Last night, in the third and final Democratic-Republican presidential debate, GOP candidate Donald J. Trump suggested that he may not accept the results of the election on November 8, continuing his theme of asserting that massive electoral fraud will take place and that is the only reason he will lose to Hillary Clinton.
Today, Trump doubled down on his refusal to accept the central tenet of American democracy, that when a person or party loses an election, they become the loyal opposition and wait for another opportunity to win public office.
According to the Associated Press:
Trump kicked off a rally Thursday in Delaware, Ohio, by saying that he "would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supports and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election."
But he added: "If I win."
In response to Trump's bizarre break with tradition, the Libertarian Party's nominee for President, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, issued this statement:
Johnson and his running mate, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, have achieved ballot access in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia -- the first third-party presidential ticket to do so since Libertarian Harry Browne and his running mate, Jo Jorgensen, did it in 1996.
“As a former Governor, who was elected and served as a Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic state, I have to say that Donald Trump’s refusal to say he will accept the outcome of an election is just one more straw too many. It’s offensive to the thousands of election officials across the nation, and it’s offensive to a nation for which the integrity of elections is what sets us apart from much of the world.
“Peaceful transition of power, which depends entirely upon honoring the results of elections, is as fundamental to our greatness and Constitution as anything else we do in America, and Donald Trump can’t even accept that fundamental without hedging.