Return to site

Beautiful Losers



Steve Erickson

Over the past week we’ve heard, from the Jan 6 Committee & others, examples of presidential candidates who accepted, or prepared themselves to accept, wrenching defeat: Adams in 1800, Nixon in 1960, Gore in 2000, and Lincoln who went on record expecting to lose a presidential election he refused to postpone in the midst of a civil war. Let’s add two others, both relevant in the matter of Donald Trump, who never missed an opportunity to malign them both as “losers.” John McCain, sacrificing more for America than most of us can fathom, preparing his whole adult life for a presidency he had every good reason to believe he was the right man for, saw his destiny blindsided by a newcomer with barely half a Senate term who, to McCain’s misfortune, proved to be the most exciting political figure of his generation. The night he lost, McCain went out & gave not only the greatest speech of his career but maybe the greatest concession speech ever.

The other person of note is Hillary Clinton, the most credentialed & qualified nominee since the first George Bush. The day after an election she fully deserved to win -- having every good reason to believe she was ambushed by the machinations of a hostile foreign power as well as the director of the FBI two wks earlier, and denied her place in history by malice & sexism & “progressive” hubris while racking up a 3-million-vote popular margin greater than some winners receive -- she conceded in a speech most of us can barely imagine listening to let alone delivering. McCain & Clinton did these things b/c for all the legendarily cranky misgivings on his part & all the alleged craven ambition on hers, they were patriots who loved their country more than themselves, a concept that Trump, deep in his DNA, will never fathom. This is the man, remember, who surveyed the graves of D-Day & asked an aide, “I don’t get it -- what was in it for them?”

broken image


broken image

Steve Erickson is the author of ten novels and a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Riverside. He also writes about media and the arts for Los Angeles magazine.

Brian Picks Winners (And Some Not-Sore Losers)

Everybody Loves a Winner ::: Delaney and Bonnie

Loser ::: Dr Lonnie Smith

I’m A Loser ::: The Beatles

Winner ::: Sarkodie

Treason (I Prodosia) ::: Nana Mouskouri

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window ::: Joe Cocker

Women Is Losers ::: Big Brother & The Holding Company

Women Is Losers ::: Big Brother & The Holding Company

Everybody is a Star (If They Subscribe)