Several years ago, I attended a championship track meet at which the defending champions were beaten. With eight teams present, the defending champions finished second, instead of first.
When the final scores were announced, the entire second-place team immediately rose and gave a standing ovation for the winning team. This was not simply polite applause — it was a rousing performance of clapping and cheering.
The team members had previously discussed how they prefer to be treated when they win, and had agreed on a commitment to treat all winning teams with that same level of courteous, enthusiastic recognition.
Could an equivalent approach be employed in politics? Even when displeased with the results of an election, surely it is better and more civilized in the long run to behave the way we wish other people would behave when our preferred candidate wins.
How do we wish other people would behave when they are disappointed? That should guide our own behavior when we are the ones disappointed. And if there is a valid complaint about election results, this same philosophy instructs that the complaint should be addressed calmly, via accepted protocol, and without vitriol.
Martha Victoria Rosett Lutz