In contrast to the classic American mantra — everyone-loves-a-winner — there’s compelling evidence we love losers just as much. Perhaps some convoluted version of good-guys-finish-last.
Think about it. We’re fascinated with “losers.” The lost Jamestown Colony…the last of the lost Mohicans..Jesse James shot in the back by a loser…Wild Bill Hickok shot playing a losing hand … General Custer getting cut down in a losing battle…Lincoln assassinated by a lost actor…JFK by a loser-loner …and the entire lost humanity from the Titanic.
Sometime we never love our winners so much as we do until after they become losers. Jack Dempsey and Ali in the ring, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams on the field, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley on the screen. Why just this week the NY Times reported research suggesting our national heroes, the-rich- and famous, “are more likely to lie, cheat, and break the law.” [See Wall Street for current details]
Does any of this tell us about winning and losing? Maybe this. These words, like every word in a politically-charged season, mean very different things to very different people. Want to test that? Ask the next person you meet:” Who’s good enough to be president?”
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