In case you haven’t noticed, it’s an election year. Apparently this means that everyone who could’ve cared less for the last 3 or so years suddenly becomes a political expert. It also means that unless you agree with what they say, and who they’re voting for, you’re going to drag this country back to the stone age.
The other day, I posted the following on my (personal) Facebook page:
Welcome to the 2016 Presidential Campaign…
Your candidate wins: AWESOME
Your candidate loses: CONSPIRACY
It was meant as a joke, but it seemed to tick off the #BernieOrBust folks. One of whom sent me this nasty message before de-friending me.
Mkay. Unfriended. Glad to know you think I’m stupid / a crackpot. Keep believing everything the billionaire puppetmasters tell you and the planet will be dead in our lifetimes.
At first I was like “ok, fine … I’m already over this.” But then, I got to thinking. Nobody in America knows how to lose anymore. I’m not saying that we should be accustomed and welcoming of defeat. It’s just that nothing can happen of its own accord without some type of disclaimer or deflection … or conspiracy!
Remember Tom Brady and Deflategate? Rather than consider that two guys under-inflated a couple of footballs to try and give their boss/hero an advantage (whether or not they were asked to do it…), we’ve got endless amounts of scientific evidence, protests, appeals, and an exorbitant amount of pundits trying to explain what actually happened. Now, is that what actually happened? Clearly I don’t know.
I do know that when you’re a professional athlete, millions of dollars hang on what you do. You make one fumble, and your team loses the game. You don’t make the playoffs. Then the rest of your team doesn’t get their multimillion dollar bonuses for making the playoffs. Then you run the risk of not getting those huge endorsement deals from companies like Ugg and Campbell Soup and Disneyland and State Farm Insurance.
Decades ago, everybody wondered how JFK was killed. Was it a single bullet fired by Lee Harvey Oswald? Was it the CIA? Was it the mafia? Was it LBJ? Was it angry Cubans standing on the grassy knoll? Nobody wanted to accept the Warren Commission’s report that it was a single, crackpot guy who had good aim. Whether that’s because it doesn’t make as good of a story, or we simply can’t trust what the media tells us, it doesn’t matter. The concept of a conspiracy is much more interesting, and far more exciting than the obvious solution.
So in a time when we don’t let anyone lose, it becomes such a serious shock when it happens, that we look for the alternative. It wasn’t simply that Bernie didn’t get enough votes or delegates — the system is rigged!
I like Bernie. I think he’s a good, principled guy. Unfortunately, I think you need more than principles to be president. Were he my party’s candidate, I’d have no problem supporting him in the general election. However, the second Hillary moved ahead, or gained momentum, or Bernie didn’t win in a competitive primary … the system was rigged.
Whether it was the superdelegates who preferred Hillary, or that the media ignored huge Bernie rallies, or whatever … it simply couldn’t be that he lost a primary contest. The system is clearly rigged against him. He can’t lose.
Unfortunately losing is part of life. In fact, growing up, I remember learning that it was important to be a “gracious loser.”
When I was younger, I played city soccer. Groups of kids from my hometown all competing against each other. At the end of the season, the first place team got a trophy — nobody else. But today, everybody gets a trophy for participation. In certain types of little league, you can’t strike out. Everybody’s a winner! What does that teach us about losing when nobody loses?! I suspect that it leads to an undeserved sense of entitlement. And ultimately, when loss does happen, it’s that much more difficult to handle. Loss should be the motivator to win.
While not always preferable, we need to remember that losing is ok. It shouldn’t be the goal, but it has to be understood that not everything in life can be a win-win. Bernie didn’t win. It doesn’t mean anything more than that.