Opinion: Loren Culp, Trump show a refusal to accept reality in both Washingtons
In the wake of Joe Biden being declared the president-elect, we’ve seen seemingly straightforward results contested both at the national and local level. The result has been a resistance to the reality of losing on a level we’ve rarely seen in the modern political era.
Nationally, President Trump has made it clear that he has no intention of conceding, flinging dangerous accusations of voter fraud sans any proof, evidenced by the numerous frivolous lawsuits he’s filed that have been quickly declared dead on arrival. Here in Washington, Republican gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp has found himself similarly distanced from reality.
Culp — whose politics and demeanor have largely mirrored Trump throughout the 2020 election season — has refused to concede Washington’s race for governor, despite a 562,000 vote gap between him and incumbent Governor Jay Inslee.
With just over 103,000 votes left to tally, Culp’s path to a supposed win is mathematically shut. Despite that, he’s maintained that not only does he want to wait for “every one of those votes to be counted,” but that there have also been “irregularities” in how those ballots have been tallied.
Notwithstanding the fact that Washington’s Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman presides over one of the most secure voting systems in the country, Culp has also declined to offer even a modicum of proof to back up a single one of his claims of fraud.
“I’m not prepared to go into any of that,” he vaguely told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson last week.
You would think that if a gubernatorial candidate trailing by over half a million votes had even a shred of evidence that could prove they had in fact won the election, they’d be eager to “go into any of that.” But it’s abundantly clear that Culp’s problem isn’t that this election was somehow stolen from him — it’s that, like the president his politics are modeled off of, he simply doesn’t like the fact that he’s losing, and has no qualms with dragging our democratic processes through the mud to ensure he remains in that state of denial indefinitely.
Culp certainly has no legal obligation to concede, but there’s something to be said for losing with dignity and grace. Hillary Clinton offered plenty of excuses for why she lost in 2016, and still not only quickly admitted defeat, but told supporters that they “owe (Trump) an open mind and a chance to lead.” Then-Vice President Joe Biden even welcomed Mike Pence to the White House less than 48 hours after Election Day to offer “support for a smooth, seamless transition of power.”
We’ve seen no such conciliatory tone from Culp or Trump in the days since their respective defeats became foregone conclusions. They can refuse to come to grips with that reality if they want, but it won’t change the fact that neither of them will be leading their state and country come January.