Winners and Losers: Competition in the American Psyche

Somebody’s Gonna Win, Somebody’s Gonna Lose

Winners and  losers. That’s the name of the game.

“American Idol”  certainly tells us that. American coffee-shop customers watching the  bunched up “Tour de France” cyclists on the winding, stretches of a two-lane highway in the Pyrenees tell us that. The swift-footed American FIFA soccer team tells us that. The sweaty and bulky tv wrestlers certainly tell us that.

And the electoral college, what does it have to reveal? Well, no Spoiler Alert there:  Somebody’s gonna win. Somebody’s gonna lose. Or as one tv contestant said, “Second’s not fun. First is what it’s all about.”

So, what is it about this pursuit of winning? This mania to be at the top of one’s game? This drive for a promotion or a bonus. This need to pass the car in front of us on the Interstate 5? This compulsion to get another right answer? Continue reading