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Opinion

There cannot be a democracy if candidates are not willing to lose


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Aug. 03, 2022 - 7:39 PM

There cannot be a democracy if candidates are not willing to lose

The Newnan Times-Herald

There is a ton of information out there and two tons of misinformation occupying the same space in people's heads.

I first voted in 1969, and I understood that election officials could be trusted and that the election results could be verified independently in a nonpartisan fashion; plus all elections since then have been carried out by this same principle.

In fact, as a part of western industrialized civilization and daily life … you win some and — you lose some. Even the market and everything else moves up and down. Maybe that's not the way it's supposed to be, but that's the way it is.

The nation we purport to love, admire and cherish has always conducted its affairs through free and fair elections. Losers, myself included (at times) have consistently bowed to the will of the voters, peacefully.

Recounts are a part of the process. Lawsuits as a means of fairness and verification are also a part of the process. Have at it. Our court system is largely beyond reproach and beyond question, because judgments can be appealed. Occasionally cases are overturned by the preponderance of the evidence or even errors from the bench.

Some appeals have reached the highest court in the land. But, voting is the mechanism that checks would-be dictators, monarchs, criminals and autocrats from seizing power, never to be relinquished again (see Britain, China and Russia, and all the rest of the despot nations).

What makes us (USA) the exception is that any person who stands for elective service declares out of principle, moral fabric, personal integrity and decency, that it's possible that they might lose. There cannot be a democracy if the candidates are not willing to lose, if that is the will of the people.

Political losers shall not resort to violence as a means to win or overturn political elections. Why? Because it's un-American, and it's unacceptable. The peaceful transfer of political power is and has always been the bedrock of our democracy until recently.

Every patriot knows better. We do not resort to fighting when our children get bad marks in school; when our sports teams are defeated, or someone at work gets a promotion or you are whipped in a debate.

Cry if you must, but you can walk off the stage knowing that you did your best.

Accept the fact that there is no overturning the election result and go home. How else can there be freedom and justice for all?

Al Smith

Newnan