After losing in 1992, George Bush wrote a letter to Bill Clinton. Trump should read it.

Donald Trump's refusal to commit to conceding the election in the third presidential debate is unprecedented in modern political history.

Photos by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images (left) and Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

"I will keep you in suspense," the candidate said, hinting at the possibility that he might encourage his supporters to reject a potential loss.


This truly is a new and kind of scary thing.

Priming voters to regard the results of an election skeptically undermines faith that the vote itself is likely to be fair — a key reason why no candidate in recent memory has done so.

Even Al Gore who, in 2000, lost despite winning more votes nationwide and enduring a contested recount in Florida that was halted by a Supreme Court decision, ultimately conceded after exhausting all legal avenues to have the votes reviewed again.

It used to be different.

Nostalgia isn't always, or even often, accurate. Longing for a simpler time — when America was great and we all had better jobs, nicer houses, and got along perfectly — often requires ignoring some convenient evidence to the contrary.

But in this case, it's kind of true.

Nowhere is that demonstrated more clearly than in an old letter that surfaced on social media earlier in the week ahead of the third debate — from outgoing President George H.W. Bush to the man who defeated him, Bill Clinton.

Here's the text of it:

Dear Bill,

When I walked into this office just now, I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that too.

I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some presidents have described.

There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I'm not a very good one to give advice; but just don't let the critics discourage you or push you off course. You will be our president when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well.

Your success is now our country's success. I am rooting hard for you.

Good luck — George









Bush's letter isn't just kind and gracious — it serves several important functions.

1. It clarifies that Bush considered Clinton his political rival, not his enemy.

Like most Republicans and Democrats, Bush and Clinton disagreed on a lot. But by taking a magnanimous approach and welcoming Clinton into the office, Bush effectively conceded that they're both public servants trying to do the right thing — even if they have different ideas about how to get there.

2. It affirmed the centrality of the office, not the person who holds it.

Even after four years in office, Bush insisted that he still approached the job with awe and respect. He positioned himself as smaller than the role — as he argued any president should, regardless of political political persuasion.

3. It acknowledged that Clinton would be president of the whole country, including those who disagree with him.

In perhaps the most important passage of the letter, Bush reminded Clinton that he will be "our" — his and Barbara's — president, urging Clinton to consider the desires of those who opposed his election and work to make their lives better while setting an example for those voters who might not be inclined to accepted a Democratic presidency.

Writing this letter couldn't have been easy for Bush.

Photo by Jerome Delay/Getty Images.

Losing any job to a rival after four years is tough. Losing the presidency — especially in an era where one-term presidents are frequently regarded by history as failures — probably hurts a lot more.

But he did it anyway for the good of the country, and that matters.

To our eyes today, it might seem remarkable.

It shouldn't be.

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Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign, is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

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Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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