'What ifs' don't justify 'do overs'

Posted1/11/2017 1:00 AM

A December 14, 2016 column in The New York Times by Dahlia Lithwick and David S. Cohen titled "Buck Up, Democrats, and Fight Like Republicans" starts this way: "On Monday members of the Electoral College will vote in Donald J. Trump as president. Though he lost the election by nearly three million votes ..."

Some 30-plus years ago, my wife and I had been at a soccer match for our son's team of 6-7 year olds. On the way home. we said it was a good game even though his team did not win. Our son told us that "the coach said we won, because the referees made some mistakes." That coach had missed an opportunity to explain that everything doesn't go your way in life. There are disappointments, but when the game ends, it is over.

Give your best, but at game's end the results become final. Sure it is fun to rehash "what ifs", but "what ifs" are not "do overs." We explained how this works and, as our president would oft say, turned it into a teachable moment.

Ms. Lithwick and Mr. Cohen apparently see things differently. Until early evening on Nov. 8, they and many others were willing to accept that each of the 50 states were holding an election and there would be "electors" chosen based on the vote tally in the respective states. The electors would meet on Dec. 19 and "elect" the next president.

Later that evening of the 8th, the results of the election began to depart from the results they had expected. Possibly by Dec. 14, my son's soccer coach talked to them and informed them that the winner lost and the loser actually won. I guess that is what is meant by the term "game changer."

Tom Floyd


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