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No concessions

07/11/2012

Waking just in time to enjoy the dénouement of the US Presidential election, I was struck – as at every election – by the consistency with which the BBC’s radio presenters talked of whether and when Romney would eventually “concede defeat”.

You don’t concede a defeat. You either concede (and nothing more) or you concede a victory; in effect, you ‘allow’ your opponent the victory. Conceding a defeat is allowing your opponent the ignominy of being defeated.

On reflection, perhaps that’s the way the Republicans see it. They appear to regard themselves as the natural party of government in the USA, and the Democrats as grubby, undeserving carpetbaggers on their estate. It is an unattractive characteristic, in much the same way that members of the Labour Party over here affect a never-ending sneer of contempt for the Conservatives and all they stand for.

After the Tories got roundly walloped in the elections of 1997, 2001 and 2005, they eventually had the humility to accept the electorate’s judgement, and adapt (admittedly belatedly) to the new realities.   Labour politicians, by contrast, seem to regard the 2010 result as an inexplicable electoral aberration, before their normal service (of hamfistedly destroying the economy) can be restored in 2015.

EDIT:

con·cede

v.tr.

1. To acknowledge, often reluctantly, as being true, just, or proper; admit.
2. To yield or grant (with a noun: a privilege, right or victory, for example).
v.intr.
To make a concession: yield
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