The ongoing story of Allen West who refuses to admit defeat in Florida gives us pause. As the Yahoo News story begins:
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Firebrand Republican Rep. Allen West was defeated by Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, according to the state’s vote count Saturday, but the incumbent won’t concede.
Denial is a sad business, as Karl Rove will attest. After all, he gambled $300 million that he could buy a President — and lost. The saddest part in the Allen West case is that the “firebrand Republican” is apparently so invested in his role as representative he cannot let go. Well, it is a good gig: you make tons of money and you don’t have to do a damned thing! In addition, of course, one can imagine that the near certainty of victory tends to lead to a mindset that would be difficult for any of us to shake loose from. The Republican brain trust thought they had this one sewed up. There are a lot of angry folks out there in the red states on the map. West is still determined that he won in spite of the evidence to the contrary and in the face of a law that gives him no option but to step down — or pay through the nose for a typically fruitless recount. I am reminded of Bobcat Goldthwait’s comic bit in which he says that he hasn’t lost his job: he knows where it is, but when he goes there someone else is doing it! Allen West is likely to find out first-hand how unfunny this might be.
But this is an extreme case. Those who lose — whether it be an election or a sporting event — are disappointed and even distraught (depending on how high the stakes were). But it’s part of life, the part we withhold from our kids in order to protect them. We don’t want them to experience failure and disappointment so we shield them from it. The results are spoiled kids who drift directionless while their parents wonder what went wrong coupled with grade inflation in the schools where the teachers are unwilling or unable to fly in the face of a culture of entitlement. God forbid that we should ask the kids to do something they may not want to do! No one fails. At least not until their team loses or the votes are counted and the fact stares them in the face.
But some people can’t stand the truth and they hide behind a cloak of denial pretending that the world is what they want it to be and not what it is in fact. You can see them over there in the corner standing with the Congressmen who still deny global warming, waiting for the men in white coats to show up and take them to the Happy Home For The Bewildered. Their numbers are remarkably high.