While Donald Trump is the one who endlessly gets asked the question, let’s be honest, the candidate most likely not to accept the results of the presidential election is Hillary Clinton, should she come out on the losing side.
If Donald Trump is declared the winner on the evening of Nov. 8, can anyone really imagine Hillary stepping in front of the cameras and microphones, conceding the election, congratulating Trump and wishing him well?
No, if Trump wins, what we can expect from the Clinton campaign — with its water carried by most of the national mainstream media — are endless allegations of voter suppression, shenanigans in minority precincts, interference by the Russians, and improprieties by Republican secretaries of state and other GOP election officials. Those claims will be substantiated by the New York Times, Washington Post, and all the broadcast TV networks, all of whom will offer “facts” backing up Clinton’s allegations.
It is also not a stretch to imagine a scenario where, if Trump is victorious, the national mainstream media and the Clinton campaign will encourage the Trump electors in each state — remember, when we vote on Election Day, we are voting for presidential electors, not the candidates themselves — to become “faithless electors” and instead cast their votes for Hillary, because Trump is simply too dangerous. Such arm-twisting happened to Bush electors in 2000.
On the other hand, if Clinton wins and Trump is the one contesting the results, he will be denounced by those same news outlets as a threat to the peaceful transfer of power. Regardless of your political affiliation or who you support in this election, you have to acknowledge the truth in how the media would treat each eventuality.
A Trump victory is still a real possibility, despite efforts to imply that the election is over. As of Oct. 22, at least three respected polls had Trump leading or tied with Clinton nationally. According to Real Clear Politics, IBD/TIPP had Trump up 2, Rasmussen had the same result, and the LA Times/USC tracking poll showed a tie. Many other polls showing Clinton with the lead are within the margin of error, including the Economist and Reuters polls.
Of course, state by state results are what matters, and we are all witnessing, two weeks out, the propagandizing of a Hillary landslide, with traditionally Republican states going to Hillary. Along with the NeverTrump Republicans and other GOP candidates who have lately turned their backs on Trump and who, in so doing, would be largely responsible for electing Hillary, they hope it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The polls will continue to fluctuate, but this race won’t be over until Election Day, and the results will likely not be accepted until well after Nov. 8, no matter who is ahead when the first round of counting ends.
The Bush-Gore contest in 2000 set the precedent for contesting results. Al Gore refused to concede on Election Night 2000, leading to a court battle that, to this day, has many claiming that George W. Bush was “selected,” not elected. In fact, only two candidates in the last 16 years have refused to concede on Election Night, both of them Democrats — Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004.
So why does the media contort themselves into pretzels when Trump says he’ll wait and see whether he accepts the results on Nov. 8?
For the same reason they devote 5 to 10 times the amount of print and airtime to unsubstantiated allegations from women who have emerged as much as 30 years later to claim that Trump touched them or kissed them without their consent, compared to much more solid evidence that Hillary sold access to foreign powers through Clinton Foundation donations, illegally deleted tens of thousands of emails after they were subpoenaed by Congress, and hired paid agitators to cause violence at Trump rallies.
It’s not difficult to believe that Donald Trump has acted inappropriately toward women, since he bragged about it to Billy Bush in a now infamous taped conversation. What’s impossible to believe is that his victims only now became spontaneously motivated to come forward. Can we all just acknowledge the obvious fact that the Clinton campaign, the Democratic Party and their media allies have been planning the October revelations since the summer of 2015?
If you despise Donald Trump on a personal level, that’s understandable. But what you have to concede is that there’s not a phony bone in his body. Trump is who he is, without apology, demonstrating it time after time against the wishes of his own campaign strategists. Not since the days of Wilt Chamberlain endlessly holding the ball in the low post has everyone been breathlessly waiting for someone to eventually pivot. But Trump, like Wilt, thinks he knows best and ignores his coaches.
Trump will be Trump. He may be obnoxious, but he is about as open and real as anyone who has ever run for president. Hillary, by comparison, couldn’t be more carefully wrapped and packaged if she came with a child-proof cap. What Trump supporters like most is that he is someone who is the opposite of a poll-tested candidate with a focus-group message. If he loses, he will be the last authentic candidate for generations to come.
It’s likely that on Election Night no one will be able to conclusively report who won the presidency, because neither side is likely to concede it. The U.S. Supreme Court should be on high alert, because the election is almost certainly coming its way.
If that happens because Trump has been declared the winner, we will be told that Hillary is doing the right thing on behalf of the nation. If it happens because Hillary came up short, we will be told that Trump is a sore loser and a threat to democracy. The talking points are already prepared, either way.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.