When Theodore Roosevelt’s third party candidacy, the famous Bull Moose (Progressive) run in 1912, failed to return him to the Presidency, TR released the following statement from Sagamore Hill on Long Island:
“Like all other good citizens, I accept the result with good humor and contentment. As for the Progressive cause, I can only repeat what I have already so many times declared, the fate of the leader for the time being is of little consequence, but the cause itself must in the end triumph, for its triumph is essential to the well-being of the American people.”
Now read Donald Trump’s statement from April 5, 2016:
“Donald J. Trump withstood the onslaught of the establishment yet again. Lyin’ Ted Cruz had the Governor of Wisconsin, many conservative talk radio show hosts, and the entire party apparatus behind him. Not only was he propelled by the anti-Trump Super PAC’s spending countless millions of dollars on false advertising against Mr. Trump, but he was coordinating `with his own Super PAC’s (which is illegal) who totally control him. Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet— he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump. We have total confidence that Mr. Trump will go on to win in New York, where he holds a substantial lead in all the polls, and beyond. Mr. Trump is the only candidate who can secure the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination and ultimately defeat Hillary Clinton, or whomever is the Democratic nominee, in order to Make America Great Again.”
TR had every reason to be bitter about the election. He felt that his handpicked successor William Howard Taft had cheated him out of the 1912 Republican nomination. He felt that Wilson was a “mere professor,” “a professional logothete,” who was not prepared to be the President of the United States. TR had been shot by a would-be assassin just three weeks before the election.
But he was gracious in defeat, because he understood the sort of decorum and respect that is necessary in a democratic republic, and because his ego did not get in the way of his magnanimity of spirit.
Are you listening, Mr. Trump?