Accepting Defeat With Dignity Is Important in a Democracy


MINOT, N.D. — If you want to live in a society like ours, with expansive political freedoms, you must learn to accept defeat with dignity.

Some political outcomes won’t go your way.

That doesn’t mean you have to abandon what you believe in, but if we want a peaceful society, you do have to accept the outcome.

I’m worried about what will happen in November. Very large factions among both President Donald Trump’s supporters and detractors have convinced themselves of far-reaching conspiracies to manipulate the outcome on Election Day.

Whoever wins, be it Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden, many will refuse to accept the outcome.

With recent history as evidence, many will express their chagrin with violence and vandalism. Many more will commit themselves to obstruct the governance of the winning party with endless lawsuits and investigations.

And then the cycle will repeat, driving the divide between us wider, all because we’ve lost the ability to accept that other well-meaning people with different views about the way things oughta be will, in a society like ours, sometimes get to be in charge.

This isn’t just playing out at the national level.

For a local example, look no further than the recent debacle around Measure 3.

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