Losing Sucks

It is important on this political blog to take a moment and speak to those candidates – Republican and Democrat – who came up short in the special elections this past Tuesday. That gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach today is valid — Losing Sucks. I could try and be more eloquent but sometimes being blunt fits best.

For those of you who have never been a candidate, it takes guts to put your name on a ballot.  In doing so you expose yourself to a Greek Chorus of naysayers – some for profit and others for sport — who will ridicule your every campaign move and cynically question the motives behind even your most sincerely held beliefs.

Despite this, I think I can speak for most of us here on Peach Pundit and encourage those of you who came up short this time to keep trying.  Even the most successful citizens who enter the political arena usually face the sting of defeat from time to time – Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Reagan, Clinton, Bush I and II, and Obama to name a few.

While politics has its share of narcissists and charlatans, it is important to remember that public service is a high calling and most who step forward do so because they are not satisfied with merely cursing society’s problems in the darkness but, instead, want to shine a light on solutions.

As for eloquent, I leave you with these famous words:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

–Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt (Defeated candidate for Mayor of New York (1886) and President (1912))


  1. Lawton Sack says:

    I ran for County Commissioner in Bulloch County many years ago and I lost. However, I have counted it ever since as one of the best learning experiences of my life. It helped me better understand the ins-and-outs of campaigning, from signs to finances/disclosures and everything in between, and it has enabled me to better help on campaigns of others.

    It is NOT easy for most candidates to run a race. I have sat down and counselled a lot of people thinking about running and explained how difficult a race can be. I am able to share my own experiences to better help others, which I count as a win.

    It still sucks to lose, though.

  2. saltycracker says:

    According to Insidegov.com it looks like TR was more about insuring individuals freedom, opportunity and happiness than passing out govt largess to the non-productive and big business. Doesn’t look like he’d fit in with either party today.

    Domestic accomplishments of President Roosevelt:
    Developed the “Square Deal,” a domestic program formed around three C’s: conservation of natural resources, control of corporations, and consumer protection
    Promoted the conservation movement and placed millions of acres of land under federal protection to preserve America’s natural resources
    Dissolved 44 monopolistic corporations and regulated railroad rates to protect the middle and working class
    Passed the Meat Inspection Act and Pure Food and Drug Act to better regulate food production and labeling

    Foreign policy accomplishments of President Roosevelt:
    Issued a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine allowing the US to exercise international policy power to intervene and keep smaller countries in the Americas on their feet
    Negotiated US control of construction on the Panama Canal after supporting the secession of Panama from Colombia in 1903
    Sent the Great White Fleet on a tour to demonstrate American power
    Negotiated an end to the Russo-Japanese War, for which he won a Nobel Prize

  3. ryanhawk says:

    I’d add that “losing” a politcal race is very frequently a blessing in disguise. The “winner” is likely to end up either bankrupt, divorced, devoid of friends, imprisoned, and sometimes all of the above. So no matter what you choose to do after “losing” you may well be better off than the unlucky winner.

    It would be a long and sad list if we crowd sourced a list of politicians that stumbled into one of the catetories above after “winning” their first election. It’s a tough and thankless job in the best of circumstances, tends to bring out the worst in people, and will magnify the impact of the human flaws and weaknesses we all have.

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