Friday, April 8, 2016

Trump Celebrates Victory at any Cost, even Winning by Whining

True sportsmen and good presidents know that coming in 1st without principles and character is no triumph.
"I can only say this: My whole life has been about winning. My whole life," Donald Trump told The Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in a free-ranging interview over the weekend. "My life has been about victories. I've won a lot. I win a lot. I win - when I do something, I win. And even in sports, I always won. I was always a good athlete. And I always won. In golf, I've won many club championships. Many, many club championships. And I have people that can play golf great, but they can't win under pressure. So I've always won."
Let's put aside Trump’s myriad failures in life: Trump steaks, Trump University, Trump casinos, a Trump magazine, Trump airlines, etc. It's no surprise Trump talked a lot about winning because he has never stopped talking about winning. On the stump, he says things such as, "We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning. Believe me." He even defends his constant whining as a kind of brilliant strategy for winning: "I keep whining and whining until I win."
That bit is funny, given that his other favorite concept is strength, which is not normally associated with whining. As far as I can tell, he talks about the need for strength a hundred times more than he ever talks about, say, liberty or the Constitution (in the roughly 18,000-word transcript of his Post interview, these phrases appear exactly zero times).
I certainly agree that the country has taken its eye off the ball when it comes to winning - depending on what you mean by winning. From the "everyone gets a trophy" philosophy in our grade schools to the grade inflation in our universities, to the absurdly constrictive rules of engagement for our troops, it does seem that Trump is alluding to something real when he says, "America doesn’t win anymore."
In his interview, Trump argues that all his antics and attacks on the campaign trail are justified by the fact that he's winning. "Winning solves a lot of problems," he says in response to a question about how he will unify the party, should he get the nomination after his scorched earth campaign.
He says, "Respect is about winning."
Is it?
Read the rest of Jonah Goldberg's op-ed HERE.

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