Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Sore Winners

      What's a "sore winner?"  A lot of media attention has been focused on the possibility of sore losers, especially in the Presidential contest, endless Democrat-demanded recounts in the aftermath of a Trump victory, refusal to move out and court challenges if Biden wins.  Sore losers (or at least grounds for the feeling) are far from unknown.  We've had close elections before: U. S. history includes two Presidents elected by the House of Representatives, one Vice-President elected by the Senate, and the Bush - Gore recount and court case in 2000.

      But what worries me as much are sore winners. I've written about it before and it's only become worse.  Many political campaigns are so bitterly fought these days that after the election, the winner often takes (or retakes) office determined to be the utter and complete opposite of their opponent* -- incumbents harden their positions, and if the office changed hands, the first order of business is not doing the things their platform promised but undoing as much of their predecessor's work as they can.

      Some of that is normal enough -- if there wasn't any difference between candidates, why would we even bother to vote -- but it often spills over into bitter personal division, and runs down from parties and candidates to the the electorate.  It's pointless and counterproductive; when the election is decided, it's decided, and we've got the bulk of the next two, four or six years to get through before rejoining the fray.  In the meantime, the people we elect do have other work to do besides winning elections and positioning themselves for the next one -- or at least, they should.  As citizens, we ought get after them to do that work, even if it's just sitting on their hands and trying to stay out of serious trouble for their term of office.

      There comes a time to stop spatting and do the job.
* Sure, they'd better be different, but these days, it is sometimes taken to extremes, from "Coke vs. Pepsi" to "a shiny tar-pit vs. a bubbling pool of red-hot lava."  And all you wanted was a cooling drink.

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