We are a nation that is crazy for sports. We elevate sports to occupy a very important place in our nation’s zeitgeist. We are also convinced that sports are extremely important for children, and communities and families invest much time and money into children’s sporting organizations. It is said that sports promote both healthy competition and cooperative teamwork. Young athletes are encouraged and expected to be gracious in winning and in losing.
So how is it that over 70 million Americans voted for such a sore loser? Well, you say, those who voted for him expected him to win; valid point. However, it was certainly predictable that if he lost it was going to be like this. He has been announcing for months that if he lost he would try any way possible to delegitimize the election, exactly what he is doing. Perhaps the only surprise is how much trouble he is having getting his claims to stick. Of course there are two months to go.
In my mind, our biggest concern must be those 70 million plus. Trump has given us more than four years to see who he really is. That he is a rank narcissist is one of those things he is actually honest about. He has never tried to hide his lack of character. (Which possibly makes Mike Pence a more potentially dangerous man.) Yet he still has his screaming fans, his loyal disciples, his powerful sycophants. Second to exposing people to Covid, what bothers me most about his rallies is the pictures of his followers, their faces bloated with hate. Who and what do they hate? And why are they still fans?
Laziness is part of it. It’s just a lot easier to have a powerful person think for us than to think for ourselves. It is also easier to opt for our lowest common denominator than to try to be the best we can be. The latter takes work. And Trump has a way to make us feel important and part of a superior group by going along with him. He reassures White people, “don’t worry, you will always be better than Black and Brown people.”
Donald Trump did not create our current polarization, but he gave it permission. He gave hatred a voice. He granted legitimacy to some of our basest instincts. If we want to look, it’s now a lot easier to see the full truth about ourselves.