The Psychology Behind Not Conceding Defeat and the Mayhem It Can Unfetter.

Unprecedented Times Under an Undignified President.

Image for post
Image for post

ome facts are injurious to narcissism. They disturb the mechanism of self-admiration as narcissists watch their self-made reality being interrupted with real reality. They make an imaginary wall around their distorted reality and assume it is inviolable. Alas! It isn’t. Having been defeated at the ballot is one such actuality Donald Trump is unable to digest. Not admitting defeat is analgesic to his wounds. It is his way of making his loss a little less painful for himself.

There is an utter lack of political maturity. Maturity is “an absence of attempts of anything more than we are, or different from what we are, or in recognition of the fact that we are on solid ground only when we accept giving to our fellow men neither more or less than what is really ours.”, explains Roger Lipsey in his book Politics & Conscience.[1]

One of the many reasons why Trump is not accepting defeat is because he was too close to a win. Not that he would have accepted had he not got those many votes. No, he still wouldn’t have budged. However, this has given his already inflated sense of ‘nothingness’ a little more space to inflate before it gets punctured completely. Donald Trump has rarely behaved like a gracious president. He has devoted himself to the derogation of democracy and delegitimization of the established institutions.

He is attributing his defeat to voting irregularities. He is instead proving his political inability by progressively becoming undemocratic each passing day. It hardly matters to him how the consequences of his doings are so dreadful and totally unacceptable for the lives of people around him. He scarcely speaks with an adequate basis for his claims. Yet, he is so confident about things.

Image for post
Image for post

Accepting failure gently at the ballot is something none of us was even expecting from him, given his remorseless attitude and heartless behavior in general. Donald Trump is trying to usurp power, which is an attempt diametrically opposite to rebuilding democracy, which is the need of the hour. He is doing what seems easy to him, whereas “what is less easy is to look for the reasons within ourselves,” elucidates Hammarskjöld. Donald Trump can be seen as the paradigmatic shift from modern truth to the post-truth world we are slowly approaching.

Rather than being appalled by his acts, citizens must confront him about his statements and evidence of the same. Debate and deliberation in these times are what a good democracy is about. The broader and more inclusive the discussion becomes, the better it is.

An inegalitarian and highly skewed political environment of our times cannot be overshadowed by the fact that there exist political opportunities for the taste by voting. And the fact that ordinary people can avail it to fulfill their desire to be treated equally, at least in some sense. This kind of equality is far from being complete. The future of democracy doesn’t have to be that. With endless possibilities of public contemplation in this technologically advanced age, just the electoral representative politics does not seem to be enough. We need more effective tools to handle bigger problems like Trump. [2]

To reform democracy is challenging enough in normal times, and we are not even living in such times. Times are unprecedented, and the president is very un-president-ed. The election of 2020 exposed how fragile and defenseless our democracy has become to democracy’s most useful tool itself– elections. We came face to face with the most ironic outcome of democracy- electoral hypocrisy. Electorates proved that they are a reflection of the president, and the president reflects them—both Imprudent and whimsical.

There doesn’t seem a better way to sum these times up than the words of David W. Orr, he notes, “Up is down, black is white, in is out, truth is fake. Democracy is always at risk to deceit and to those who refuse to abide by the rules and procedures necessary for civil civic discourse. Absent a decent regard for truth and respect for the law; however, democracy dies, and with it, “the last best hope of earth.”.”

[1] Lipsey, R. (2020). Politics & conscience: Dag Hammarskjöldon, the art of ethical leadership.

[2] Fuller, R. (2019). In defence of democracy.

Written by

Learner| Researcher| Writer. Writes on Democracy, Capitalism and Inclusion. Fascinated by Mathematics and Mathematicians.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store