If the trajectory of the 2016 presidential election remains constant, there is an overwhelming probability (86 percent according to Nate Silver at 538) Hillary Clinton will be declared the next chief executive of the United States. That announcement is likely to come shortly after the polls close in California, Oregon and Washington.
Claims that the “election is rigged” has many pundits questioning whether Donald Trump will take the stage and concede defeat, ascribing the mantle of legitimacy to the victor. This is a time-honored traditional. But as we all know, this election cycle has been anything but traditional.
To uphold this standard of American politics, I would suggest Hillary Clinton deliver a concession speech. After thanking all of those who have helped her become the next White House occupant, she should consider the following text as she acknowledges her victory.
Voters deserve the opportunity to hear a concession speech at the end of every hard-fought political campaign. Concession speeches have often been touted as the losing candidate’s finest moment. And the pundits often wonder why the candidate did not show the same eloquence and grace throughout the campaign.
My opponent has chosen not to use this opportunity to affirm the exceptional nature of the peaceful transfer of power in our democracy. Therefore, believing a concession speech is still in order, I offer the following.
I concede that I and my campaign too often catered to our base and turned a deaf ear to the concerns of many Americans who have been hurt by past economic policies. Their concerns must be a addressed by the next president and Congress.
I concede, at times, I and my campaign contributed to the lack of civil discourse during this election cycle. Voters deserve better and I will ensure those who disagree with our policies and actions are still respected and given the opportunity to voice opposing views.
I concede I could have been more transparent about how my positions were initially formed and evolved over time. I recognize the public deserves to know where their leaders stand on the important issues which affect their lives.
I concede my error in using a private email server was due in part to my failure to trust those normally responsible for providing this service. That is not acceptable. I have learned a lot about myself from the criticism many have made of my actions and will seek and heed the advice of individuals duly authorized to oversee the operations of the executive branch.
I concede my belief in the good being done by our family foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative justified my sometimes being more engaged in its operations than I should have been while Secretary of State. Although there is no instance in which national policies or actions were influenced by donations to these efforts, I should have held myself and my staff to a more stringent standard. I pledge to do so during my administration.
In the interest of reversing the deep divisions which emerged and grew during this campaign season, I hope I would have made these same concessions if I had been on the losing end of this election. I also hope my opponent would agree that Americans deserve better than what we have presented to them over the past 18 months. And it is incumbent on all of us–candidates, party officials and citizens–to think about how each of us has contributed to the ugly discourse and divisive nature of this election. Only through trust, mutual respect and appreciation of each other’s aspirations will the next president have a chance to fulfill the desire of every person who has held that office to build “a more perfect union.”
I have always appreciated the fact the preamble to our Constitution refers to “a union,” not “The Union,” a synonym for the United States. The dictionary defines “union” as “
Thank you again for this humbling opportunity. Starting tomorrow, I look forward to working with each of you to secure the enduring promise of America for all our citizens.
I hope Clinton does not have to give this speech. I hope Donald Trump follows the examples of Richard Nixon in 1960 and Al Gore in 2000, both of whom had reason to challenge the election outcomes. Each of these losing candidates reminded his supporters there comes a time when we must honor the voters’ choice in defeat as well as in victory.
For what it’s worth.