election fraud and manipulation of our voting system. Trump and his supporters have the right in a Democracy to object and question the outcome when criminal deeds are ignored in the voting process.

  3. “When you look at the Veritas videos and Wikileaks, you view the dark underside of election fraud and manipulation of our voting system. Trump and his supporters have the right in a Democracy to object and question the outcome when criminal deeds are ignored in the voting process.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    • How is this laughable but Arjun’s speculation that Trump’s “[…] most hardcore supporters are members of the state’s security apparatus, as well as various rural paramilitary outfits who started emerging after Obama became president” is not?

      Double standards Uncle T. Double standards…

      • Two things to consider. First – track record. johnbarleycorn12 is a flake and has demonstrated it repeatedly. IMO Arjun has not. Second and more importantly I believe there is data to back up Arjun’s claim about the militia groups. I translate ‘state security apparatus’ as police. I think he may be right there as but empirical evidence would be harder to get. On the other hand there are numerous counters that show johnbarleycorn12’s wingnut claims about ‘election fraud’ and ‘criminal deeds’ are utter bullshit.

        The Southern Poverty Law Center https://www.splcenter.org/ has 892 currently active hate groups in the US. I believe many of the militia groups will be there. You show me that the militias are hard core Clinton supporters and I’ll retract my laughter at johnbarleycorn12.

      • Uncle T:

        Your first item to consider is allllll ad hominem. A fallacy not worth debunking at this point.

        Your second item cites the Southern Poverty Law Center (!!!) to back up your defense of Arjun’s crackpottery.

        It’s Friday. You’ll forgive if I try to find bigger fish to fry for the rest of the afternoon…

  4. “Your second item cites the Southern Poverty Law Center (!!!) to back up your defense of Arjun’s crackpottery.” Your writing is ambiguous enough so that someone could interpret this as a claim that the SPLC is not a credible source for tracking hate groups. Surely this is not what you mean.

    “Your first item to consider is allllll ad hominem.” Of course it is. I care not if you feel the urge to debunk. I’m explaining not persuading. I put no credence in internet cranks, wingnuts, and other wack-a-doodles. If you want to that’s your call.

    “It’s Friday. You’ll forgive if I try to find bigger fish to fry for the rest of the afternoon…”

    Sure. Even if it were another day of the week I have better things to do. That’s why i’m putting the ball in your court: prove me and Arjun wrong. Until you do I will continue to laugh at the idjit and his wild conspiracy theories.

    • Your writing is ambiguous enough so that someone could interpret this as a claim that the SPLC is not a credible source for tracking hate groups. Surely this is not what you mean.

      That’s exactly what I mean. SPLC is garbage, bro. I mean, I wouldn’t even use its “work” to wipe my butt.

      Yours and Arjun’s conspiracy theories are just too weird to entertain. Think it through: Trump supporters “are members of the state’s security apparatus, as well as various rural paramilitary outfits who started emerging after Obama became president”? That’s crackpot nonsense. Here.

      • I should have clarified my initial comment. I’m not saying that Trump supporters are all a bunch of paramilitary types, I’m saying that the paramilitary types are Trump supporters, and that members of the state security forces tend to be Trump supporters. I don’t think this should be at all controversial, the unions representing police and border patrol agents have both endorsed Trump, as have many different militia groups.

      • @Arjun,

        And yet, no evidence to support your accusations. (Sorry, the SPLC doesn’t count, unless you’re an internet crank over the age of 30.)

        You claim, for example, that police unions have endorsed Trump, but that scarcely bolsters your argument. Which unions? All of them? Everywhere in the US? I find it hard to believe that public sector unions, a major cash cow of the Democratic Party, would opt to support a Republican over a Democrat. The same goes for the US Border Patrol. (Which federal bureaucracy does the Border Patrol fall under, anyway?)

        It’s just too rich, too convenient, and too good to be true. Again.

        @Professor Terry,

        You’re starting to spazz out a little…

        What if Trump wins?

  5. “That’s exactly what I mean. SPLC is garbage, bro. I mean, I wouldn’t even use its “work” to wipe my butt.”

    Oh please. No reason to even continue this conversation.

Please keep it civil (unless it relates to Jacques)

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