Hello to the winners, to the undefeated among us: Frank O’Bannon, Julia and Andre Carson, Dan Coats, Mitch Daniels, Robert Orr, Lee Hamilton, Todd Young, Bob Knight’s 1976 Hoosiers, all champions in politics and sport.
In their time, they did not face the permanence of defeat and the opportunity to accept such a fate.
There are other modern statesmen and statesmen who have known the bitterness of defeat: Richard Lugar, Evan and Birch Bayh, Doc Bowen, Andy Jacobs Jr., Bill Hudnut, Steve Goldsmith, Dan Quayle, Joe Kernan , John Gregg and Pete Buttigieg. With their defeats, they accepted their fate with varying degrees of humility and grace. There are those like Mike Pence, John Brademas and Phil Sharp who would come back from the stings of multiple losses to reach the winner’s circle.
In the weeks and months to come, Republicans in Hoosier will be faced with a choice: to accept the fate designated by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of voters, or to adhere to the corrupt motives, batons and bargains of the former autocratic President Donald Trump, who lives by Roy Cohn’s credo of never accepting defeat; to simply proclaim victory in the face of empirical results and evidence.
The fate of the republic, the fragile American experiment of democracy, can be hung in the balance of these individual but collective choices. If Americans no longer accept the legitimacy of victory and the verdict of defeat, American democracy will weaken and, perhaps, collapse.
Growing up in Indiana, a schoolboy in Hoosier was taught: âWinners never cheat and cheaters never win. In this context, the notion of “sore loser” was implicit: they were never celebrated, on the contrary, mocked and rejected.
On every Remembrance Day, a Hoosier schoolboy was glued to Paul Page on the radio, calling the Indianapolis 500. Many of us have experienced Walter Mitty, imagining him joining the milk-splashed podium revisited by the quadruple champions AJ Foyt, Al Unser, Rick Mears and Helio Castroneves. There may have been tears from the vanquished Scott Goodyear or Marco Andretti or after millisecond losses, but they accepted their fate, perhaps realizing that he was as close to victory as he was. they could have. Maybe there would be tears shed at Gasoline Alley, but they never complained.
Indiana has a rich culture of champions, starting with Knute Rockne of Notre Dame and spanning decades of champions: Jerry Sloan of Evansville University; Allen Bradfield at the University of Vincennes; Branch McCracken, Bob Knight, Doc Counsilman and Jerry Yeagley at the old IU; Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine, Lou Holtz and Muffet McGraw at Notre Dame; Carolyn Peck at Purdue; Slick Leonard with the Pacers and Lin Dunn with the fever; Tony Dungy with the Colts; and Tony Hinkle at Butler.
In 2016, there was a fusion of sports and politics when Trump stormed the state with coaches Gene Keady, Holtz and Knight (who took credit for convincing the Manhattan billionaire to look for the White House).
President Trump’s tenure in the White House has been tumultuous to say the least. He openly argued with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and ended his tenure by inciting an insurgent mob on the US Capitol to “hang Mike Pence” on January 6.
Coats is the author of a September 17, 2020 New York Times editorial in which the former Indiana senator laid out the issues: “Voters … must ask themselves whether the American democratic experience, one of the most political innovations survive. The enemies of our democracy, foreign and domestic, want us to admit in advance that our voting systems are flawed or fraudulent; that sinister conspiracies have distorted the political will of the people.
Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan wrote in an op-ed last month: âOur constitutional crisis is already here. Kagan writes: âTrump and his Republican allies are actively preparing to secure victory by whatever means necessary. Trump’s fraud accusations in the 2020 election are now primarily aimed at establishing the predicate for challenging future election results that do not go his way. “
According to Adam Serwer’s analysis of The Atlantic, â1. Trump tried to pressure Secretaries of State not to certify; 2. tried to pressure state legislatures to overturn the results. 3. tried to get the courts to overturn the results. 4. tried to pressure Mike Pence to overturn the results. 5. When all else failed, Trump tried to get a crowd to reverse the results.
Since Jan. 6, 11 states have amended laws that will allow partisan committees to determine acceptance of election results, as opposed to various secretaries of state – including Republicans in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Arizona – which made the right calls. in 2020.
In the months to come on the horizon, individual Republicans are going to be able to help determine the course of the GOP and the future of American democracy. According to filmmaker Ken Burns, in the American experience, âThere are three great crises before this: the Civil War, the Depression and World War II. It is equal to that.
Is it now “all is fair in love and war?” Or should it be more like “this is how you play?” About how you accept the results without blaming someone else and whining or changing the rules.
The fate of the republic is at stake.