Friday, April 13, 2018

Donald Trump and the Dark Side of Winning

Donald Trump has used variations on "We're going to win so much, you're going to be so sick and tired of winning."

There's a tradition here from usually misattributed "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing" to the U of Michigan fight song to Winston Churchill's flashing his ambiguous V for Victory (and bugger the Nazis) to darker versions.

One oldie from the dark side is from the Greek poet Euripides's great and bloody tragedy, THE BACCHAE, where the Chorus asks rhetorically, "What finer prize do the gods give to mortals than to hold one’s hand in victory over the head of one’s enemies?" One possible answer: Holding high your enemy's severed head (or what you *think* is the head of an enemy ...).

Not so old but always relevant is "Sieg Heil": "Hail Victory!" recycled by Richard B. Spencer and the White nationalist Tiki-Torch trolls.

And that is why a whole lot of emphasis on winning — and Winners and Losers and "You're a hero or a zero," and "hero" means "winner" — should make you nervous.

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