November 7, 2020
As the major networks declared a victory for Joe Biden Saturday morning and celebrations erupted across the country, President Donald Trump quickly doubled down on his insistence that he still stands a chance at securing a second term. After baselessly claiming voter fraud throughout the week, the Trump campaign is promising to continue fighting with lawyers, recounts, and lies to try and keep Trump in the White House.
A video essay released by the New York Times Opinion section Saturday attempts to convince Trump to stop his flailing and concede. The minute-and-a-half-long video, titled “You Can Do This, Donald Trump,” outlines the long history of Americans meeting defeat with grace. From little leaguers to Richard Nixon, Chai Dingari’s video illustrates just how unprecedented Trump’s rejection of losing really is. Watch the video below.
The video opens with shots of famous winners: Regina King’s 2019 Oscar win. Muhammad Ali’s 1965 victory over Sonny Liston. And a parade of sports celebrations.
“In life, there are winners. And there are losers,” the video begins. “You wanted to win so bad, and it just wasn’t meant to be. But when you do lose, it’s important to do it gracefully.”
The video goes on to offer historic examples of people appropriately responding to defeat, starting with children.
In the 2014 Little League World Series, players on the Rhode Island team — ages 10 to 12 — are shown shaking the hands of the victorious Illinois team. “The kids from Rhode Island are going home, but they should be awfully proud,” a sportscaster remarks.
The examples continue: The 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee runner-up, 12-year-old Naysa Modi. Michael Jordan. Hillary Clinton. John McCain. Al Gore. George H.W. Bush. Richard Nixon. All losers who accepted their defeat with good sportsmanship.
“And now it’s your turn, Donald. You can do it,” the voiceover continues. “You lost, so it’s time to concede. It’s time to be a good loser.”
As the networks began calling the election for Biden Saturday morning, Trump quickly took to Twitter to declare “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!”
While the numbers directly invalidate that claim, the Trump campaign has vowed to seek recounts in several states as part of an strategy to pursue litigation as a path to possible victory.
CNN, NBC News, Fox and other networks have projected that Biden crossed the 270-electoral-vote threshold with a victory in Pennsylvania. CNN and MSNBC projections now stand at 279-213.
While it’s unlikely the Times’ video alone will convince Trump to throw in the towel, it’s worth noting that a candidate’s refusal to concede has no bearing on the results of an election.
Source: IndieWire film