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The Thrill of Victory, Agony of Defeat

If you know which classic TV show that line came from (answer below + bonus questions*), you might be a Boomer – and you MIGHT help America regain our sanity.

Most of us accept that we’ll finish with thrills or agony, whenever engaging in competition: sports, spelling bees – and political campaigns. Somebody wins, somebody loses. We try to be gracious, win or lose. We value sportsmanship, agreeing character is important.

We teach our kids, “don’t be sore losers”. Stanford Children’s Health defines sportsmanship as “being able to win without gloating, respecting one’s opponents, and being able to lose gracefully.”

Clearly, President Trump has not displayed sportsmanship. If this election was a football game, he would have received a HUNDRED-yard penalty for “unsportsmanlike conduct”.

More than two weeks after Election Day, with overwhelming evidence he lost, Trump refuses to concede to President-elect Joe Biden. The outcome isn’t close: Biden won with 306 electoral votes – the same number Trump won in 2016, calling it “a landslide”.

Yet Trump refuses to allow his staff to brief Biden’s on national-security and public-health challenges.

Instead, Trump sulks in the White House, saying nothing about COVID – which is surging out of control, hospitalizing and killing staggering numbers of Americans. Denying Biden’s staff needed information could result in THOUSANDS more.

Denying Biden’s national-security team information could also be deadly. The 9/11 Commission, investigating terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, concluded delays and inefficiencies in the transition from the Clinton Administration to the George W. Bush Administration contributed to America’s vulnerability.

The Washington Post describes similar risks now: “Republicans in particular are playing Russian roulette with our national security as they indulge the president’s delusions”; adding “any national security disaster that ensues from a rocky handoff should fall on the heads of Trump and… Republican elected officials (aided and abetted by toxic right-wing media) who put Trump’s ego above national security (and defense of democracy).”

Venting instead of leading, Trump lashed out at perceived enemies.

He fired (by Tweet) Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who had refused to be bullied into submission; then Chris Krebs, Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Krebs (and many other election officials at national, state and local levels) displayed integrity telling the truth, angering a whiny Trump. DHS declared this “the most secure election in U.S. history”.

Many states’ attorneys general, lieutenant governors, and secretaries of state – both Democrat and Republican – echoed that sentiment. After proven Russian interference in 2016’s election (helping Trump win), they worked together to make subsequent elections as safe and secure as possible. Poetic justice?

Sore loser Trump used his unsubstantiated claims of widespread election fraud to raise money from true believers, allegedly for his “legal defense fund”. Some speculated it would go elsewhere, like funding future rallies to stroke his fragile ego and launch another presidential campaign.

Some money did go to Trump’s legal expenses, as lawsuits were filed in several states – most summarily dismissed for lack of evidence.

In Philadelphia, Trump lawyer Jerome Marcus claimed GOP observers were refused entry into vote-counting rooms. Judge Paul Diamond pressed Marcus: “Are your observers in the counting room?” Marcus, using shyster legalese, replied: “There’s a NON-ZERO number of people in the room.”

This would be humorous, if not dangerous.

Elsewhere, other judges dismissed Trump lawsuits lacking evidence. Some of his attorneys refused to appeal or file others, realizing it’s pointless.

Angry Trump also threatened sudden foreign-policy decisions with serious implications. He abruptly announced withdrawal of substantial numbers of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia.

While Moderates support bringing brave American troops home, we also respect our military and national-security leaders’ recommendations. Many believe immediate, announced withdrawals embolden terrorists to establish training camps for future attacks. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), rarely critical of Trump, disagreed with his decision.

Insiders report Trump contemplated attacking Iran, which has continued stockpiling nuclear-weapons-grade uranium – after he unilaterally withdrew America from the international treaty discouraging that, in 2018.

Some worry a desperate Trump (invoking 1807’s Insurrection Act) might even dispatch federal troops, using civil unrest as an excuse, to remain in the White House. In this doomsday scenario, he could even have President-elect Biden arrested.

How can we prevent that nightmare, Moderates? Contact your GOP representatives, senators, and the president himself, NOW. Demand they accept the election outcome, support Biden’s transition – and stop being sore losers – for the sake of our country.

Mr. Trump, spare America the agony; give up your desperate pursuit of a thrill.



* Answer:

Wide World of Sports; ABC; 1961 – 1998

Bonus Points:

Who was the host of the show?

When did the show typically run?

What famous example was shown for “the agony of defeat” in the show’s introduction?


Jim McKay

Saturday afternoons

Ski jumper Vinko Bogataj’s spectacular crash off a jump in 1970


Images: Google Images

Biden and Trump (headline): WSJ


Trump and Biden (debate): Fox News

9/11 Commission Report: History News Network

Trump and Esper: Business Insider

Krebs: SC Media

Diamond: Twitter

Trump and McConnell: Florida Politics

Wide World of Sports logo: Wikipedia

McKay: Pinterest



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