The Art of Winning

Here is a funny statistic (or folk wisdom or…) people who are more disagreeable make more money on average. So it is (usually) in most things. The team that puts the most pressure tends to have the advantage. Now of course this is not always the case. There are plenty of times when the losing team can make a comeback. But even in these cases too, said team will rely on the momentum they have built up to lead them to victory. Funnily enough, this is one of the reasons why coaches will hold on to their timeouts until their team starts to go on a losing streak. It’s a simple method to break the other team’s momentum.

The late-great military historian once opined that what made the U.S led invasion of Iraq so unusual was that it defied the usual classification for a military victory. The usual method to see how an operation is going (in a military sense) is to see not only how many casualties your side has inflicted on the enemy (in comparison to your own of course) but, more importantly, on how many prisoners your side has captured.

We’ve all seen the old WWII footage of columns of American vehicles passing beside captured German troops. The images evoke a sense of triumph for our side and the inevitability of defeat for the Reich. However, the Iraq War was a unique case in the fact that the U.S led coalition swept through the country in a matter of weeks, and in doing so, the Iraqi Army, well over a million strong, simply melted away. Uniforms were discarded and they faded into the civilian population. From this, we can gather easily that the Iraqi Army of Sadaam Hussein’s regime (and of today for that matter) simply did not have the will to fight against such a foe as the U.S or its allies. The point of this is that aggression is important to incorporate into any type of strategy. Not in all things of course. There is a time and place. However, passivity in action and belief will get you nowhere in life.

The political reactionary is always on the back foot. They are always trying to gain back lost ground. What I mean by reactionary is not the political philosophy, but more the instinct. The instinct to look back at one’s nation’s (or personal) past and long for a sense of continuity and return. The two are similar but different. The reason the reactionary always loses is that they have no positive vision going forward.

Obviously, positive visions are hard. Deconstruction is easy. But if any type of conservative movement wants to go forward and succeed, then they need to have actual opinions not just try to own the opposition (I’ve written about this before). The reason why the world seems to be unraveling around us (from the American perspective) is that too many things were left to simmer and boil over while we were in a fit of absence of mind. We do not in the U.S at the moment have a positive vision (it would seem) for how we want the rest of the world to look. We are merely trying to put a minimal amount of effort and thought into each crisis. And when that crisis blows up, we are left playing catch-up while our enemies advance. Note I did not need to bring forth any specific examples. We can all pretty much bring to mind a recent foreign crisis that it feels like the U.S is merely pouring a cup of water on when a tub is needed.

This is not just in the foreign policy realm. There are many issues on the domestic level that have been left to fester and rot. Think of the national debt, crumbling infrastructure, a border crisis, out-of-control inflation, etc… Many if not all of these problems could perhaps be managed if we had not waited until we were staring down the barrel of the proverbial gun. But we procrastinated and as we all should know, “procrastination is the thief of time.” This can not be laid solely at the feet of politicians, but the people who elect them. The reason politicians have no stomach to do the hard things oftentimes is that they know the people who elected them have no stomach for it. The necessary part of being aggressive is taking aggressive action. Posturing at the end of the day does nothing.


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