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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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Refusal of some Republicans to commit to accepting election results is troubling

You can blame Donald Trump, and you should, for the example he has set of not only refusing to accept the result of an election he lost, but of announcing in advance that he would refuse to accept the result if he lost.

This was and is a recipe for the death or at least mortal wounding of democracy in our country. But it used to be possible to believe that once the anti-democratic fever Trump unleashed on at least one of America’s two major parties passed from the scene, things might return to normal – which is why the results of a survey by the Washington Post of what it called “19 of the most closely watched statewide races in the country” is so disturbing. In those 19 races, the Post asked the major party nominees recently (two months before the election) whether they would commit to accepting the result of the election if they duly authorized officials determined they had lost.

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All 19 of the Democratic nominees said they would accept the outcome if they lost.

Only seven of the 19 Republican nominees did so. The other 12 “either refused to commit or declined to respond,” the post reported.

As the Post put it:

“The reluctance of many GOP candidates to embrace a long-standing tenet of American democracy shows how Trump’s assault on the integrity of U.S. elections has spread far beyond the 2020 presidential race. This year, multiple losing candidates could refuse to accept their defeats.”

This is some scary poop for the future of the American experiment in democracy. The full Post piece can be accessed here, but I’m not sure if you need to be a subscriber to access it.

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