Debate: Is It Time for President Trump To Concede the 2020 Election? | Opinion

Three weeks after election day, uncertainty still abounds in the eyes of many. The major media networks have all called the presidential race for Democratic challenger Joe Biden, but President Donald Trump has not yet conceded—and continues to pursue legal recourse in key swing states across the country. True, the formal Electoral College vote is not until December 14, and this mid-pandemic election was one unlike any other in recent memory. The president is unambiguously entitled to pursue the remedies he now seeks, but is it best for the nation—or even best for the Republican Party itself—to prolong this lingering uncertainty? At this juncture, the question divides those on the American Right.

This week, Jonathan Tobin, editor in chief of JNS.org and a popular conservative columnist, debates Spencer Klavan, assistant editor of the Claremont Review of Books and The American Mind on whether the time has come for President Trump to concede the 2020 election. We hope you enjoy the exchange.

Josh Hammer is Newsweek opinion editor, a syndicated columnist and a research fellow with the Edmund Burke Foundation.

Should Trump Concede? Yes

Republicans, including the president, should be focused on opposing Democratic radicalism and winning future elections—not half-baked conspiracy theories.

It's not a question of being a good loser. And President Donald Trump and his supporters are entitled to sore feelings about the way Democrats, the mainstream media, social media oligarchs and the nation's political and intelligence establishment have all treated him for the last four years, as they did their best to undermine and sabotage his presidency.

Should Trump Concede? Not Yet

For some people, the past three weeks have gone just as the prophecy foretold. Donald Trump, despite having been decisively ousted by the people, is doing what aspiring dictators the world over do when votes don't go their way: He is refusing to step down.

Shortly before Election Day, the Transition Integrity Project—a coalition comprising "some of the most accomplished Republicans, Democrats, civil servants, media experts, pollsters and strategists around," in the words of one co-founder—conducted "war games" to predict the coming results. In three of the four simulations, Biden won, and Trump's reaction led to violent chaos. "Partisans, including Trump, may try to deploy law enforcement, National Guard troops and, potentially, active-duty military personnel to 'restore order' in a manner that primarily benefits one party," wrote Georgetown Law Professor Rosa Brooks in The Washington Post.

Supporter of President Trump in Minnesota
Supporter of President Trump in Minnesota Stephen Maturen/Getty Images