Well, my NCAA bracket is busted. Shouldn’t have picked Trump University to make it to the Final Four. Sad. But if you’re a sports fan like I am, you understand what defines winners and what happens to losers. The winners celebrate the victory and get to be a part of the One Shining Moment video. The members of the losing team hang their heads and leave the contest with a bitter taste in their mouths. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. However, that is sports, not politics. This is one of the many things that Trump does not understand about being a part of the government.
Our president sees the world through a winner/loser lens. He yearns to be the perpetual winner. Nothing wrong with that–we’d all like to be on the winning side. Yet the true test of character comes when you put up the good fight and lose. How do you react? Trump reacts like a kid on the playground who gets upset and then takes his nuclear football and stomps home. He is a sore loser who blames the refs, blames the bad call, blames the poor condition of the field, blames the coach…but never himself.
Which will be a problem in the future. For instance, let’s assume that the wall never gets built. He may blame Mexico because they wouldn’t pay for it. He may blame Congress for not approving it. He may blame contractors for putting in bids that are too high. President Trump will say, “It’s not my fault that my great idea did not come to fruition.” (Who am I kidding? Trump will never string the words “come to fruition” together.) It is never his fault. He is never wrong.
Just take a moment and reflect on some of his past grievances. When he finally had to admit that President Obama was born in the United States, he blamed Hillary Clinton for starting that rumor. When he lost the popular vote, he blamed this on millions of illegal voters. He claimed his inaugural crowd was huge. And when the media called him on it, he fired back at the media–FAKE NEWS! He can’t get his cabinet approved because the Senate Democrats are obstructing the process. Even this past week when his healthcare plan couldn’t even be brought up for a vote, he blamed the Democrats.
In Trump’s world, it’s all about negotiating a deal that gives him the best outcome, making him a winner. The person on the other side of the creepy Trump handshake is the sucker, the loser. It is not about compromise and finding common ground, two things we’d like to think our democracy is capable of at its best moments. Not only does this gum up his ability to govern, but Trump’s winners vs. losers mentality will prevent him from unifying our divided country. He still sees everyone who voted against him as a loser. If Trumpcare ever kicks in, the people who are left without a health plan–they will be losers. When the Dakota Access Pipeline is operational, the Standing Rock tribe and their supporters will be losers. When Planned Parenthood is shut down, low-income women will be losers. If your family is not allowed into the country because of an immigration ban, you are a loser. And so it goes, on and on. How can you be President for all the people when you think of a big portion of them as losers?