“Losing is never easy. Not for me it’s not.”
Trump’s sulky disposition should have been worked out in childhood.
He stood there, shoulders hanging like a sad little boy, addressing reporters at his Campaign HQ. It was election day. A journalist asked if he’d prepared a victory or concession speech.
He said he had not and seemed triggered by the prospect that a concession speech might be on the cards.
“Winning is easy,” he said. “Losing is never easy. Not for me it’s not.”
It struck me as the saddest thing to spill from Trump’s mouth during the entire four years of his presidency. A man in his 70s, visibly stirred by the prospect of losing.
What does it say about a nation that valorises a man who at a very personal level, seems incapable of losing gracefully? We teach children not to have tantrums when they lose at a game; it’s a part of good sportsmanship to laugh off our losses and learn from our mistakes. And most of us learn to lose more gracefully with age.
Trump never had that education. His father taught him the world was divided into ‘killers’ and ‘losers.’ And you never wanted to be the latter. That’s left a permanent scar on his psyche. He’s trapped inside a worldview that’s destructive both to himself and all those in his orbit (and now that means all of us).
It’s sad. This was one of the not infrequent moments during this campaign when I found myself feeling genuine pity for a man clearly suffering from some kind of emotional maladaptation. But now that the election results have come in so close, this pathological fear of being a ‘loser’ is about to play out in an ugly way.
All else aside, it’s important to remember that this is not normal, healthy behaviour.
I despair for another four years of Trump presidency. It’s not about losing. I am neither an American nor a Democrat; I do not have a stake in the ‘game.’ But I despair for the future of life on this planet with the continual destruction and pollution of our global environment that has gone alongside Republican rule.
But almost as disturbing as this is what it does to our collective character to have emotionally maladapted leaders occupying positions of influence. There was a time when conservatives concerned themselves with these questions of moral character. Where have their voices gone?
Like it or not, political leaders are role models. Would you want your children to display these traits?