MANSFIELD: Here’s to the “Losers”

As human beings, we just love celebrating winners. I think it’s something innate in us, as well as in just about all other living things. From a Darwinian perspective, it ties into survival of the species. Winners go forward, while losers go home — or in some cases, go somewhere to die. It’s the zero-sum law of the jungle.

And since politics has virtually become a blood sport (much the pity), we metaphorically immediately hoist the winners on our collective shoulders to parade them around, just as quickly relegating those who lose to the further recesses of our mind. Again, much the pity. But we should learn to celebrate the so-called losers, especially in politics, for without them the democratic principles on which our Republic is based on — at least for the nonce — would wither, and eventually die. Nothing is worse for democracy than for a candidate to run unopposed; every race, for every seat (from the precinct committee level to the presidency) should be contested, vigorously but fairly.

And it’s the “fair” part that keeps some folks from entering the fray, and who can really blame someone for their desire to not have mud slung all over them? Also, the knowledge that, as a candidate, they would have to sling some mud back at an opponent in order to win is equally distasteful to some others.

Granted, there will never be a shortage of folks who want to tell others how to conduct their lives, and just as assuredly the number of candidates running simply to collect a paycheck in a job they consider a sinecure are legion. But there still are a goodly number of people who want to enter politics for the right reason: To be a statesman who improves the lot of their fellow man. It’s those public-spirited citizens that we should celebrate and venerate — no matter if they win or lose.

We need them more than ever now; so simply by running, they are winners and true Americans.

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier mansfieldfATgmail.com. Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.

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