The Cost of Winning

“Nothing is black-and-white, except for winning and losing, and maybe that’s why people gravitate to that so much.” – Steve Nash

As I grew up, I’ve learned a few things about winning and losing. Winning feels good. Losing feels bad. You know you’ve won when you see the other side obliterated to an inch of their being, or when you have cornered them with no wiggle room left, leaving them no other choice but to surrender. As the song goes, the winner takes it all, the loser standing small. A winner should be proud, while the loser should be humble. That’s how it was taught for a long time. Honestly, I think this is a rather simplistic look at how winning and losing works.

I learned that winning is not as simple as feeling good about the situation. It’s not just about getting what you want and seeing the other side grovel before you. I believe it’s not as simple as that. As with anything, sometimes bad consequences outweigh the benefits. Everything has a cost, and whether you will pay or not is something for you to decide. At this point, it becomes less of a question of “do you want to win?” and becomes more of a question of “is winning still worth it?”

Thinking about this made me remember the thing that I saw at a local S&R in our town. It was a bumper sticker saying, “Trump 2020: Make Liberals Cry Again.” I know I should not even think about this since I’m not from the US and I am not a US citizen. But as an outsider who reads about US politics all the time, I just can’t help but wonder about a few things.

During the 2016 election season, Donald Trump promised his supporters that they would win so much that they will get tired of winning. Then he talked about building a border wall, called Mexicans criminals and rapists, he spoke about abolishing the Affordable Care Act, banning Muslims from entering the country, among others. I had a few things in mind when I heard these things. First off, those promises are too vague and too simple to make. It’s like promising someone the moon and the stars. Some are even outright racist. Second, he’s not known as someone who keeps his promises. Any person who can read and still in their right mind won’t be swayed by these kinds of promises, right? Wrong.

It’s been more than 3 years and another US election is about to happen. I would like to know if they believe that their champion has delivered the promises that he made. I want to see if they’re satisfied with whatever the Trump Administration has accomplished. What is winning for them? How can they tell that they are winning? Reality cannot be classified as simply winning or losing. So what led them to believe that they’re not winning before and they need someone with an atrocious reputation to stand for them?

By atrocious, I mean someone with these things under his belt:

I can go on and on. But you get the idea.

I’ve heard and read about Conservatives before. They’re a proud bunch that puts honor, honesty, and family values on top of everything. They uphold Christianity and respect women. They really look up to their military that whenever they see military personnel anywhere, they thank them for their service. They promote fiscal responsibility, so they will never trust a crook to handle their money. Ultimately, they believe that every life is important and taking anyone’s life, inside or outside the womb, is an abominable act and should be punished. A lot can be said about these things and Progressives sure have a lot to say. But I believe these are Conservative core beliefs and I don’t intend to start a debate about which beliefs are right and which ones are wrong. What I don’t understand is, considering these core beliefs, how in the world can a lot of them believe that this guy can make America great again? How can they justify in their heads that despite all the things this guy is doing wrong to the detriment of hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of Americans, he’s still the hero that they perceived him to be?

Donald Trump is not a role model. He’s far from whatever Conservative ideals are all about. So what gives?

I don’t know about you. But I think it’s exactly the mayhem and irreverence that he brings that’s appealing to these people. I think it’s been a long time since they got a person in office who makes them feel they’re having things their way. You see, some of these people are longing for the “good old days”: the time when the USA is thriving on everything, political correctness is not a thing, the second amendment is not a disputed part of the constitution, and everybody hates communism. They see that the world is not the same anymore, and somehow that’s a bad thing. They needed a leader that would validate their ideas and their hopes and dreams; someone loud enough, proud enough, and offensive enough to shake the foundations of society. It doesn’t matter whether they’re getting what they deserve or not. All that matters is that they see that the scales are tipping in their favor. It seems seeing the other side losing their mind over the destruction of established norms of modern society gives them pleasure. It doesn’t matter if the norms are for the common good. What’s important is they get the feeling that they’re winning again.

However, these people need to ask themselves: what is the cost of winning? What is winning if all your core ideals are compromised? Where’s the dignity in winning if you lost yourself and your principles in the process? What is winning if you lose hundreds of thousands of people in the process?

Considering all the losses, is winning still worth it? Is making liberals “cry again” the only objective? Because if it is, that’s really sad, miserable even.

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