What Happens to the Losers in Politics? | The Triangle

What Happens to the Losers in Politics?

No one likes to lose. Losing, however, is part of life. Part of the joy of winning is knowing that you put all your effort into something and were rewarded with the outcome you wanted. Traditionally, the world of politics has followed this principle. Many people have put everything on the line for a chance to be part of one of the most important institutions in America—the government. Unfortunately, that critical principle that we once learned when we were kids is slowly fading away. No longer do we congratulate the winners for their victory and accept our loss as an opportunity to come back stronger next time. Instead, many people in this country have made the claim that the only way the other person could win is if they cheated.

The critical flaw with this belief is that a competition that can’t be won doesn’t need to take place at all. If you believe in your heart that your challenger is rigging the system to win every time, then why would you choose to participate in the first place? The answer if that were true is simple—you wouldn’t. A never-ending stream of evidence has proven that voter fraud is not a real issue in this country. A lot of people who run for public office know this, but they choose to lie about it anyway after losing by claiming their opponent cheated. Most cases of voter fraud were due to honest mistakes made by people who genuinely thought they were doing the right thing.

There are countless examples of politicians losing a race only to make a comeback the following year. Beto O’Rourke lost a senate race in 2018, a presidential race in 2020 and decided to run for governor of Texas. Tim Ryan failed in his run for president in 2020 only to become the Democratic senate candidate in Ohio this year. George H.W. Bush failed to defeat Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Republican nominating contest, only to be elected president in 1988. President Grover Cleveland lost his reelection bid in 1888 and in a comeback election won a second term in 1892.

People with an interest in politics have always had more than one opportunity to run. It is unfortunate that we have become a country of sore losers because losing doesn’t have to mean total defeat. Comeback stories can be found at all corners of the earth. That’s true in politics, sports and just about everything else. There are people who have lost everything and their comeback stories inspire us. Our country needs a serious wakeup call, because strong people don’t make up stories for why they lost. They accept their defeat for the moment and they come back stronger than ever in the future.