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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.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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