But what if a loser refuses to acknowledge the results of a free and fair election? What if it instead takes to the streets to commit violence and mayhem? Or even attempts a coup?
We ask because there's every sign now that the Democrats, in a panic over candidate Joe Biden's lackluster basement campaign and growing evidence that he is suffering age-related mental impairment, will refuse to acknowledge President Donald Trump for a second term, even if he wins clearly.
The last time we had a party really refuse to accept the results of an election was in 1860. Then, Democrats in southern states threatened to secede if Abraham Lincoln, candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party, won. He did, and southern states began seceding before he even took office. We fought a civil war.
Today, we might be edging toward another.