The losers have a choice to make


To the Editor:

Norman Reed’s letter [A bet he lost, November 21] rues the loss of a hat in an election bet on Mitt Romney. He also fears a far greater loss — the form of government designed by Ben Franklin and his fellow delegates in their secret meetings in Independence Hall. When one of the citizens waiting anxiously outside asked what the delegates had given them, Ben is reported to have answered, “A republic — if you can keep it.”

One feature of republics that makes them more lasting than monarchies or dictatorships is the smooth transfer of power from one leader to his successor. No matter whether they agree or not, by law the baton must be passed according to popular will. The winner will begin an administration that will not be as great as his supporters had hoped, nor as bad as his opponents had feared.

Adherents of the loser, like Mr. Reed, must decide for themselves whether to work with the winner to keep our republic going, or to sulk in their tents until the next election.

W.R. Deeble

West Tisbury