Leaders show how to convert loss into honor

Conceding elections gracefully is an aspect of American exceptionalism, an example to the rest of the world of how a system that vests ultimate power in the people can solve its differences.



November 10, 2020 - 8:19 AM

Joe Biden celebrates with his family and supporters after winning the presidential election on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. Photo by (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States, according to projections announced Saturday morning.

Still, President Trump has indicated his campaign will continue to fight the results in court. He is within his rights to challenge the counting and to submit whatever evidence he has of irregularities to courts. It is important to be absolutely sure that allegations are argued, examined and adjudicated, especially in such a close race. But it may prove hard for him to overturn the results in enough states to push him over the 270-vote threshold in the Electoral College.

And so, Trump must recognize that a time to concede may be coming, despite his strong feelings otherwise. It may come despite, perhaps, court rulings with which he disagrees. An eventual concession is necessary for the republic, whose needs are far greater than any candidate’s, and for the safety and welfare of all Americans.

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