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An Ode to the Great American Concession Speech

By Joe Goldman / 2016 November 7th

After the voters speak and the polls close, it will be time for another crucial hallmark of American democracy — the concession speech. In every election, at the very moment political tension threatens to tear us apart, the concession speech intervenes to bring us back together.

No single moment of a political campaign is as important to the health of our political system — instead of serving one side or another, a concession speech serves democracy itself.

The presidential concession speech is a time-tested tradition that has helped sustain our democracy for more than two centuries. By publicly acknowledging that the other side has won, the losing candidate affirms the election’s validity and signals to disappointed supporters that it’s time to stop fighting and pull together, for the good of the country.

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