Bad Losers

I’m not the first to notice that the Democratic Party includes some bad losers. See this article published by USA Today: The Sore Loser Party. Even Vladimir Putin has noticed: “this is an affront to their own dignity. It is important to know how to lose gracefully”.
But, there’s more going on here than just being sore losers.

Call it a syndrome. I first ran into it at a state library association meeting in the early 1980s, probably in Butte, California. At the time I was trying out a career in public libraries and walked into a meeting of several hundred people just as a vote was occurring. The vote was on some issue where there was a very clear left/right divide, and the ‘wrong’ side won the vote.
So what happened? We voted again. As if to say “Alright, you clearly misunderstood. Try again.” No thought given to accepting the vote as legitimate and just moving on. There was a clear idea that there was a “correct” result. Unwillingness to accept results as legitimate seems to be common with Democrats.

  • Florida 2000 Remember the overnight vote count, and the two successive recounts, and the subsequent Supreme Court decision? All lost by the Democrats, yet the whining continues today.
  • Clinton/Trump 2016 Many Democrats, including Hillary Clinton herself, refuse to admit the election was legitimate. Yes, investigations continue.
  • Georgia 2018 After a recount was complete, the unsuccessful Democrat candidate for governor acknowledged the election was legal but denied its legitimacy. “Will I say this election was not tainted, was not a disinvestment and a disenfranchisement of thousands of voters? I will not say that.”

There is a recent spike in use of intimidation tactics by progressive Democrats.

  • reported spokesperson Sara Sanders and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen being “heckled” and “hounded” from restaurants in DC.
  • Steve Bannon, former campaign advisor, was confronted in a Richmond, VA bookstore in an incident that resulted in a 911 call. A statement by the bookstore said that a woman called Bannon “a piece of trash” and “repeatedly shouted obscenities.”
  • Senator Jeff Flake was cornered in an elevator by protestors. The NY Post called it a setup: ” The women wouldn’t let Flake leave until had they yelled at him, face to face, for several minutes…A CNN camera broadcast the event live.”

This was all applauded by Rep. Maxine Waters, who encouraged progressives to keep it up: “Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

As the Kavanaugh confirmation process unfolded, progressives within the Democratic Party began to attack the legitimacy of important American institutions.

Notice that all of these accusations are post hoc. There was nothing wrong with the Supreme Court when the Senate confirmed Elena Kagan or Soni Sotomayor. There was nothing wrong with the electoral college when JFK beat Nixon in a tight race in 1960. The Senate was a wonderful example of Democracy when the Affordable Care Act was passed.

Of course it’s sore-loser syndrome, but it’s also contempt and elitism. Progressive Democrats (I’m sure it’s not ALL Democrats) are so sure their ideas are right that they feel entitled to throw the rule book away. Their sense of the superiority of progressive ideas is part of it, but there’s also a personal component: remember these two statements, from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama:

  • “you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it.”
  • “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them…”

Yes, Democrats are whiny and poor losers, but many progressive Democrats also seem to think they’re above any need to respect fellow citizens, or democratic institutions.
So what should we do?

  • Respect each other, including opponents.
  • If you don’t like the electoral college or the Supreme Court, remember that democratic and lawful mechanisms are available to change them.
  • Look around, the US isn’t so bad. Churchill said this: “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”