How it hurts to lose a presidential election
UPDATE: Titled updated so that it makes sense.
Tom Miller, in an article to which James Fallows linked, writes of what Trump is going through:
. . . The death march to an inevitable political loss is an emotionally taxing slog that is harder to psychologically deal with than I think many people appreciate. Having been on the losing end of a number of races (seriously, check my LinkedIn — ouch), I have seen the many different ways that candidates and staff handle these losses. It is one of the great tests of character that I have seen up close.
Every utterance is judged for signs that you are acknowledging defeat, every supporter you talk to either needs a pick-me-up or wants to offer advice, every tweet or article you read about yourself or your campaign is caked with the stink of impending defeat.
In some ways, it must be akin to being the quarterback for the 0–6 Browns and having to suit up for 10 more games knowing that there is no hope for the playoffs, let alone a Super Bowl title. Except there are no days — or even moments — off, no chance to get meaningless wins to spare your bruised ego, no next season to look ahead to. Or maybe it is more like being dumped by your significant other, but having it broadcast on every channel in the country, with commentators dissecting all the things you did to deserve public humiliation.
The first losing candidate I worked for was a Marine vet, and he compared the final losing stretch to boot camp. He said to me, “Tim, I thought when I signed up for boot camp that I could handle anything for 12 weeks. But I never realized how long 12 weeks could be until I lived them one second at a time.” . . .
But that’s just an extract. Read the whole thing.
I’m not sure Trump has the wherewithal to withstand that sort of psychological toll, narcissist or no. Counseling would be a good idea, but his narcissistic nature blocks him from admitting a problem, much less seeking help. I cannot imagine how he is going to resolve this and how it will affect what he does in the future.
It raises a pool-ready point: When (date and, if possible, time) will his self-denial crumble? When will he finally see it for what it is? With a narcissist like Trump, one might say “Never,” but (as Miller points out so well) the pressures of a death-march presidential campaign are the quintessence of psychological pressure. So we have an irresistible force (the daily constant impact of the death march) meeting an immovable object (the narcissistic self-denial that consists of thinking he’s the greatest, he’s always a winner, never a loser, and if he did lose somehow, it certainly would not be to a WOMAN!—so he cannot be losing, and all those polls are wrong).
As the song says, “Something’s gotta give.” I would say the odds favor the immovable object in this case.