Too Much Winning

As a culture, we Americans care too much about winning.

Sports, jobs, politics … everything is about winning — and bragging about how much you’ve won.

Winning is not the problem per se, it’s the zero-sum game that so many people play: in order for there to be a winner, there must be a loser.

Why?

Why can’t we find a solution where, maybe everyone won’t be completely happy, but there aren’t any “losers”? It won’t be perfect, but it would be a lot better than simply shitting all over someone else.

All I hear from Trumpkins is, “Our guy won. Get over it.

Yes, your guy won — and if you voted for him, you feel like you won, don’t you?

But you didn’t.

Because, instead of thinking about the ultimate outcomes — the sophisticated, interconnected systems of the world and how it works — you lost.

We all lost.

  • The President of the United States doesn’t have as much power as you think. They have to work with members of congress, with government agencies, with other world leaders to get things done and Dear Leader is clearly incapable.
  • Manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back. Robots keep getting smarter and cheaper. Nothing is going to change that.
  • You (we) are going to pay for “The Wall”, not Mexico.
  • Pulling out of the TPP will only make China more of a global trade power, probably overtaking the U.S. and making it even less likely that manufacturing jobs will come back to the States.
  • Big Business owns even more of the government thanks to the Swamp Cabinet. And Big Business is keeping larger profits, not investing in more jobs.
  • Without guidelines set by the EPA and other government agencies, we’ll accelerate even faster toward catastrophic climate change and have no place else to go. (Sorry, but a scalable colony on Mars is 100 years away and you and I wouldn’t be invited anyway.) You could be building and deploying solar energy equipment but no, you want to “bring coal back.”
  • Your kids still won’t be able to go to college or if they do, they’ll be in debt for the rest of their lives just so they can earn less and less over time.
  • Women — including your mothers, sisters, daughters and wives — are still fighting for basic control of their own bodies. (WTF is that about? Would you let that happen to you, Sir?)
  • How’s that healthcare plan? (Better not get sick, digging that coal. Black Lung is a “pre-existing condition.”)

But you won.

How’s that feel now?

I had an exchange with a retired man on Twitter. He took issue with the fact that I called Dear Leader a “46% president.”

The man’s argument?

“It was 64%. If it was 46%, he would have lost.”

You see, this gentleman doesn’t know the difference between the popular vote, the electoral college and how it all works. And, based on my dialogue with him, it doesn’t appear as though he wants to learn. He’d prefer to remain uninformed and continue to tell me how wrong I am.

So he can feel like he’s winning.

Here’s a thought: just because you don’t understand how the world works, doesn’t mean you’re incapable of it.

If we all thought a bit less about the short term win (myself included) and took the time to understand the bigger picture (again, myself included), we might all be in a better place.

If you don’t understand something, ask someone to explain it to you so that you can be informed. You’ll earn some respect because you tried. And then, we can discuss it. And then, maybe, we can figure out how to get you what you want or need without fucking everything up in the process.

Until then, we’ll just keep on “winning.”

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