I share with you here the concession speech that Mitt Romney offered following his lamentable loss in the 2012 presidential election:
I also found this note, which I received yesterday (Friday) afternoon from my friend Tom Pittman, of considerable interest. I share it with his kind permission:
Ready for two ironies?
(1) In electoral votes, the most likely scenario is President Trump will lose by the same number of electoral votes that he beat Hillary by in 2016. Trump refers to that as a “landslide victory”. (306 to 232).
(2) In popular votes, President Trump will lose by about the amount Mitt Romney did in 2012. Trump refers to Romney as a “choke artist” for losing by that much. (Both had about 47% of the popular vote.)
As many of you are aware, I swore off political posting here several months ago. The partisan divide at the time was too impassioned, too heated, for me to believe that my spouting off here would have any impact or do any good. And (much more importantly) I had been told at second hand of a potentially significant donor to the Interpreter Foundation who had vowed that, because of my political views, he would not contribute to support our work — work that is, incidentally and for the record, wholly and completely nonpartisan and nonpolitical. Given the negligible influence that my political posts might possibly have had and the tangible harm that my political posts had already apparently done to the Interpreter Foundation, it seemed to me obvious that I should refrain from further posting on political matters.
But the election is now behind us. Any ambiguity that remains on that point — if any really does — will be handled by the courts. I hope that the bitter partisanship will subside. So I’m going to rescind my self-imposed ban on political posts. There will be several issues on which I’ll want to comment from time to time — including the impending Biden/Harris administration, certain Supreme Court cases, and the persisting question about which party will control the Senate — and I intend to comment. I don’t like being muzzled. Even if I’m the one doing the muzzling.
As should have been clear, I voted for neither Mr. Trump nor Mr. Biden. I’m not especially happy with the election of Mr. Biden and the elevation of the far-further-left Kamala Harris to the proverbial heartbeat’s remove from the Oval Office. I’m a free market conservative, after all. But I won’t be unhappy to see Mr. Trump exit the White House. The dishonesty, the perpetual incivility, the always-transactional self-service, the crudity, the amorality, the incomprehension of constitutional and other norms, the hostility to science, the incoherence, the ceaseless self-generated crises and scandals, the ballooning national debt, the egocentrism, the gross politicization and disastrous mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, the musical chairs administrative style, the continuing demands for absolute personal loyalty, the personality cult . . . I won’t miss these at all.
Given my deep distaste for Mr. Trump on multiple levels, the election may turn out as well as I could possibly, realistically, have hoped — with a decreased Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, a continuing Republican majority in the Senate, a barely-elected Biden/Harris administration that lacks any real mandate for dramatic changes beyond not being Donald Trump, and (wonder of wonders!) a 6-3 conservative, originalist majority on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Have we elected an “avowed Marxist” to the American presidency, as some have described President-Elect Biden? Not at all. He’s not a Marxist, and certainly not an “avowed” one. (Look the word avowed up.) He’s further to the left than I would like. Much further. But he’s within the mainstream. And I firmly believe that his instincts incline him to compromise and moderation. There are, however, left-wing elements in the Democratic Party — including Kamala Harris — that will try very hard to drag him further leftwards, so, for his own good and for that of the nation, I think it very important that he be forced to work with a Republican-controlled Senate. He might even prove to be inwardly grateful for an excuse not to enact the agenda of the radical Left, a scapegoat on which to blame his failure to defund the police and move us toward a socialist utopia.
Many years ago, not long after I had joined the faculty, Senator Joe Biden came to Brigham Young University and spoke to a relatively small audience that was crammed into the Varsity Theater in the Ernest L. Wilkinson Student Center. I went early and managed to join in the event. I was at once dazzled and terrified. He handled the crowd extraordinarily well, moving among them with the ease of the then popular audience-participation television talk-show host Phil Donahue. I thought back then that he was a political figure to be reckoned with.
He’s much older now, and, I think, nowhere near as agile mentally, verbally, or physically as he was then — although I noticed his jogging onto the stage tonight for his victory speech. Several major gaffes, not least among them some spectacular revelations of arrant plagiarism, delayed his rise to the presidency but ultimately failed to stop it.
However, for those of you who fear, hate, or are inclined to demonize Joe Biden, please consider this:
For those of you who might despise, hate, or be disposed to demonize Mitt Romney, please consider this:
By the same token, my friend Anne Palmieri (a disappointed Trump voter) has shared some calls from Biden partisans for retribution against Trump supporters. For instance, a Washington Post opinion writer is alleged to have declared that “We have to burn down the Republican Party. We have to level them. Because if there are any survivors they could do this again.” Others are calling for the compilation of “lists” of those who backed Mr. Trump.
One of the things that I’ve hated — hated — over the past several years has been the vitriol and incivility of American politics. I blame Donald Trump for a great deal of this, but he didn’t invent it — instead, he rode it to the presidency — and it’s certainly not a monopoly of the political “Right” (where some, not I, place Trumpism). To me, the comments and the perspective that some curiously triumphant Leftists advocate are utterly contemptible. And they’re a bit mystifying, as well: What makes these Bidenistas imagine, given the close election that we’ve just gone through — with the Republicans gaining seats in the House and apparently retaining control of the Senate, and with Biden/Harris barely eking out an Electoral College victory — that they now possess some sort of mandate, or the status or the power, to launch an ideological witch hunt or a political pogrom against those who voted differently? This is the kind of thing that must stop. It must stop, or it will destroy our country.
I hope that the unifying, conciliatory, and charitable sentiments expressed by President-Elect Biden this evening will triumph, not only in the pending Biden administration itself but among Americans generally.