It was a moment many people had been waiting for. After over a week after countless tweets by President Trump insisting that the election was rigged, that the media can’t call an election, and that he will win the election as soon as investigations are completed, he slipped.
This morning, Trump sent out a tweet acknowledging Joe Biden had won the election.
It was not an intentional statement. That wasn’t how people took it. Surely, if he is acknowledging he is not the winner of the election, he must be conceding.
The president has named cabinet positions, fired people, declared official actions such as the banning of transgender people from the military, and informed the American people of his positive Covid-19 diagnosis through Twitter.
Why would we not take his statement at face value that he is admitting he has lost the election and accept it as a concession statement?
This is exactly what happened as #TrumpConceded immediately began trending on Twitter, even leading to a news alert by Fox News recognizing the concession.
Of course, as one might expect, the tweet did not last long. It has since been removed by Trump and replaced with another tweet in which he completely calls the ball back stating that he concedes nothing.
Unfortunately for the president, deleting tweets does not mean that the tweet disappears. It will live on forever as Twitter users quickly grabbed screenshots of what is being called the concession tweet.
Not only were the screenshots saved by Twitter users for prosperity, but they were also quickly manipulated in order to add insult to injury.
It’s not the first time that the president has slipped up and casually acknowledged that he may not be staying in the White House. Last week, during a press conference, he stated that the current administration would not consider another lockdown, noting the economic impact it would have.
“This administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully the, the uh, whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be, I guess time will tell…” - President Trump
People jumped on this, too.
It is incredibly rare for a candidate not to concede an election but who really had the expectation that this election would have anything normal about it?
The question remains as to why the president is still insisting that Biden hasn’t won the election and that it’s only a matter of time before the truth is revealed. There is clearly doubt in his mind and it’s starting to show.
Going into recounts and lawsuits over voting requires a certain amount of confidence. That confidence seems to be dwindling as the momentum Trump must have hoped for in regard to his election lawsuits actually lose steam. The campaign just recently dropped the lawsuit they had filed in Arizona, a state where Trump lost by a narrow margin of 10,377 votes.
Yet, Trump still seems to be doubling down on divisive statements that the election was nothing more than a grand conspiracy to remove him from office. That’s frightening and accomplishes nothing.
The reality, however, is that Trump has nothing to lose by insisting that he still has a shot at a second term. I think we all know that on some level he understands that he’s leaving. His slip-ups point to that. So why keep going?
If he concedes, the only thing he stands to lose is the support of his die-hard fans. He needs that. It’s his lifeblood. Once he says the words and steps back, his supporters have nothing left to fight for on his behalf because he would be giving up the fight himself.
That’s a hard proposition for a man who drove his motorcade to a march in Washington DC held to do nothing more than show support for a failed candidate. We all know his pride is what is at stake right now.
If he concedes, the angry tweets from his supporters go away. The rallies go away. The protests go away. The pop-up merchandise booths go away. The flags come off houses and trucks. Trump can’t have that happen.
Obviously, there is concern that the president will not leave the White House graciously. That’s always been a concern. Many Americans are half expecting that the president may need to be physically removed from the White House.
Usually, the period of time between the election and the inauguration is a period of transitions to ensure that operations of the country remain smooth during the change in power. It would be customary for Trump to step back and let Biden prepare to take the lead.
Eventually, it’s going to happen. Trump’s wearing down. We can already see it in his infrequent appearances and press conference that demonstrate that he appears to be calling it in.
There only so much energy one can expend fighting an uphill battle. That’s going to be a hard day of reckoning for his supporters. It’s also going to be a day that is followed by a lot of quiet.